Financial technology has made an indelible mark on the fiscal industry. It has resulted in a significant disruption on the industry’s incumbents and transformed the way business is conducted. A majority of the key players have leveled up by adapting to the revolution and restructuring their models accordingly. The result has had a tremendous positive effect on the industry and the global economy at large.
The next logical step would be to extend similar technological benefits beyond the financial sphere. The gig economy is currently rated as one of the fastest growing models globally. In spite of its rapid expansion, the industry is also facing its fair share of challenges. These range from unfair ranking procedures and high commissions to fraud cases and unjust dispute resolution frameworks.
The blockchain technology offers groundbreaking features that can bring a welcome disruption to this sphere as well. Certain features like its decentralized nature as well as high level security features offer limitless opportunities to transform this and other industries. Fortunately, innovators have taken note of these gaps and identified ways to address them using the above technology. With such transformations, the freelance ecosystem is bound to grow in leaps and bounds and make a more significant mark on the global economy.
We spoke to Ian and Dhaval, co-founders of the Coinlancer ICO to gain some insights on this proposed model. In the interview, he explains how the ICO is planning to revolutionize the freelance industry and address some common challenges. He has a strong background in entrepreneurship and has participated in several successful blockchain startup launches.
- What made you choose the freelance industry?
It was a natural fit after being involved in the modern entrepreneurial ecosystem. We live in an era of digital nomads where less and less people are choosing full-time jobs. Freelancing allows people to work on their time, doing the projects they relate best to. Our mission is to provide the best possible environment for talented freelancers.
- What challenges plague the freelance industry and what solutions do you propose?
Despite the exponential growth of the market, freelancing has its issues as well. The growing number of freelancers notice few common issues with the gig-economy. Currently, the main freelancing issues are high platform fees, slow and centralized dispute resolution, fake reviews, unjust account suspension and, of course, fiat currency-only payments.
The Coinlancer platform will empower freelancing opportunities and project transparent developments throughout all phases of its execution. The platform is based on public blockchain which makes it censorship-resistant. It is controlled by smart contracts deployed on the blockchain. Moreover, running the platform on Ethereum makes the entire process open and transparent. All disputes will be resolved by the Freelancers Tribunal based on the rules laid down in the smart contracts. Coinlancer will charge 3% platform fee and will support crypto currencies.
- Tell us about the key players on your team.
Ian Viner is the CEO of Coinlancer. He has been a Digital Marketer over the past 5yrs. He was an expert in Performance, affiliate marketing & advertising on platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter & Media buys. Eventually he developed tremendous interest in blockchain technology, researched over more than 2yrs and tried to adopt it to current need of the hour projects. Being a freelancer, he found this technology will help overcome major drawbacks faced by the freelance community currently.
Moreover, Charles Voltron acts as the CTO. Charles Voltron’s career spans over 16 years as a coder, tech leader and entrepreneur. In that time he has founded 3 successful tech ventures and has consulted with and contributed to IT projects for hundreds of companies. Charles has been passionate about blockchain technology since 2011. He has co-authored several white papers, consulted on initial coin offerings and has been a tech manager and contributor to several blockchain development initiatives.
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You must have noticed that in spite of the high rates charged on popular freelance platforms, they still have a lot of clients. Without clients, your solutions will not make much of a change. How do you plan to attract clients to the platform and make it competitive?
Our biggest competitive advantages are without doubt, lower platform fees, decentralization and security. We strongly believe those are the biggest pain points of the freelance industry and they will be quite attractive for both employers and freelancers. In terms of marketing, along the token sale, the platform will be launched with an aggressive marketing campaign on all social media, as well as major search engines. Since the platform is tied to cryptocurrencies, we will use boards, such as Bitcointalk and Steem, targeting crypto and blockchain enthusiasts.
- How will this platform guarantee equal rights for freelancers in terms of rankings?
Unlike most freelancing platforms out there, we do not plan on monetizing freelancer rankings. Those would be adjusted by the market itself in the form of reviews and past performance.
Dispute resolution will be handled by the freelance tribunal, while the Coinlancer team will have zero authority over rankings and disputes.
- How long do you think it will take for Coinlancer to get to the level of key players in the freelance space?
The team understands that there are currently several market incumbents which are here to stay. Having said that, we believe relentlessly in the value add of Coinlancer to the freelancing industry and the potential success of the platform. Accounting for a successful token sale, we see ourselves getting to the level of the incumbents in 3 years.
- How do you plan to keep your model relevant and competitive?
Coinlancer was born out of the urgent need for change in the current model of freelancing platforms. Blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and decentralization in general play a big role in this. Our current model is slightly ahead of the market.
Nevertheless, our plan is to be extremely customer-centric, constantly collecting, analyzing and acting upon feedback. We do not exclude the possibility of our model becoming redundant in a few years and we will be willing to adapt accordingly.
- What is your long term vision for the freelance industry?
Our long-term vision for the freelance industry is deeply incorporated into our very own business model. Blockchain technology and decentralization are already changing the way we live and we don’t expect the freelance industry to lag behind in this regard. Achieving decentralization will provide a more efficient, fair and distributed environment for both freelancers and employers.
Most importantly, we expect the freelance sector to take an even bigger portion of the current labor market. Currently, freelancers take about 35% of the US workforce. Remote, project-based jobs are the new norm and this trend will definitely affect this percentage.
- Are there any expansion plans that go beyond the basic freelance model?
Currently, there are several big milestones ahead of Coinlancer to reach in the freelancing industry itself and those begin with a successful token sale. Once there is enough traction in that market and Coinlancer is among the market leaders in freelancing, we plan to venture into the broader online labor market of BPOs and KPOs. We believe that the coordination and incentivization needed for such ventures can be achieved in a more efficient way over blockchain and through an Ethereum-based platform.