Recently a big thing happened which affected many freelancers around the world: Payoneer cards stopped working. I'm myself an active user of Payoneer for many years, and in many cases, it was the easiest way to pay or receive payments (especially taking to account that paypal is not working in my country).
As it was explained in e-mails (from Payoneer, Upwork) - Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard is an e-money product issued by Wirecard, this means people cannot receive new payments to the card or withdraw funds using the card
Wirecard AG filed for insolvency on June 23, 2020, and UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued temporary restrictions on Wirecard Card Solutions Limited (WCSL), Wirecard AG's subsidiary, freezing all card activity.
I don't want to "spread the panic", and I'm sure there will be another solution found. I just see here one more opportunity for the cryptocurrencies. People should make 1 more step towards the crypto adoption. For several years I prefer to accept and pay with cryptocurrencies when possible. Unfortunately still the usage of crypto in freelance markets is still relatively small.
I see the big opportunity in the global freelancer marketplace. Moreover Coronavirus situation increased the number of remote jobs, and when companies and businesses understand that their ex-full-time employees can work remotely, it becomes not so relevant from which city their employees are from.
Upwork - the largest freelancer marketplace in the world, has 12 million registered freelancers and 5 million registered clients. Three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of US$1 billion, making it. For many years I'm an active Upwork user and Top-rated freelancer. I understand all the benefits - such as visibility (when you are invited for a job because your profile and experience look well), security (smallest possibility of fraud), and opportunities to find a niche and interesting jobs. But also I understand all the minuses - such as 20% commission paid by the freelancer. Last months I also see the decline of invitations for jobs (while I'm still Top-rated and even lowered my hourly rate), I remember in past there were times when I had several invitations a week, sometime in a day, and now it's maybe 1 invitation per months, and sometimes not so relevant. Also, my "Upwork app" is not working it means the biggest Upwork feature is not working (those jobs where the app automatically tracks time and assures the payment). And a relatively new aspect of "contest" when you need to buy them to apply for jobs is also not so positive when you have to spend dollars to apply for the jobs.
Some people can say it's better to pay 20% than to have no job at all. This might be true, but still, there is a big opportunity for the establishment of new crypto-Upwork with small fees and a big audience.
As I research crypto-related projects, I saw several projects which had a similar concept, but none of them succeeded yet.
I think in such project there 2 most important aspects: size and credibility. Such a site can't succeed when there are few jobs and few freelancers, it should have a lot of different jobs (long-term, short-term, mini-tasks) and different categories (development, translations, marketing, creative industries, etc.). Credibility should guarantee for freelancers that they will be paid and for clients that their funds won't be wasted, escrow can help in this.
12 mil freelancer and 5 mil clients - imagine if half of them becoming active users of cryptocurrencies? Moreover, you can double or triple these numbers as they have families and people whom they support with their earnings.
That's why I'm confident that the future of freelancing will be with crypto. Of course I'm not the only one who came to such a conclusion. And what do you think?