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Freelance Industry Report

Blockchain in the Freelance Industry

As the freelance industry continues to flourish, its impact on the future of work cannot be ignored.

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The Freelance Industry

Traditional 9-to-5 jobs are no longer the sole definition of employment

As a growing number of individuals are embracing the freedom and flexibility offered by freelancing.This paradigm shift in work culture has given rise to the booming freelance industry, creating new opportunities and shaping thefuture of work.

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the competition in freelance marketplaces

Freelance platforms like Braintrust, Contra, Upwork, and Fiverr have created a virtual marketplace where freelancers can connect with clients from all around the world. This has led to a surge in demand for freelance services, as businesses are increasingly turning to freelancers to meet their needs.

UpWork logo white
Braintrust logo white
Fiverr logo white
Contra logo white

spike in freelancing

The rise of the internet and digital technologies has allowed people to work remotely from anywhere in the world. This has opened up new opportunities for freelancers to find work and build their careers online.

Technology
Made it easier for individuals to work remotely and collaborate with clients from anywhere in the world.
Economy
Pandemic has changed the way we work, this has supported the surge of Freelance work to combat potential economical crashes.
Work-life
Freelancers are individuals who prefer to work at their time with their own goals - it can be life or work or leisure.

“The gig economy has made it easier than ever for people to monetize their skills and expertise.”

Let’s talk about some other, more personal factors that contributed to making the gig industry rise and people embrace its benefits in time at a global scale:

Freedom

One of the key factors driving the rise of the freelance industry is the desire for autonomy and independence. People no longer want to be confined to a rigid office environment or limited to a single employer. Freelancing offers the freedom to choose clients, projects, and working hours, allowing individuals to tailor their careers to their preferences and lifestyle. There is no need to be an expert in everything, as you thrive based on your specific skills. For example, you can be a lawyer and still make waves as a freelancer.

Flexibility

Freelancing has paved the way for a better work-life balance. It enables individuals to design their schedules around personal commitments, whether it involves taking care of family, pursuing hobbies, or traveling. With the ability to work from anywhere, freelancers can achieve a sense of balance that traditional jobs often struggle to provide.

Skills

The freelance industry thrives on the skills and expertise of talented professionals. As technology advances and industries evolve, the demand for specialized skills grows. Freelancers are uniquely positioned to meet these needs, offering a diverse range of services across various sectors. This skills-based economy fosters innovation and allows businesses to access top talent on a project-by-project basis.

gig economy

companies prefer freelancers compared to full-time team.

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62%
to complete projects
faster
55%
to reduce
cost
49%
to increase the
transparency
49%
to access skills not
available today

breakdown

understanding global freelance pool that exists

40%
Independent contractors
5%
Freelance business owners
10%
Temporary workers
27%
Moonlighters
18%
Diversified workers

freelance roles

tech roles have the highest numbers of freelancers.

Blockchain

TensorFlow

Amazon DynamoDB

Voice Over

Subtitling

Art Direction

Content Strategy

Computer Vision

Microsoft Power BI

Augmented Reality

Chatbot Development

React Native

Media Buying

Go Development

Information Security

The rise of the gig economy, fueled by platforms and marketplaces connecting freelancers with clients, has significantly contributed to the freelance industry's growth. These platforms provide a streamlined approach to finding work, creating a vast ecosystem where freelancers can showcase their skills and businesses can easily find the right talent for their projects.

