David Peterson, a developer and tech blogger, recently published a post on Forbes in which he cited a report from Deloitte that found freelancers usually earn significantly less compared to those offering similar services at a full-time job.
In his post, Peterson noted that freelancers have to constantly struggle with issues such as “job insecurity” and “poor rewards” for their work. However, the world’s freelance workforce is still growing rapidly according to Robert Reich, the former US Secretary of Labor.
Reich has predicted that 40 percent of workers in America will be independent contractors within the next few years. Notably, a joint report published by leading freelance platform, UpWork, and Freelancers Union has determined that by 2027, most of the US workforce will be engaged in freelance work.
Blockchain Startups Aim To Improve Global Freelance Market
Recognizing the potential growth of the freelance market, a number of blockchain startups have been trying to develop platforms that aim to offer freelancers more money for their work by eliminating the high commission fees charged by intermediaries.
In addition to not receiving fair compensation for their work, freelancers have to deal with various regulations, which not only significantly reduce their compensation but in many cases do not allow them to receive payment.
According to Peterson, these issues have been a “decisive factor” for freelancers to switch to a blockchain-enabled system, or platform, for payments and managing their contracts. A distributed ledger technology (DLT) based system offers “simplicity” and lets freelancers “delve right into the world of freelancing and earn some great money,” Peterson wrote.
A DLT-powered freelance project called Blue Whale aims to solve “the problem of sick pay and paid time off.” Unlike full-time salaried positions, freelance workers usually do not get paid for “sick days”, however, Blue Whale’s system for freelancers reportedly allows them to contribute to a reward bank.
“Decentralized Freelancing Market”
The idea is to use the funds from the reward bank to offer financial support to Blue Whale’s members who might be unable to work on some days due to personal reasons. Meanwhile, CryptoTask aims to provide a “decentralized freelancing market” which offers a unique dispute settlement system.
As explained by Peterson, the client and the freelancer “put aside 10% of the value” of their contract – which is to be paid to independent, “randomly delegated” reviewers. The reviewers then “vote in favor of one of the parties.”
The review system has no “central body”, or decision-maker, and reviewers’ votes are “cryptographically signed.” Voting results are revealed only after all reviewers have submitted their votes. Also, reviewers are “unaware of each other’s votes.”
As CryptoGlobe covered, Riggs Eckelberry, the CEO of OriginClear Inc., a technology licensing firm for the oil and gas sector, had proposed developing a blockchain-enabled riding hailing app. This, Eckelberry had suggested would allow drivers to earn more as it would eliminate the high commission they have to pay when working with giant centralized ride hailing services such as Uber.