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Startup Aims to Change the Way Freelance Market Works

Technology has liberated and, at the same time, enslaved us. We can now work from the comfort of our homes but intermediaries- centralized freelance websites- are getting huge commissions. How do we cut out middlemen?

Everybody wants more flexibility these days, both businesses and employees. The gig economy is on the rise: in the US alone, 35 percent of the workforce is estimated to be working as freelancers. In the developing countries, millions of people embrace new opportunities.

According to PayPal, 41 percent of freelancers in India saw significant growth in 2017, with 80 percent of them working with international as well as domestic clients. The country is now the largest gig economy in the world with 10 mln people freelancing. The freedom, however, comes at a price, and it is set by centralized platforms, such as Upwork, TaskRabbit and many others.

Who is getting the money?

The freelance marketplaces charge fees that reduce the freelancers’ income and diminish their efforts. Their pricing policy is questionable. For example, Upwork charges freelancers 20 percent for the first $500 bill with the client and 10 percent for total billings between $500 and $10,000. Freelancer.com is also charging 10 percent with a three percent client fee.  

Of course, freelance designers, copywriters or software developers could leave these sites at any time and go on their own, but this would mean leaving reliable payment. At least, centralized platforms provide some kind of guarantees and security.

“How would I get my money? How my customers would find out about me if I leave the website?” These are the questions an average Indian or an American freelancer asks. Promoting services through Facebook ads or LinkedIn ads is more expensive and, for many, simply unaffordable.

Another challenge is thousands of fake reviews and the issues of identity on centralized platforms. For companies working with freelancers, this also poses a threat to their security. They have to open their data to somebody they’ve never met in person and who is not directly under control.

We simply need a fairer freelance economy that would make manipulation almost impossible. The Blockchain can help verify identities and rate both employers and freelancers, ensuring the security of transactions. And, what’s essential, Blockchain solutions will be much cheaper for freelancers than centralized platforms.

Freelance economy 2.0

In January 2018 a new startup, Ethearnal, launched its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to develop a peer-to-peer freelance platform. The founders aim to connect all parties together and revolutionize the way the freelance market works. Disputes will be settled through voting in the decentralized arbitrage system by a pool of independent moderators.

“Thanks to Ethereum smart contracts, both employers and freelancers can have peace of mind that their investment, be it money, time or effort, is safe and secure,” said Stanislav Uzunchev, co-founder of Ethearnal.

The company is creating a framework to back the reputation of businesses and freelancers with Ethereal Reputation Tokens (ERTs). The Ethereal ICO is based on “DAICO,” a new method for decentralized fundraising Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum Network, recently proposed.

The model is aiming to minimize the complexity and risk of ICOs by incorporating elements of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. The benefits include the ability to leverage crowd wisdom, the distrust of centralized teams, and spread finding over time.

By the end of 2018, Ethereal is planning to launch iOS and Android apps.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Why Freelance Platforms Need Improvements

During the last couple of years, the freelancing market has boomed with millions of people giving up their day jobs and choosing to work from home in industries which they love.

However, finding a steady flow of work, unaffected by large commissions can be quite difficult in the current state of the market. In fact, centralized industry leaders, such as Fiverr, Freelancer, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Upwork charge large transaction fees, hence affecting the amount of profit freelancers make.

Solution

The problem lies with the high number of expensive middlemen facilitating transactions. To bring a fix to this issue and improve the freelancer market, StormX has rebranded its BitMaker application to Storm Play, and kicked off the integration of Blockchain technology within the app via STORM tokens.

With this in mind, Storm Play can be regarded as the foundational piece of the greater gamified micro-task marketplace.

At this time, the Storm Market focuses on user engagement gamified micro-tasks, but in the future, the company plans to create three different categories: promotional user engagement (Storm Play), shopping tasks (Storm Shop) and freelance gigs (Storm Gigs) including both micro-tasks and longer-term contracts.

