Decentralization is the Heart of the Freelance Economy
Why decentralization creates fertile soil for a flourishing society of freelancers.
“If you dislike change, you’re going to dislike irrelevance even more” — Eric Shinseki
An abstract certainly of the world takes the shape of change — if you have lived long enough, which doesn’t have to be long anymore, you will find that once something becomes established, our eyes then give way to it changing into something else entirely. Older millennials and up have seen this take place particularly in growing up without smartphones to a world nearly dependent on them. Older people are often negative stereotypes to change, being more timorous in action than hopeful rumination.
The newest of these changes, arguably still in its infancy to anyone not directly involved in its incubation, is decentralization via cryptography. This is more notably taken the form of cryptocurreny, blockchain technology, and smart contracts. Although there are variants and deviations of what types of cryptocurrency and decentralization is considered cannon, three things have typically stood out as primary: 1) that decentralization is a prevention against a single point of failure by having multiple points spread evenly among users, 2) cryptocurrency and cryptography is a means to keep the myriad of points more secure, and 3) decentralization is a cause to create a flourishing of freedom. This is turn can help benefit the economy, and in particular the freelance economy, to be not only bigger and transformative, but also in what freelancing was originally meant to be in the first place.
A Short History of Bitcoin
Trying to discuss decentralization and cryptocurrency without Bitcoin would simply be non sequitur at best. Approximately ten years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto created the first established and successful system of peer to peer electronic cash that at the beginning had no intrinsic value. What was so fascinating about Bitcoin was it’s nature of decentralization — the ability to use it without a third party, along with using a cryptographic hash to transmit this coin via a public ledger. Overtime, Bitcoin grew in its value and was once valued as high at $20,000. It’s important to note however that the original increase of its value should be attributed to its features of being detached from a centrality. In other words being decentralized and secure is what made it valuable to begin with.
So what does Bitcoin of any of this have to do with freelancing in the job realm? The results may surprise you.
The Unsung History of Freelancing
Today, freelance work has different stereotypes depending on who your talking to or what culture the topic is being given to. For some, freelancing is considered a high freedom that includes minimal limitations of traveling or places to stay. For others, it’s seen as an excuse of not being able to solidify a 9-to-5 somewhere. True freelancing however is much different that both of these. Freelance work is simply the ability to take work on your own terms, on your own pricing, and to be your own boss.
The origins of freelancing can be traced to the 1800’s and attributed most accurately to an author named Sir Walter Scott in a novel called Ivanhoe. The story took shape in the setting of 12-century England in regard to a noble knight fighting in tournaments. At one point during the story an army is considered “free lances” as a way of describing them as knights that have been hired to the highest bidder. This term quickly shaped into “freelancing” in a very broad sense, being attributed to politicians having no political party. Eventually it became what it is today, having a work or profession without a company of boss.
What can be seen about the history of freelancing it has some similar attributes to decentralization. Instead of relying on a central place for occupation, the focus was shifted to a more peer to peer employment.
A Wild Redesign Appears
The connection here is quite simple — ”free lances”, wha my we know today as freelancing, flourishes on the premise that working on your own terms and skills is paramount to working in freedom. Living within the realm of heavy and faulty centralized networks, the idea to freelance becomes confusing and difficult, sometimes having to sign up to programs that have elements of freelancing but with heavy fees or fear of having your work stolen.
Decentralization as a whole can change the way freelancers do business, because it takes the idea of a personal based work ethic and gives it a more foundational layer of a peer to peer system to work with. Decentralization gives way for people to promote their honest work with a better potential price or opportunity. Cryptocurrency further drives this home by being a vehicle of compensation.
The Return to Revolutionary Work in a Revolutionary Time
As mentioned earlier, changes are always happening, but this time could be different. This change to a cryptographic world for freelance is not just revolutionary to the space in terms of operation and compensation, it’s also a return to the origins of what freelancing was designed to be — non-restricting aid to serve a need. This should be of no surprise for thsoe expecting a change, especially in this day when high encryption is becoming a must have. Decentralization is vital to the true meaning of what freelancing should be.
The Heart of Freelance Economy
As we can see with the history of Bitcoin and decentralization, along with the history of freelance, that they both walk together. The heart of a freelance economy is the ability to strive on its own until a abstract sense of its own terms, which is very comparative to how decentralization and Bitcoin operate as well. The coming years as the infancy of cryptographic change to adolescence takes place, we hopefully can see how a freelancing economy can grow into what it was meant to be this whole time.
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