Freelancing Has Been Broken – Here's How Blockchain Can Fix It

A new startup aims to change the way freelance talent and respective clients find each other through a community-managed platform. To achieve this, the project will include its own administrative token.

The main premise of the platform, known as Braintrust, is to remove intermediaries from the process of hiring highly skilled talent for contract and freelance work – primarily in the IT industry.

But unlike the many iterations of this concept, born in the initial era of coin offering, Braintrust won't force users to have their own token for payments. Instead, it borrows some concepts from DeFi governance, and especially Compound, to create a community-managed platform.

Cointelegraph interviewed the CEO, Adam Jackson, to learn more about the platform.

Adjust incentives

Jackson believes that existing freelancer aggregation platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr, suffer from fundamentally misaligned incentives between the owners of the platform and its users:

“Their job is to connect buyer and seller, company and talent and then facilitate the transaction. And then take the highest possible rate as a percentage of that transaction. & # 39;

The costs that freelancers incur are usually about 20% of the total invoiced amount. This is the standard for any & # 39; two-sided market & # 39; born on the Internet, with eBay pioneering that model.

Normally, these companies can get away with high costs because of the value they add by creating a trusted environment and offering escrow services. But that aspect can be mimicked by a peer-to-peer control system, Jackson explained. Users will be encouraged to validate new clients and freelancers as additions to the community.

However, the system is not a decentralized, autonomous organization, and a non-profit organization will take care of some aspects of the system, such as accepting money. "But that's just one of many companies or people or entities helping to build this thing," added Jackson.

Braintrust is also not completely numb, as the foundation will collect 10% of every transaction from customers. However, the exact rates are subject to change by community administration.

Board model inspired by connections

Payments on Braintrust are made via traditional fiat USD, but crypto-based payments are also supported.

The Braintrust token or BTRUST only has board functionality. The holders can vote for the most important aspects of the platform: what kind of customers and talent should be accepted, what functions should be developed, how much the platform should charge.

Jackson hopes the new model will foster a vibrant talent network that will be actively interested in improving the ecosystem.

& # 39; This new model I describe is actually not possible without a token. The token [s] the blockchain facilitates the replacement of the intermediary. ”

Jackson revealed that Robert Leshner, the founder and CEO of Compound, is an advisor and investor in the project. In addition, Braintrust reuses a fork with Compound's governance code to power its own systems.

The users of the platform will earn the token by contributing to it, for example by evaluating new candidates. Unlike some DeFi protocols, it appears that the platform's earnings are not distributed to token holders. Jackson did not want to go into detail about the symbolic economy, although he promised it will be explained as Braintrust approaches the end of the year.

Braintrust's concept represents an interesting use of crypto-native systems to solve real world problems. However, it remains to be seen whether it turns out to be more successful than previous attempts.