BitGigs: Bitcoin Job Board Forum For Cryptocurrency Payments?
BitGigs is an online job board where users can request or offer freelance jobs, all to be paid in Bitcoins. Though the site claims to review all posts, there is a chaotic edge, with many strange and sexually explicit listings. The site provides no details about who developed or maintains it, and many of its posts appear to be years old.
BitGigs offers no information about itself; the site's “About Us” section is entirely blank. The site has published two blog posts, one describing how to gain more business through the site, and one featuring a brief video introducing the site. The video, “BitGigs.com – What will you do for a bitcoin?”, is less than a minute long, does not identify its creators, and is narrated by a puppet.
The introduction video was posted to Youtube in 2011, suggesting that the site is at least that old, and its many of its posts appear to be from this time period. The posts have no year attached to their dates, but links to MySpace pages and requested prices of over five Bitcoins for simple jobs hint at their age.
In the seven years since it was posted, the video has only been viewed approximately 800 times, indicating that BitGigs has done little to market itself and has so far failed to gain any significant popularity.
It's not clear how BitGigs makes any money from its product, since the site allows users to add posts for free, and contains no advertising. It does list a Bitcoin wallet address where users can send donations, but it does little to solicit them.
BitGigs' job board allows users to both request and offer services. Approximately half of the listings are for professional services commonly found on more mainstream freelance work sites, like Upwork and Fiverr: writing, programming, video and music production, graphic design, language lessons, etc.
Others are much stranger, such as training in occult magic, psychic readings, a “100% genuine compliment,” and professional video game playing. Many posts, especially in the “Fun / Bizarre” section, offer sexually explicit pictures and videos. Virtually every listing on BitGigs is from a user attempting to sell a service, with none requesting to buy one.
BitGigs does not include a reputation system for users to rate one another, so every transaction requires the users' careful discretion. There is also no escrow system to hold funds while a service is being performed, so users could easily be ripped off by performing a service without payment, or vice versa. Adding these features could significantly increase users' trust and encourage much more commerce to go through the site.
BitGigs allows freelancers to sell their services in exchange for Bitcoins. The idea is completely logical; freelance work accounts for an increasingly large sector of economy, and many of these workers would appreciate the immediate, hassle-free payments that Bitcoins can allow.
However, the site is far less professional than most freelance marketplaces: it lacks common features to promote trust between users, it lists strange personal services alongside professional ones, and the site offers no information about itself whatsoever.
The Verdict For BitGigs
A freelance job board for Bitcoin users is an interesting idea; it allows freelance workers to receive immediate payment without middlemen, and it is increasingly appealing as cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity. However, features like a reputation rating system and escrow holding could add a level of trust that BitGigs currently lacks.
Furthermore, the site does little to separate its professional services from its personal ones, and listings appear to never expire. Users are not at risk for exploitation from the site itself, since it requires no personal information, but it does nothing to regulate communication or payment between users.
There is a definite place for BitGigs in the modern labor market, but the site should clean itself up and provide much more transparent information about itself in order to appeal to serious professionals.