In August of 2018, Gallup released a report which claims 36% of workers in the United States work within the “gig economy.” That’s 57 million Americans who’ve traded traditional employment for work on a per-project-basis.
Freelancers in the gig economy enjoy the flexibility of their own schedule, ditching the commute, and a limitless potential of earned income. On the other side of the coin, freelancers aren’t guaranteed a consistent source of employment, health benefits or retirement accounts, and must manage their own taxes.
Three NEO-based projects are separately developing their own platforms to address the issues with freelance employment. In conjunction, these independent projects appear to provide similar benefits for freelancers that traditional 9-to-5 employment opportunities offered previous generations.
Thor makes it easy for freelance contractors
Thor, a San Francisco-based project, is developing a platform geared towards providing freelance and contract workers with “health, retirement, and savings stability.” To address the issues surrounding the gig economy, Thor is developing a health care solution that:
- Provides continuing and comprehensive (medical/dental/vision) healthcare for on-demand workers and their dependents; and, is
- Affordable and flexible to fit a variety of economic backgrounds.
Through its platform, Thor aims to provide “access to health insurance either through a proprietary Thor-branded plan utilizing the new AHP regulations or an affordable marketplace option through a preferred vendor that specializes in single or multi-dependent plans for independent contractors.”
In addition to its healthcare solutions, Thor seeks to integrate the blockchain economy with the traditional economy. To do this, it will attempt to increase liquidity in its THOR token by coordinating with a regulatory-compliant exchange, like NEX.
NEX offers regulatory-compliant fiat-to-crypto exchange
NEX is a “platform for high-performance decentralized exchange [DEX] and payment.” The DEX is regulatory-compliant as it provides “rigorous security monitoring, audits, and deployment protocols used by centralized exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance.”
NEX aims to offer a cross-chain method of trading across protocols such as Ethereum (plus ERC-20 tokens), NEO (plus NEP-5 tokens), Litecoin, Bitcoin, and more, as well as integrate fiat currencies. In the NEX whitepaper it’s stated NEX will be the “first DEX that will allow its clients to enter the exchange with fiat currencies such as USD, powered by a global network of licensed third parties.”
NEX seeks to integrate and support national currencies “through banking partnerships with companies around the world.” This user can access these services via the NEX web extension, which “provides users with a full featured cryptocurrency wallet with the ability to view asset balances and transaction history, and send and receive assets.”
When workers in the gig economy are able to legally and easily trade tokenized assets across chains and convert those assets into fiat, the barrier to entry into a blockchain-supported workforce platform is minimized.
Moonlight platform to appeal to contributors and project owners
As a platform, Moonlight’s development is geared towards the needs of the freelance and gig worker.
In 2016, a Society for Human Resource Management report found job postings took a median of 30 days in time-to-fill at a cost of $2,000 per hire. To mitigate the cost of the hiring process and aid with employee retention, Moonlight seeks to develop a “platform for contract and freelance work that will make employment more appealing to both contributors and project owners.”
The platform will allow “issuers” to create tasks for “resolvers” to fulfill, and receive compensation. In addition to creating tasks, issuers will be able to request particular skill-sets required for their completion. Resolvers will be able to fulfill tasks by submitting a conventional resume, or using a trustless resume comprised of previously accomplished tasks, which is stored on the blockchain.
To better serve its users, Moonlight has conducted interviews with individuals in the freelance and gig economy to offer a premier platform to satisfy their needs.
Tying it all together: blockchain for Gig Economy workers
For the individual seeking to embrace the gig economy, blockchain offers a solution to fill the gaps of benefits and connecting on-demand employee’s with on-demand employer’s.
With blockchain, the job-seeker can be paid for their tasks instantly through smart contracts, apply for on-demand tasks using their trustless resume and credentials stored on the blockchain, and convert tokens to fiat currency through decentralized exchange’s that are beginning to become regulatory-compliant.
Perhaps this is the beginning of cryptocurrency providing a “real world value” pundits have clamored for.