People work for a reason. Not always, but more often than not, that reason is money. As a new form of money, cryptocurrencies can influence the ways we work, and improve them through the provision of greater monetary transparency, access, and control. Here are four ways crypto can improve work for everyone, and contribute to the shaping of new job markets.
In its simplest form, work is an exchange. We give so that we may get: our time, energy, skills, or knowledge for financial or aspirational fulfillment. There are few selfless acts; we do with expectation, implicit or explicit, realized or realized, of a return.
The surer we are of that return, the more motivated we are. Control empowers workers; uncertainty creates friction in the willingness – or at least, the enthusiasm – to act. Cryptocurrencies have the potential to bring workers closer to the value of their work. Through blockchain technology, every action can be tokenized and paired with a transaction. Intermediaries are removed, and no individual entity determines whether an output is met by an input. Rather, this is done automatically, through a permissionless network that executes the same rules – and applies the same standards – to every interaction.
Transactions of decentralized cryptocurrencies are recorded on public ledgers. Nobody controls this record, and nobody can interfere with it. This can influence the way we work by making the circulation of value more transparent – and, through that transparency, more accessible. Access to information is necessary to make choices; to know if the work offered is good work, commensurate with an individual’s expectations. Through HUMAN Protocol, for example, anybody could know upfront what value is attached to a work interaction, and the weight of their contribution relative to a job’s requirements.
The ability to verify alleviates uncertainty. For most, work is a black box: their input produces an output, but they are unable to know how, or whether they’re receiving a “good deal” for their contributions. Cryptocurrency increases the intimacy of work. The result of the work moves closer to the worker, with none in between to dictate or arbitrate.
If the gig economy continues to grow, as we’ve previously discussed, a greater quantity of the work will become “microwork”. Beyond routines and roles, “work” can become the sum of many small contributions, requiring many small payments.
HUMAN Protocol aims to support job markets in which payments can be released and distributed in real-time, once the conditions of the smart bounty – which are used to represent and guarantee all work tasks – are met.
This helps workers doing many small tasks maintain the momentum of their work; no longer obliged to keep track of and check for payments, they can receive immediate inputs – in tokens – for their outputs. The technology manages the automatic validation of work and the execution of payments, secured by and recorded on the underlying blockchain. It’s also worth noting that blockchain technology represents one of the few solutions to executing millions of micropayments worldwide; no accounting system today can execute (nor track) payments at that scale.
Freedom comes from control. Many blockchains exist to bank the unbanked: to give digital liberty to those that have traditionally been without it. By providing them with access to secure digital money, they’re given choice, which is the beginning of control, which is the kernel of freedom.
A global pandemic has underlined the need to create more security for workers. Freedom to choose from the tasks available across diverse job markets – those supported by the Protocol – means workers have security through the availability of opportunities, and not being tied to any single contract or role. Zero-hour contracts are exploitative because the worker does not have control; they’re tied to work that may or may not be available to them, at a time not of their choosing.
Similarly, platforms such as Mechanical Turk provide microwork, but only within a narrow bandwidth of what could be available. The Mechanical Turk market is a single market of specific repetitive tasks, and is controlled by a single entity. Inside the platform, there is little freedom to choose.
A single, unified means of value exchange – such as HMT – allows for new systems of requesting and completing different types of work, with the human worker ultimately benefiting. Cryptocurrency can improve the way we work by bringing both sides of job markets closer together, with HUMAN Protocol beneath, supporting their growth.
For the latest updates on HUMAN Protocol, follow us on Twitter or join our Discord. Alternatively, to enquire about integrations, usage, or to learn more about HUMAN Protocol, get in contact with the HUMAN team.
The HUMAN Protocol Foundation makes no representation, warranty, or undertaking, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or reasonableness of the information contained here. Any assumptions, opinions, and estimations expressed constitute the HUMAN Protocol Foundation’s judgment as of the time of publishing and are subject to change without notice. Any projection contained within the information presented here is based on a number of assumptions, and there can be no guarantee that any projected outcomes will be achieved.