Currently, Bitcoin faucets give out a few satoshis per click, where a satoshi is 0.00000001 bitcoin. For example, one of the most popular Bitcoin faucets, 99 Bitcoins, has closed down after dispensing 12.795 bitcoins since November 2015. This pales in comparison to the first Bitcoin faucet launched by Gavin Andresen, one of the earliest Bitcoin developers, in June 2010. At that time Bitcoin essentially had no value or exchange rate, so the faucet gave out 5 bitcoins per day. As of 21 October 2018, 5 bitcoins are worth USD 32,000.
Gavin Andresen loaded up the faucet with 1,100 bitcoins, worth over USD 7 million as at the time of this writing, and asked for further donations to keep the faucet running. In total 19,175 Bitcoins went through the faucet, worth USD 124.5 million currently. Shockingly, despite the payout of 5 bitcoins per day for just a single click, a user complained: “What! Only 5 bitcoins?”
The faucet appears to have run dry by the middle of 2011 based on Bitcointalk posts, likely due to Bitcoin’s increase in price, making people unwilling to donate to the faucet. Before the faucet was completely turned off, its payout was progressively reduced to 0.02 bitcoin, which is worth USD 130 as of this writing.
After this first Bitcoin faucet, other Bitcoin faucets depended on advertising revenue to fuel the faucet. This worked well for 99 Bitcoins until Google AdSense pulled crypto ads for all crypto faucets, after which 99 Bitcoins depended on advertisers that paid less money and spammed the site with poor quality ads. In September 2018, 99 Bitcoins shutdown, although numerous other Bitcoin faucets still exist.
However, no Bitcoin faucet has ever compared to the first Bitcoin faucet launched by Gavin Andreson. If someone used the faucet every day while it was active, they would easily be able to retire for the rest of their life and live comfortably. That’s of course if the faucet users HODLED their Bitcoin, which is probably unlikely since the times Bitcoin rallied to USD 100, USD 1,000, and USD 20,000 would have been extremely tempting times to cash out.
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