Blockchain is most often associated with disrupting industries like finance and retail, for the obvious reason that they directly deal with money. However, another sector that this technology is changing is the freelance economy.
The freelance market is seeing huge growth. Tech Republic reports that around 45 percent of tech jobs will be freelance-based by 2028. This news does not come without its complications: the freelance industry is huge but largely inefficient, and this affects industries across the board.
There is, then, a need to innovate. And this is where blockchain technology could have a role to play. Here’s how.
Working freelance is more than just a sideline gig. Yoss notes that over 80 percent of people between 18 and 26 see freelance and remote work as a viable career path, which means that companies will have to re-evaluate their relationship with the workforce. This relationship between freelancers and companies tends to be complicated, as both sides have to negotiate an arrangement that goes beyond the typical employer-employee set-up.
Smart contracts could play a role here by assuming the burden of establishing and maintaining contracts and managing the incremental payments that often accompany iterative free-lance work. Being blockchain-based, these contracts can double up as a transparent record which both future freelancers and employers can consult.
Cryptocurrency as a Source of Investment
This article began by mentioning blockchain isn’t just about cryptocurrency, but that doesn’t downplay the link between the two. Cointastical’s list of freelance platforms that pay in Bitcoin shows just how many freelancers are willing to get compensated via cryptocurrency as a way to enter the crypto markets.
Our previous post on blockchain skills highlights just how fast blockchain tech is growing. Blockchain development goes beyond cryptocurrency. There is now more demand from companies like IBM and ConsenSys for blockchain developers than there is demand for expertise in fields such as AI and data analytics.
Blockchain developers are, in other words, in high demand and short supply. Universities have been relatively slow to adapt their own IT and Computer Science curricula to cater for this growing demand – and the shortage is set to continue for the next two or three years, according to some industry analysts. In other words, if you’re a free-lance developer, now is an especially lucrative time to specialise in Blockchain technologies.
Decentralised free-lancing, as spear-headed by projects like Experty, demonstrate the core value of blockchain technology for free-lance consultancy.
Experty is a Polish project which has recently built a blockchain-based platform that has been designed for the specific niche of small-scale consultancy. The platform offers the ability for knowledge seekers to be matched with specialists in a given domain of expertise when the former require knowledge consultations in small increments.
In other words, the Experty project is using its blockchain technology to manage and secure micro-payments of consultancy fees which need to be charged by the minute (or even the second). It is an untapped niche within the consulting world that traditional internet technologies have been unable to nurture.
Blockchain technology, once again, may be about to change all that…