2017 has been a year of some great changes; whether it was America’s election or North Korea doing an atomic test, this year was filled with breaking news. Amidst all this, something which managed to grab the attention of every individual was Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. Both these buzz words managed to remain in the headlines every second day and for obvious reason. Many nations are eyeing Blockchain technology to be the cornerstone of transformation.
Many considered Blockchain technology to be only associated with cryptocurrencies and their transactions, however, their decentralized feature along with other benefits made it find application in almost every field, ranging from health, banking, governmental management, retail, transportation, education, movies and many others.
Blockchain application in Freelancing is going to be making the headline in the year 2018. With Moonlighting, one of the largest platforms for freelancers announcing to launch its ICO in the year 2018, this will spark a new phase of discussion when it comes to Blockchain application.
The nature of work has completely changed from what it was a few years back. There has been a growing inclination of people towards freelancing. According to recent studies, the total market for global freelancers is estimated to be $1.5 trillion. North American contribute over half of the global freelance marketplace. In the USA there were around 55 million freelancers in 2016 as compared to 52 million in 2014. The growing number of freelancers in the market shows that this is a big market. However, certain issues seem to make this market looked down upon, but, if we can solve those issues, freelancing can appear to be a great marketplace to work, and we can have many more people stepping in it. Let’s analyze some of the common challenges faced by the freelancers globally.
Challenges faced by freelancers-
Well, before proceeding ahead and understanding how Blockchain will help the freelancers marketplace, it’s important to understand the challenges faced by the freelancers.
A freelancer market is an open place, and they compete with various problems like fake reviews of the freelancing website, reliability factor, credibility issues, payment delays and the division of earning by sharing it with the middlemen.
There are many freelance platforms which has millions of registered users, some of the popular in the league include the names like Moonlighting, Upwork, Freelancer, TaskRabbit, etc.
The major problem faced by the freelancers while using these platforms is the exorbitant fees charged by them, for example, Upwork charges freelancers 20% and employers are charged 3%. Similarly, Freelancer.com charges 10%, and from the client, it charges .3%. Furthermore, these websites also have hefty withdrawal fees. Thus, for those who are willing to continue the freelancing work in the long run and the companies who seek to use the services of these platforms, it comes with a colossal sharing fee which is earned by them.
However, when we talk about Blockchain application in the freelancing world, then companies like CanYa , a Blockchain based marketplace, distributes the control amongst the users as per the Blockchain framework. It means that there are comparatively lesser fees and no withdrawal or transfer fees which otherwise is a typical scenario in the traditional working of the freelancing platforms.
How Blockchain will prove as a helping hand to freelancers?
Before heading to understand how Blockchain is going to prove to be revolutionary in the freelance market, let’s have a quick view of what is Blockchain technology.
The Blockchain is a decentralized ledger which has all the records of the transactions across a different network of computers. Once the record enters, it cannot be altered, and the information is visible to all the people in the system. Many companies are trying to tap this feature for freelance contracting.
The underpinnings of Blockchain which makes it suitable for freelance market-
Blockchain surface with the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009. It favors peer-to-peer transaction without third party interference making the transaction hassle-free and also saves the cost of sharing it with the third part. The factors which make Blockchain a favorable concept for the freelancers include the following :
- Low cost of transaction
An example of the same is Moonlighting, it is one of the leading freelance platform. It has around 600,000 freelancers sign up. The company is planning to launch an ICO in 2018.
Benefits of a Blockchain-powered freelance platform-
The versatility of Blockchain has made it the most sought-after technology for many companies.
Features of Blockchain which are beneficial for the freelancers:
- Immutable, secure record of transactions – An important feature of Blockchain is its immutability. It allows a large number of transactions and contract data stored in the secure environment. This makes it free the hackers. The agreements between the freelancers and their clients can become a part of the permanent record, which is hard to breach or compromise.
- Cost-effective – When it comes to the freelance market, then the workflow is known no boundaries, however, when it comes to the payment, then the money transfer may ask the sender to pay some transfer fee. Transferring money to Africa or from the US can cost an extra 15 . Blockchain can as a savior here since there is no third party control, the money can be transferred with a lower transfer fee or no fees at all.
- Proof of work– Credibility is the biggest concern in the freelancing world and online mode of working. With Blockchain in the picture, the freelancers can store their profile and portfolio data on Blockchain which can be copyrighted too.
Conclusion – It is clear that Blockchain has created a fervor in the market which has affected multiple niches and the freelance market is the latest addition to this, companies like Moonlighting are planning to come with their ICO in 2018. There are other Blockchain-based platforms like Storm market, Ethlance is yet another popular Blockchain-based platform which shows that Blockchain technology is here to stay for long and is going to transform the business world and its functioning.