Blocklancer (https://www.blocklancer.net) wants to revolutionize the freelance market by using the blockchain and rules involving the community to make it cheaper, fair, and self regulated. This is something that I think anybody that has used platforms like Upwork has been dreaming about since the fees can be up to 25% (+ the fees related to the payment) on the current platforms, a lot of clients are dubious, getting paid is quite difficult and you are at the mercy of the company’s opaque decisions like deleting your account without any reason or warning. Blocklance wants to change this situation by guaranteeing the payment (money is in escrow), disputes are settled by a vote in the community, the fees are capped at 3%, and there is no censorship.
Important Existing Market
The market for this application already exists. For example, it is estimated at 55M freelancers for the US only which represents 35% of the US workforce. This is certainly an advantage compared to other ICOs where the market does not exist yet.
The application is based on Ethereum network, every token holder will have a say on the platform by participating in the tribunal to settle dispute, receive a share of the fees and have access to premium features like having their application or job offer being ranked higher. There will be a deflationary supply which should sustain the value of the token. Concerning the payments from the clients to the freelancer, it will be done in ETH. One weakness in this system is that ETH fluctuates sometimes dramatically (up or down 10% or more) which could significantly impact the payout and be a source of uncertainty for the client and the freelancer.
Tribunal & Expert Tribunal
The Tribunal is probably the most interesting feature of the application. It is inevitable that some disputes will happen between the freelancers and the employers (freelancer or employer disappearing, work not considered done or not done well enough…) . To settle these disputes, the application will convene a Tribunal in exchange for a fee ($50) where some of the token holders will review the case during a week and vote on the matter either in favor of the client or the freelancer. These judges will in exchange receive a share of the fees. If either the client or the freelancer disagree with the judgment, he can request the Expert Tribunal in exchange for a $500 fee, their decision (if different from the Tribunal) will prevail.
The team put in place a lot of rules to avoid abuses when it comes to the reviews. The review will only be available after the completion of a job to prevent manipulation. Also they won’t become public until a day after to prevent having a review being a direct answer to a bad review (client gives a bad review then the freelancer bashes the client or vice versa). The most recent reviews will also more weight compared to the older ones. However, how will a new freelancer be able to compete and get experience if he is always in competition with other freelancers with reviews remains to be seen. This is one of the biggest drawback of current platforms which gives a tremendous advantages to first joiners. I hope they will come to a solution in due time for this issue.
To prevent manipulation, every user goes through KYC. The client needs to have the funds to pick a freelancer. The freelancer is limited to 10 bids per week in order to bid only on the jobs he considers the most interesting. Finally, a single client is limited to a maximum number of jobs within a certain time to avoid spam.
I have been able to download the early beta to have a look. It is definitely working even though you can only see one fake job and no list of freelancers. It remains to be seen how fast the final version will be and how the functionalities will work once a lot of users will be on the platform.
I have been quite impressed from their website and their whitepaper which is very detailed and clear. Moreover, the fact that they already have a working product is definitely in their favor. The team looks interesting although quite young (but I guess this is quite normal given the young age of this industry). The ICO is finishing in a few days. They already raised close to 6,000 ETH with close to 4,000 participants. I think the project has a lot of potential. You can get more information on their website (https://www.blocklancer.net). I would advise you to read their whitepaper and make your own research before investing.
Post initially published on Steemit