Storm Market benefits

Based on these aspects, Storm Market will likely change the way people throughout the world earn money online. Some of the main benefits associated with the platform include:

  • An engaging gamified user experience supported by Blockchain technology
  • A global platform introduced that will fulfill the need of work for over four bln people
  • Continued opportunity growth for freelancers
  • One of the largest crypto-focused communities with over 1.3 mln downloads
  • Gamification techniques that will be used to allow users (Storm Players) to earn more STORM tokens, which can then be exchanged for fiat or other digital currencies on supporting exchanges

Already, via Blockchain technology, Storm Play matches Storm Makers with Storm Players on tasks that take five minutes or less to fulfill. Upon the task fulfillment, these freelancers are rewarded with the relevant number of tokens for the task in question, with minimum human intervention.

It is expected that the Storm Market will be used by individuals, advertisers, gaming platforms, publishers, recruiters, machine learning companies and more.

Storm Play already has a fast-growing base of over 307,000 monthly active users from over 187 countries. Outside of Coinbase and exchanges, Storm Play likely has the largest crypto-focused community user base.

Those who are interested in trying out the platform now should know that there are a ton of real products available on Storm Play already, such as Hulu, DraftKings and even Uber. Fulfilling gamified micro-tasks allows you to earn rewards made in STORM tokens, BTC or ETH.

STORM Token Crowdsale

StormX is holding a public crowdsale, currently in progress. Once the Crowdsale is over, distribution will be 41.74 percent for sale, 23.26 percent locked, 25 percent for the company and 10 percent for the users. Currently, one ETH is worth 26,950 STORM Tokens, whereas one Qtum is worth 1,152 STORM. There are still three more days to participate before it is over.

StormX Team

To help make the project a reality, the team is blessed with a top-tier advisory board, including Bill Shihara (CEO of Bittrex), Jeff Pulver (founder of Vonage and founder of VOIP), Tom Bollich (founding member of Zynga and CTO of MadHive) and more. Additionally, the STORM team is working with Qtum to help promote the Qtum Dapps and gain additional access to the Asian community. Don’t forget their already-established awesome partnership team, consisting of Jaxx, ZenCash, Kyber Network, Bancor and more.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Bitcoin-Related Jobs Booming Along With Bitcoin

International employment marketplace Freelancer has noted that Bitcoin-related jobs are the highest growers, hitting 82 percent growth in the third quarter alone.

Work relating to Bitcoin, Blockchain, and other related markets is skyrocketing as the cryptocurrency currency heads towards the mainstream, pulling in more and more to feed the ecosystem.

The company’s periodic report tracks top trends in online jobs based on the listings on its Freelancer.com platform.

ICO boom

Freelancer notes that a lot of the growth is coming from companies that are looking for freelancers to design new coins, essentially helping them launch ICOs.

“People are getting freelancers to design new types of cryptocurrencies,” Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer, said.

One of the main skills for which companies are looking is the ability to manage an ICO. ICOs have been seen to be highly lucrative, and many are popping up all over the place. However, recent regulations have slowed down the frenzy.

It is not only the developers and designers of these new coins that are in such high demand for new ICOs according to Freelancer. Employers are looking for people to create new cryptocurrencies but also to write proposal plans for technologies employing Blockchain.

Cryptography

The related field of cryptography saw the number of job listings rise 59 percent in the third quarter, according to Freelancer. Cryptography is essentially the underlying theory upon which the Blockchain and by extension Bitcoin is based.

It is not only useful in cryptocurrency, but it is also a skill that has played a significant role in Internet security and privacy.

Job quality

Not only is their a higher demand for crypto-workers, but the jobs on offer are also decidedly better than most in a similar field.

A report done in September found cryptocurrency jobs pay, on average, 10 to 20 percent more than the industry norm. Further, they offer better benefits.

Second, cryptocurrency companies have far more flexible remote working perks. In fact, within cryptocurrency companies, employees are 22 percent more likely to have remote working freedom.

Third, cryptocurrency companies and especially ICOs offer far superior liquidity options. Typical equity positions require a liquidity event in order to be sold and have complex restrictions. ICOs generally offer employees coins as part equity positions. While those coins may still have some restrictions, they are far more liquid that options.