More than a force of change on the business world, freelancers are becoming a competitive advantage because they:
- are highly flexible,
- get paid by the task; and,
- have a high degree of autonomy.
The MiddlemanThe advantages of hiring freelancers are clear, but the process of finding freelancers can be tedious, frustrating and expensive. Enter the middleman or third-party. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are popular, but tend to struggle with a common set of problems to include inconsistent work quality and payment issues.
In addition to these challenges, third-parties also charge fees. Some charge a flat rate fee on all transactions, while others charge variable rates. For example, Upwork charges 20% for up to $500, 10% for up to $10,000, and 5% for over $10,000 per client. Fiverr charges 20% flat. This doesn't include fees on payment options like credit cards, PayPal or bank transfers.
Is it possible to automate this middleman and payment function? Yes, and the name of the technology helping companies do so is called blockchain.
Blockchain Automates the MiddlemanBlockchain is the new middleman. It helps to facilitate the connection between you and the freelancer by serving as a dual-staking system or escrow service. The technology offers companies and freelancers the ability to trust and verify without the need for intermediaries. Once the contractual conditions have been fulfilled, payment is automatically authorized. The set of conditions surrounding the agreement is referred to as a 'smart contract'. No middleman or trust agent is needed because the blockchain is the broker.
Blockchain applications also provide benefits for the freelancer including faster payments, lower fees, easier access, and contractual incentives like staking. Staking helps freelancers solve the age old "chicken or the egg problem" when starting on a new platform. A reputation is required to get new gigs, but you need gigs to establish a reputation. With Serve, Instead of having to build a reputation, you can buy your reputation by purchasing a "stake". This form of tokenized reputation encourages everyone to act ethically because everyone has some "skin in the game".
Most third party platforms are flawed since the middleman charges fees and controls how the connections are made. Blockchain powered with technology has the ability to automate the middleman function giving you all the benefits of hiring a freelancer without the headache.
The future is powered by blockchain.