This post was written by CEO Emad Mousavi and re-posted from his personal LinkedIn. You can follow him right here.
As a freelancer, your middle name is flexibility. You have to adjust your practices and workflows to accommodate your clients, otherwise there will always be someone else who can work the way your potential employers want them to work. This sometimes includes the way you get paid.
Often, a potential employer will prefer to work on flat fees instead of hourly, or on a project-by-project basis rather than a retainer. Your invoicing and payment structure usually can be shifted as necessary, but what would you say to a potential employer who wanted to pay you in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency?
Typically, opening up new avenues to income is a great idea for a freelancer, but with Bitcoin, can you be sure you’re getting the value of your actual work? The value of some cryptocurrencies actually can exceed the vale of the dollar, but that valuation is both theoretical and a constantly moving target. Bitcoin alone has shifted in value hundreds of times, and its value has dropped significantly in recent months.
Whether or not you decide to accept Bitcoin as payment is ultimately up to you; maybe you’re already an avid Bitcoin enthusiast and you’re happy to expand your wallet. But even if you decide to stick with good old dollars, you can still take advantage of the benefits of blockchain, the technology that secures cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that chronologically records and verifies every step of a transaction between the parties on the chain. That may sound complicated, and in truth it is, but what it means is that you can secure and automate much of your accounting processes, guard against fraud and nonpayment for services, and share information faster and more safely.
And you certainly don’t have to be a computing wizard to gain these benefits. In fact, blockchain powers multiple payment applications and is making plays to disrupt the freelancer marketplace on a larger scale as well. You see, for some of the larger platforms getting their networks of millions of freelancers around the globe paid quickly and efficiently has presented a challenge. The freelancers themselves tend to get gouged by the platforms’ project cuts and payment fees.
Blockchain helps alleviate that problem by skirting the middlemen and their associated fees. By decentralizing freelance marketplaces, worker and employers can connect directly and can transfer work product and payment seamlessly and securely. Workers can avoid being treated unfairly by centralized authorities, and if the middlemen want to maintain their value proposition, they can also use blockchain to streamline their payment processes.
Smart contracts are another blockchain-based tool that can help smooth out the contracting process. Smart contracts can ensure that both freelancers and employers treat each other fairly; i.e. professional quality product in return for competitive compensation and prompt remittance of payment.
Some platforms even use blockchain and smart contracts to tokenize professional reputation, giving it monetary vale, meaning that poor quality work or nonpayment can result in getting dinged on the platform, which actually affects your wallet. This keeps everyone honest and upholds the integrity of the freelancing system.
While the future of cryptocurrencies remains up in the air, the future growth of the freelance economy is pretty certain, as is the potential for blockchain. So whether or not you choose to get paid for your gigs in Bitcoin, you can absolutely benefit from blockchain, both in personal payment applications and across freelance networks. With everyone from independent developers to massive tech companies getting in on the blockchain market, you’ll soon have your pick between applications that suit your particular field and practice.