Is Blockchain a Match Made in Freelance Worker’s Gig Economy Heaven?
There are about 162 million people in the United States and Europe who identify as freelance workers. This figure has become as prominent as it is due to the gig economy and models like Etsy, Airbnb, Uber, and the like. These businesses, known as “micro enterprises” are a whole new system upon which many rely upon. Further, and better for freelancers, their services are in demand.
Despite the presence of work, there are issues and one of the most common is that the financial system is not very beneficial for freelancers. They often face trouble generating a normal income and funds tend to fluctuate. As for the business itself, even though it can be expansive, it does not always have consistency. To combat these issues, many are turning to the possibility of micro payments.
Micropayments as an online transaction that is under $10. With a micropayment, people can choose the service rather than purchase the entire package, which saves upon expense. One common example is Apple versus services like Spotify – users can purchase one song rather than subscribe to an entire service. Although not all freelancers work for firms that provide microservices, there are many that do and that provide more potential for better earnings. And it is not as if micropayment systems do not have their own issues – they regularly face problems with security and speed.
The good news is that there may be a solution to these problems, and it could be the blockchain. A report by Deloitte discussed micropayments and stated that content owners were maybe able to have “full control and visibility of the consumption and number of uses” concerning the content they offer.
Moreover, blockchain is often recognized as a decentralized and thus more secure technology. It can protect better against external threats and it can prevent against copyright infringement. As for speed, there are more concerns. Some are worried that the technology is unable to compete with the same transaction speeds as popular credit card companies like Mastercard and Visa. The concern certainly is legitimate and it may lead to scalability issues. Now, the next question is whether scalability of blockchain technology can be improved.
ThunderCore recently released a project in partnership with Consensys. The project applies a network of DDoS resilient nodes that may be able to confirm transactions in less than a second. This results in over a thousand transactions per second. Moreover, because confirmation needs only a ¾ majority, transaction speed becomes faster and network congestion goes down.
As speed increases and transaction costs decrease, users may feel more comfortable paying a few cents per article they access. Stakeholders can also have trustworthy profiles, identity, and reputation. Better yet, the blockchain technology also captures the data. Over the long term, it can be developed into a structured record of data that can be used as a valuable asset by microbusinesses.