How Blockchain Technology could affect Freelancing: 5 Predictions

18.01.2018

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard the magic word “blockchain”. Whether or not you believe in the future of Bitcoin, Ethereum or whatever other version of the blockchain technology your second cousin has invested a fortune in, it’s hard to argue that this is one of the emerging trends with the potential to change how we handle money.



We’re not here to tell you to invest in Bitcoin – in fact, crypto currencies are extremely volatile and anyone considering investing should really think about it hard. However, a lot of industry leaders and experts believe that blockchain technology is here to stay. And that it will have an impact on freelancers in particular.

We’ve summarized some of those voices into a short list – here are our five predictions of how blockchain could affect freelancing:

1. Turning payments into opportunity or risk

Let’s begin with the most obvious scenario – the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about an issue. Are you getting paid in Bitcoin or some other new form of currency? If the answer is yes, now or in the future, that means your profit also depends on how well this currency is doing. In other words, what the currency is worth will affect your salary.

As you might be aware, Bitcoin is a prime example of this. As of the time this article is being written (January, 2018), one Bitcoin is worth about 16.000 US dollars – a couple of days ago, that figure was almost at 20.000. Just a month ago, the value of a Bitcoin was around 10.000 US dollars. This kind of fluctuation can be both a blessing and a curse. If you’re investment-savvy and willing to play the game, you might find the right moments to sell off your Bitcoins and add to your profit. If you’re not, however, you might face terrible losses. From that point of view, crypto currencies are a double-edged sword for freelancers.

2. Cheaper money transfers

Our second most-obvious prediction has to do with the reason of why blockchain was created in the first place. It is a vision of a world where currency is handled in a decentralized fashion. To keep it simple, let’s imagine that just means a world without central banks. That means no middle man for a lot of money transactions.

Especially for freelancers who work internationally, money transfer fees eat up a relatively sizeable chunk of profit. Transferring money to Africa from Europe or the USA can end up costing you around of 15 percent extra. And even if it less than that, it adds up in the long run.

3. Proof of work

If transactions do end up being done with blockchain technology in the future, it can also serve as a universal place where proof of work is stored. Portfolio data can be stored on the blockchain, meaning all work could be attributed to the owner automatically. No more worries about your article or video being copied or stolen – if blockchain does become the standard way to handle monetary transactions, you will always be able to prove that you were the original creator.

4. Smart contracts

Smart contracts are a technology available in the blockhain ecosystem. Essentially, smart contracts are program code that automatically performs an action when pre-defined conditions occur. Let’s say it goes something like this “When article X is delivered, wire amount Y to person Z.” These types of contracts are mainly so good because of two reasons.

First of all, they streamline the process. Things just happen without much need for human action. Secondly, they are more secure. If someone violates a contract, the repercussions take place. Additionally, the contacts are stored securely, which means they cannot be changed or hacked without either side of the agreement getting notified.

5. An emerging market means work opportunity

Last but not least, crypto currencies are just a huge hype right now. And more and more people are adopting them. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend investing in any sort of blockchain currency right now, there is one easy recommendation: learn about blockchain. It might become a part of your work sooner than you think. At freelancermap.com, we have already a few freelancers with blockchain skills.

And what will people need if blockchain does become the thing of the future? Other people that understand it: consultants, freelancers who have worked with the technology and know the ins and outs. You can be that person. So if you find blockchain interesting anyway, make an effort to understand it – it might turn into a business opportunity soon.
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