The gig economy is a global phenomenon. Whereas a mere two decades ago, it was unheard of to employ remote and distributed teams, now this reality is becoming the norm — especially among startups. With coworking hubs like WeWork cropping up in new areas, including Singapore,  it’s no surprise that individuals feel more empowered and supported than ever before to take on freelancing gigs and try on a self-employed lifestyle.

Although the gig economy is growing more ubiquitous, especially in Southeast Asia communities where professionals desire more control over how and when they work, this rising decentralised industry is not without its drawbacks, especially when it comes to finding opportunities and retaining talent.

There are many platforms out there that connect freelancers and clients. You may have used or heard of Fiverr. They have a simple interface that helps the search for jobs or freelancers to be very dynamic. However, both have substantial drawbacks.

Freelancing Hacks says that even if contractors get the attention of a good client, “Fiverr limits your pricing to either $5, $25, $50, or $100. Sure you can also add extras or ask for multiple order placements to charge higher for your services, but each time a buyer places an order, Fiverr takes 20 percent off of each order (plus Paypal Processing fee).” This system that is apparently accessible to anyone who can’t afford higher prices ends up compromising the quality of the work being done because the company takes such a huge fee out of small payments.

Upwork has also been known to have extreme security and customer service issues, all while taking the same 20 percent off of earnings. Users have to “bid” for jobs, but clients aren’t always the most trustworthy.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and so Boon Tech was born. Boon Tech is a blockchain-based, AI-enhanced platform that connects freelancers and clients in a fast and secure way. It allows workers to keep all of their earnings and it accounts for how well parties work together.

Compensating for pitfalls

Instead of utilising fiat money, Boon Tech uses a cryptocurrency called Boon Coin. Cryptocurrency partners with blockchain technology, which is a transparent and immutable public ledger, so all transactions are secure and displayed for all parties to see. The need for third-party verification is reduced, so freelancers and clients can hold one another accountable for finished work and payments.

The system also offers rewards for top earners, incentivising them to use the platform; which won’t be hard to do anyway, seeing as there is no service fee and freelancers keep all of their earnings. 

What Boon Tech does differently

Boon Tech does much more than shortcomings of contemporary freelance platforms. According to the company’s white paper:

Boon Tech’s platform uses IBM Watson’s AI Personality Insights to infer potentially unnoticed communications, events, and portraits of individuals that reflect their personality characteristics. We use linguistic analytics to infer individual’s’ intrinsic personality characteristics from digital communications such as email, text messages, phone calls, etc..

By analysing users’ data, including social media posts, the IBM Watson system creates thorough profiles based on personality traits, professional needs, and values to match freelancers and clients that would work well together. By assessing elements such as excitement, curiosity, practicality, desire for tradition, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and more, IBM Watson generates an Artificial Intelligence Quotient (AIQ), which the company claims to be 20 times more efficient than typical five-star review formats.

Also read: 5 freelancers share how to thrive in the gig economy

People can only work together if they can communicate, which means freelance work is restricted by language. Boon Tech uses the IBM Watson AI Language Translator, however, to circumnavigate language barriers. The service can identify input text language and translate it via a domain-specific linguistic model so parties from around the world can understand one another. It also accounts for industry-specific jargon and other specialized terminology to allow seamless cooperation.

Strengthening relationships

Boon Tech’s platform can strengthen relationships between freelancers and clients. All professional relationships need to be cordial (otherwise getting work done is miserable). IBM Watson’s technology pairs actors up in such a way that they will most likely enjoy working with one another. When everyone’s needs are aligned, there is less room for miscommunication and negligence.

The company’s white paper also notes:

Upwork.com and Peopleperhour.com charge $2.00-$3.00 for a bid after an initial 60 bids. So freelancers have no incentive to work for the same entrepreneur for repeat work which, in turn, reduces the engagement ratio for freelancers.

Boon Tech can help foster long-lasting relationships, which is beneficial for both parties: clients can count on having someone available and skilled in working, while freelancers can better predict their income from reliable sources.

Blockchain technology also establishes trust between everyone involved. Too many freelancers are accustomed to hounding clients to pay invoices (some happen to be scams that want free labour), and clients are faced with an abundance of freelancer options and have inefficient ways of determining trustworthy or qualified candidates. With blockchain, though, smart contracts can be made to assure commitment of all parts involved.

Freelancers are essential to the economy, but succeeding as one can be challenging when job platforms are restrictive or treacherous. Blockchain tech not only compensates for the drawbacks of other modern digital job marketplaces but dramatically improves upon them. Clients and freelancers have now safer and more fulfilling options to work with.

—-

Editor’s note: e27 publishes relevant guest contributions from the community. Share your honest opinions and expert knowledge by submitting your content here.

Featured Image Copyright: ferli / 123RF Stock Photo