The freelance economy was once viewed with much fear, uncertainty and doubt. Yet over time, freelancing, (also known as the “gig economy”) has only grown stronger over the past several years. There are a number of reasons why the trend towards freelancing is gathering pace and according to the CEO of business and financial software company Intuit, the gig economy is expected to grow from the current 34% of the workforce in the USA to 43% by the year 2020. Such a percentage would equate to nearly 67 million workers in the USA, a substantial figure which should not be discounted or ignored.
The internet has brought us closer together and now, you can work from your beach hut in Barbados for a company that is based in Canada. As long as you have the necessary skills set and accept the likely short-term nature of your contract, the world is your oyster. According to the latest poll by NPR/Marist, 1 in 5 jobs in America is made up of workers under contract. While there are plenty of pros and cons with contracting, trust issues between the two parties are usually at the forefront of any debate on the topic. Additionally, there are costs associated with freelancing, and not only anything from 10-30% of the job value goes to the intermediary, your funds are not always immediately available and the disputes are solved by single entities, which by definition cannot be objective.
To solve this, the team behind the peer-to-peer freelancing system Ethearnal has utilized the power of Blockchain and smart contracts to create a truly trustlessly environment for both freelancers and job providers. This platform makes it possible to make and execute an agreement without manipulation by third parties. The end goal is to make the industry a lot more secure for both the freelancer and the employer. Workers are able to verify the contract to ensure they get paid for their efforts, while employers can feel confident knowing that they are hiring freelancers that are competent and able to produce quality content. All this done across modern-day peer-to-peer nodes that keep track of listings.
The platform runs on the native Ethearnal token which represents “reputation” on the underlying network. Depending whether you are a job seeker or a provider, the ERT or Ethearnal Reputation Tokens represent different benefits. For the freelancer, the more ERT, the higher the likelihood of securing more contracts. Whereas prospective employers need them to be able to hire people since they need to put up as much ERT as the freelancer. There are also benefits for moderators, who are able to earn more tokens and have an option at selling those if they choose so. Last but not least, token holders benefit from expected appreciation and also from revenue share of all system profit proportional to their tokens.
However, the innovation does not end there. Unlike the typical ICO campaign, the Ethearnal team has employed what has been dubbed by Vitalik Buterin as DAICO, a reinforced version of the ICO merged with aspects of Decentralized Autonomous Organisation (DAO). This means that the investors of the ICO decide when and how to distribute the funds to the developers. If the token holders are unhappy with the progress of the project, they can either vote to refund the remaining funds and end the project, or to have the developers continue to work until a product is ready.