# CryptoTask: Disrupting the Freelance Economy

# CryptoTask: Disrupting the Freelance Economy

The freelance industry has exploded over the last ten years and now composes around 35% of the American workforce.  Freelancing has given people the option to trade in careers in corporate America for working from home and being their own bosses. For many, it allows them to follow their passion. For others it allows them to supplement their main income.  Whatever the motivation, the freelance industry is becoming a huge part of the economy.

Many platforms cater to the freelance market and they all provide similar features that include escrow, reputation management, and dispute resolution to both freelancers and their clients.  Sites like Fiver and Freelancer allow freelancers to vie for work and build credibility through a client and seller rating system. Buyers can navigate the masses of freelancers to find the one that meets their budget and skillset, or they can post jobs and allow thousands of freelancers to bid. These freelance platforms also have mechanisms for dispute resolution.  This protects both freelancers and clients alike and gives them a means to mediate any issues that may arise in the process.  All this security comes at a price.  Transaction fees average around ten percent across freelancing platforms.  While this may be acceptable for freelancers working part time, these fees add up quickly for those relying on freelancing as a career.  Many freelancers end up transitioning away from these platforms in an effort to keep this percentage in their pockets.

[Cryptotask]( https://www.cryptotask.org) offers a novel solution to the freelance marketplace.  Their team has leveraged the power of blockchain to create a distributed freelance marketplace.  Their promise is to offer the same advantages as current freelance marketplaces like Fiver and Freelancer, but reduce the fees associated with these platforms and decentralize the process.  This method may prove to disrupt the current freelancing marketplace by eliminating the major downside to the current offerings while continuing to provide the benefits of the current offerings.

CryptoTask breaks the process into three parts. The first two types of participants in the marketplace are the buyers and sellers.  This goes without saying.  The clients are the buyers in the transaction.  They can post a task and review the reputation of participating freelancers in order to choose a freelancer that best fits the needs of the project. In order to post a job, the client must put into escrow the full project price. The freelancers are the second party to the transaction and must deposit 10% of the project’s price into escrow in the event of a dispute. This adds some downside to not completing a task and insures the freelancers are not able to game the system.   The third, and most novel, party to the CryptoTask marketplace is the reviewer.  The reviewers are randomly selected to a panel (typically including 10 reviewers) for each project based on their subject matter expertise and are paid by the losing party of a dispute.  The reviewers are also incentivized by a small transaction fee for each project they are selected for, even if a dispute does not arise. For this system to work, the reviewers must also be engaged and not able to manipulate the system. CryptoTask manages this by both requiring the reviewer to post a deposit equal to the project fee and by introducing the notion of consensus. This process penalizes a reviewer not in sync with the consensus of the panel.  This incentivizes the process and keeps reviewers honest and engaged.  By introducing the process of the review panel, CryptoTask keeps the marketplace balanced.

From a freelancer’s point of view, CryptoTask is an exciting new platform.  It offers the protection of the major freelance marketplaces without the need to pay huge fees for the privilege of working.  Often, the marketplaces are flooded with droves of low cost, low quality freelancers. To me this is the second major flaw of the freelance marketplaces.  My belief is that the deposit per task model used by CryptoTask, though not the purpose, may eliminate this problem.  Though the detail of the blockchain is beyond the scope of this article, the security of this trusted technology makes me feel at ease knowing that the system is secure and stable.  The CryptoTask team is still in development for the front end of the marketplace and are working to complete a web and mobile platforms.  Their ICO is scheduled for February 3rd and they will follow with the deployment of the Alpha, Beta and Commercial product in the near future. As a freelancer, this is an exciting project and I will be following the teams progress.  You can track their progress [here]( https://www.cryptotask.org).


Brad Patton is a software engineering consultant and writer who delivers high quality software systems to his clients. He received his undergraduate and graduate degree in Computer Science. Brad leverages his expertise in programming and mathematics to develop profitable algorithmic trading strategies. He shares his experience by writing about his tools and strategies. He can be found on Twitter at @BradleyPatton.

Category Tech