The last decade has brought about a significant change in the nature of work. More and more people are prone to the idea of freelancing, moving past the regular 9 to 5 jobs.
Upwork, a prominent platform for freelancers, revealed that more workers are now choosing to work as freelancers and contractors when compared to full-time employees. It found that the freelance workforce growth is accelerating and around 36% of the US workforce is working as freelancers.
Not only this, it is further expected that freelancers would constitute more than half of the workforce within the next ten years. Currently, there are more than 57 million freelancers in the US alone, which is a large number, and points towards the growing trend.
However, this doesn’t mean that freelancing has no drawbacks.
Challenges in Freelancing Industry
The younger generation is particularly attracted by freelancing. All because they get to decide their working hours, their bosses, and they get to work at the comfort of their own house. All this goes well with the free-spirited millennials.
But all these advantages come at their own costs. Traditional employment, for instance, offers better job security and assures a guaranteed pay. This is not the case with freelancing. One month you could be having an array of clients and loads of work, while the other month could be a lean period.
Further, freelancing guarantees no additional benefits like healthcare and pensions. More often than not, since the whole setup is virtual, freelancers are exploited by the clients, and the lack of proper laws in place make it difficult for the freelancers to have job stability.
That’s where blockchain comes to the rescue and attempts to streamline the industry.
Blockchain-Powered Solutions to Provide Relief
Many freelancers find clients online, which means that the whole deal happens virtually. Without a higher degree of trust, freelancers are often skeptical about receiving the payment on time, while on the other hand, clients fret about the quality of the final product.
This is when blockchain-based smart contracts can provide a viable solution. Freelancers can set pre-discussed benchmarks or milestones for a project, and as soon as that benchmark is achieved, payment can be released.
This would serve as a win-win solution for both the parties. Freelancers would stay assured that they will be paid, and clients would be able to keep a better check over the quality of the final product.
Ethlance is one such blockchain-based platform which ensures that only legitimate parties get to deal with each other. The platform provides a glimpse of past transactions, job offers and additional related information which can help a freelancer judge the authenticity of an employer.
JUR is another platform which uses smart contracts to automate the release of funds once both the parties are okay with the discussed terms.
Planning for retirement has always been a tough subject for freelancers. They must manage the legal and paperwork on their own, and this is one of the reasons why most of the freelancers skip this entire task.
Thankfully, blockchain can help in this regard and make pension programs easily accessible. Akropolis is one such startup which provides a quick view of retirement portfolios with transparency to the freelancers.
The platform provides a decentralized marketplace wherein freelancers can explore the different pension products and choose the best pick.
Enhanced Technological Capability
Working as a freelancer has its perks. But many times, you miss the resources and insurances offered by a traditional office.
In here, blockchain can help you out by providing you with some of these resources through its decentralized network. Leonardo Render, for instance, is a blockchain-based platform meant for creative and provides high-speed resources for video production and graphic design.
This way, a freelancer can continue to work on a budget but still enjoy the access to resources of a large company, thus saving crucial investments in expensive GPU rigs and the like.
The Final Word
As is evident, blockchain aims to provide better control to the freelancers by providing accessible pension and quick payment.
Further, freelancers can also choose to receive payment in cryptocurrencies and avoid the high fee which is otherwise involved in currency conversion.
It is safe to say that freelancers are positive about the benefits brought by the blockchain, such as a better and secure blockchain-powered marketplace.