I just stumbled upon some free cryptocurrency I totally forgot about. You might have some as well. Read on to find out…
Updated on December 24th to reflect new exchange rates for a total worth of over $2,000. The original post dated August 27th mentioned $310 worth of cryptocurrency.
A few years ago a lot of new cryptocurrencies started to pop up. Give-aways were a popular way to promote them. Generally all you’d have to do is create an account and you’d get some free coins generally worth a few bucks.
Many cryptocurrencies have risen significantly in value since, so those free coins you got… They might be worth a lot more today.
I personally re-discovered over $300 worth of crypto coins when I first wrote this post.
In this article I’ll walk you through finding out for yourself if you still own any crypto coins you might have forgotten about by now.
1. Ripple / XRP
On May 10th, 2013 a cryptocurrency startup named Ripple announced a promotional give-away. Beta users would receive 1,000 XRP (Ripple) just for signing up to their mailing list.
Back then that 1,000 XRP was worth a few dollars. Like many other cryptocurrencies, the value of those coins has increased significantly. Today, that free 1,000 XRP is worth about $1,000 USD. Cha-ching!
How to find out if you own 1,000 XRP
If you don’t remember whether you signed up four years ago, it’s relatively simple to find out. Just search your email inbox for “ripple.com”. If you’re using Gmail you can click this handy link.
Here’s one of the emails I found:
Didn’t find any emails?
Skip to the next section (2. Stellar) to see if you own any of those.
Found the email? Great!
If you read closely you’ll notice that this email merely informs you that you’re elligble for the give-away. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like Ripple actually sent an email after you received the 1,000 XRP, so this is the closest thing we get to confirmation.
If you did receive this email however, I’d bet there’s a decent chance you participated and have 1,000 XRP sitting somewhere in an inactive account.
Ripple Trade, the service that initially hosted your “XRP wallet” containing the coins has been shut down. Unfortunately that complicates the process a bit, but it’s not a dealbreaker.
All you have to do is follow their instructions. You’ll need to migrate your old Ripple account to a new service called Gatehub. It’s all explained on Ripple’s official webpage: http://rippletrade.com/
Click the button “Migrate Wallet to Gatehub” to start the process.
You’ll be asked to create a new Gatehub account (assuming you don’t have one yet). After that you can follow the instructions to migrate your old Ripple account to Gatehub so you can access your coins.
Unfortunately I did this a few months ago and don’t remember the exact process anymore, but I think it was relatively straight forward. In my case I had to verify my identity first to activate my old Ripple.com account. I don’t recall why, but ultimately it worked.
If you’re having trouble signing in to Gatehub try a different browser. Safari didn’t work for me, but Google Chrome did. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Here’s my Gatehub dashboard:
And here’s a screenshot of the Exchange showing how much the 1,000 XRP is currently worth:
If you are now the proud owner of $1,00 worth of Ripple, feel free to send some test payments to my wallet. Haha. Whatever you think is fair ☺️
Open Gatehub, go to Wallet → Send Payment, and enter my username: ~marckohlbrugge
Stellar is another startup that gave away free coins in order to promote their service. I can’t recall what type of promotion they ran, but I found out I own 5,152 lumens which is worth a little over $100 USD. (Update: now about $1,089!)
Figure out if you have a Stellar account
Search your email inbox for emails sent by “@stellar.org”. Use this link if you use Gmail. Here’s an email I found dated August 1st, 2013:
Didn’t find the email?
No worries. There’s one more cryptocurrency to try out. Skip to the next section named “3. Circle”.
Found the email?
Great! Visit the following page to sign in: https://launch.stellar.org/
If you’re able to sign in successfully you’ll be walked through a migration guide as they updated their systems. Make sure to securely store your public and secret key or you’ll lose access to your account.
After migrating your account you should see how many “lumens” you have. They might take a few seconds to show up.
I personally have 5,152 lumens which at $0.02 a piece is worth about $109 at the time of writing. Not bad! (Update: it has 10x’d since writing this post!)
If you are now the proud owner of $100 worth of lumens, feel free to send some test payments to my wallet. Whatever you think is fair �
Open your Stellar Dashboard, go to Send lumens, and enter my public key: GDIDVWKEBFKZ3274CEHFOGROJQXLMFR2LBMDA6LCS6JDUSATKPYN4FSG
Thanks to Tom Moor for reminding me about Stellar.
Back in 2014 a startup named Circle provided $10 USD worth of Bitcoin to new users. The value of bitcoin has increased by a factor of roughly 7x, so that means it’s worth about $70 now.
Figure out if you have a Circle account
Search your email inbox for emails sent by “@circle.com”. Use this link if you use Gmail. Here’s an email I found dated June 5th, 2014:
This email doesn’t guarantee you actually were invited to become a beta tester, or that you received the Bitcoin. However, it does make it more likely.
If you only find more recent emails you probably never received the bitcoin.
To be sure, try and sign in to Circle.com
My account didn’t show any transactions unfortunately. I reached out to customer support just to be sure they didn’t get lost somehow considering it was over 3 years ago that I signed up. I’ll update this post when I know more.
That concludes the guide. If you know of any other cryptocurrencies that gave away coins back in the day, let me know!
Send me a message on Twitter if you need any help. ✌️