Moreover, the gig economy has made it easier than ever for people to monetize their skills and expertise. Freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer have created a virtual marketplace where freelancers can connect with clients from all around the world. This has led to a surge in demand for freelance services, as businesses are increasingly turning to freelancers to meet their needs.

freelance platforms

and what do they offer to their users

Upwork

  • Over 18 million freelancers and businesses use Upwork
  • Wide range of job categories, including programming, graphic design, writing, accounting, and more
  • Provides tools for managing work, including time tracking, invoicing, and communication features

Freelancer

  • Offers a range of job categories, including website development, mobile app development, graphic design, writing, and more
  • Freelancer also offers a project management tool to help freelancers and clients manage their work

Fiverr

  • Focuses on "gigs," which are small jobs or tasks that can be completed quickly
  • Freelancers on Fiverr offer services such as graphic design, writing, video editing, and more
  • Fiverr also has a user-friendly interface and provides tools for managing work, including time tracking and invoicing

Guru

  • Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, it offers a variety of job categories, including programming, writing, design, and more
  • Allows companies to find freelance workers for commissioned work
  • Guru also provides tools for managing work, including workroom collaboration, invoicing, and time tracking.

Toptal

  • Connects businesses with software engineers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers
  • Toptal freelancers are screened and tested for their skills and experience
  • Only the top 3% of applicants are accepted

People Per Hour

  • Offers a range of job categories, including web development, graphic design, writing, and more
  • PeoplePerHour also offers a project management tool to help freelancers and clients manage their work

Issues on these platforms

20% Fees

UpWork and Fiverr charge 20%, which is 1/5th of the freelancers revenue. This is a significant amount, especially for freelancers who are just starting out or who are working on lower-paying projects

Lack of Trust

Clients and freelancers often don’t know each other. Communicating over a platform makes it harder to establish trust.

Payment Issues

Payments might be delayed or the client might not pay at all which is frustrating for freelancers.

Limited

Limited control over the work they do and clients they work with. Generally, a bidding system wins projects and new freelancers find it hard to compete against already established freelancer/profiles on the platform.

challenges

in the freelance industry

Complex
Contracts
Managing
Finances
Centralized Database of work
Stable
Income

oppportunities

in the freelance industry

Emerging technologies, such as blockchain & smart contracts

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Blockchain technology, which is the foundation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is being leveraged to create secure financial ecosystems for freelancers.

By using blockchain technology platforms can provide transparent and secure financial infrastructure for freelancers, empowering them with the tools they need to succeed.

Freelancers can now focus on their work without worrying about the financial aspects of their business, knowing that their transactions are secure and their finances are being managed in a safe and efficient manner.

Platforms like Layers Protocol are using smart contracts on the blockchain to offer a range of financial services, including escrow, invoicing, dispute resolution, and more.

what is layers protocol

a decentralized freelancing protocol for freelancers

The Layers protocol aims to bring transparency, authenticity, Ownership, and interoperability to the existing freelance ecosystem and provide more opportunities to users with its unique freelancer liquidity models.

Agreement Contracts

001

Layers offer decentralized, immutable, and cryptographically secure agreement contracts. The data of agreement contracts will be hosted on decentralized storage networks such as IPSF and Arweave. For privacy-focused users, there is an option to encrypt the data inside the agreement contracts so only the allowed parties with the secret key can only view it.

The data can't be changed because of the immutability of decentralized storage networks. With digital signatures, the signer can always be verified and identified, agreeing to a single source of truth to ensure what needs to be delivered.

Payment Network

002

The Layers has built-in smart contracts-based escrow payments which offer the following type of escrow-based payments:

Flat
Fee
Milestone
Based
Recurring
Payments

When the client pays X% amount goes directly to the freelancer, and the rest will be in the escrow and transferred when the job is marked done by the client.

There will be no time bound in escrow, so whenever the client wants can release the payment.

On-Chain Experience

003

Layers store data generated through every interaction on the blockchain networks, which acts as the proof-of-history. Data storing and manipulating data happens through smart contracts, and the respective user can only generate data related to a user.

Users can always use their data how they want, whether applying for a job somewhere else or joining a new freelancing pool. Users are always free to approve who can access their data, and it's even applicable to Layers.

Whenever a verifier needs to verify any user's claims, it can always check the data associated with the user on the Layers dashboards. It can crosscheck through the blockchain API provided by the protocol.

The Freelancer Pool

004

The Layers has built-in smart contracts-based escrow payments which offer the following type of escrow-based payments:

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