Ever had a job that pays a regular paycheck?
If you have and you’re not paid in shells, goats or shiny gemstones, it probably goes a little something like this.
You do your hard work each week, clocking your hours or attendance as you go. Day after day.
Then, as weeks pass your employer eventually tallies up the work you’ve done.
Your timesheet or hours are passed onto the accounting team for processing.
And the bank finally deposits your earning into your account.
“Hooray, it’s finally payday!” — Anyone who’s ever got a regular paycheck.
By now, up to a month has passed.
Bills, rent and living expenses pile up while you juggle funds to avoid missing due dates and bank overdraft fees.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It’s the long, slow payroll cycle that’s de rigueur for most of the working world.
And, simply, it makes no sense when you consider the way the world now works.
The Evolution of Payroll — How We Got into This Slow-Paying Mess
A quick look at the history of paychecks is important to understanding the issues of today (like your bank account isn’t already telling you, right?).
- 7000BC — Ancient payment records chiselled into stone tablets (“File this for me will you, Marie?”)
- 19th Century — The birth of the modern payroll cycle during the Industrial Revolution.
- 1890s — Jeweler William Le Grand Bundy invents the early payroll time-card machine. (Presumably, diamond encrusted).
- 1920s-1940s — Employees manually submit their time cards to clerks and paid in envelopes filled with cash or a check.
- 1950s — Computerization of payroll.
- 1980s — Fax machines used to remotely lodge time-sheets, “Hang up the phone, it’s a fax!” becomes a catchphrase of a generation.
- 1990s — Introduction of the personal computer, email and Excel for tracking and managing payroll. ALT + F4 strikes fear into payroll admins across the globe.
- 2000s — Software systems used to track and process payroll online.
- 2018-onward — Payroll moves into real-time on the blockchain.
So, we’ve come a long way from chiseling our hours into stone.
But, other than some technical advances, long payroll cycles are still largely stuck in the 19th Century.
The Simple Fact is, We Work in Real-Time and On-Demand but Payroll Doesn’t.
We do just about everything on-demand these days.
We work on-demand.
Watch TV on-demand.
Order food on-demand.
But when it comes to getting paid, it’s totally out of our control. We’re told when we get paid. No ifs or buts.
On one hand this is due to industrial age conventions. On the other, because of technological limitations — real-time processing with today’s systems would be super inefficient and labor-intensive.
But with blockchain technology, the entire payroll paradigm can be broken like a full-fisted karate chop through a block of wood.
That means an end to weeks of empty pockets, put off bills and financial stressing. And with less time, cost and effort for employers to boot.
Here, let me explain.
Show Me the Money… Sure Thing, Just Head Over to the Blockchain
Now, let’s reimagine the typical payroll scenario.
This time, instead, on the blockchain.
You clock into work each day, putting in the hours of solid work. Or, as they say in French, “work your derrière off”.
The end of your shift comes, and your hours or attendance are logged. But this time around, they’re verified directly and immediately on the blockchain.
Your earnings are then instantly released via the platform in cryptocurrency payments using a stable coin such as TrueUSD, which can easily converted to your local currency.
It’s the future of payroll that we’re creating with the WorkChain.io platform.
Now, let’s put on our safari suits and explore how blockchain makes it possible.
The First Step to Real-Time Payroll is Proof an Employee Has Done their Job
The first part to bringing payroll into real-time is obtaining proof of work. Kind of like a clock-card or logged hours — evidence someone’s done their job and needs to be paid.
WorkChain.io does this by creating validated work records on the blockchain’s distributed public ledger by connecting with the HR or workforce management systems. With this data, verified, timestamped and immutable work records can be built.
These records are linked to an employee’s unique workID, a unique user identifier on the platform.
With a workID, your work is tied to your identity. This gives employers what they need to pay an employee: valid proof of work that triggers payments.
The Paycheck of the Future Will Feature Cryptocurrency, Not Dollar Signs
The paycheck of the future won’t come in stamped envelope or direct deposit from bank to bank. It’ll come in the form of cryptocurrency, bypassing processing fees and delays to release your earnings instantly.
We’re all impatiently waiting for cryptocurrency to get a mainstream foothold.
Come onnnn… hurry up already.
Until then, there’s still a gap between cryptocurrency and mainstream currencies to be bridged.
In our case, this will be done with ACH and cryptocurrency loaded pay cards.
In future, as cryptocurrencies become the norm, there’ll be no divide to conquer. You’ll get paid and spend in cryptocurrency. No fees or negative exchange rates in between.
Blockchain Can Change the Very Meaning of “Work”
There are 78 million hourly wage workers in the US. And plenty more people entering the gig or on-demand workforce daily that’ll make up more than half of American workers by 2020.
These two groups are the logical first-in-line users for the real-time payroll. But it’s by no means just these folks set to benefit.
The thing is, any segment of the workforce that gets a paycheck from an employer will eventually have the freedom to be paid in real-time. From a waiter in a restaurant, to a freelance graphic designer, to a salaried VP of marketing.
And the whole concept of what it means to work can be completely redefined with blockchain payroll. No longer are we limited to a day’s work, shift or set number of hours logged.
It can be a job or task. A segmented, predefined block of work.
This will mark a shift to a more value-based way of working.
What’ll that do for job clarity, direction, productivity and satisfaction?
Hint: A LOT.
The Massive Potential of Real-Time Payroll for Employees and Employers
Getting access to your money instantly means more control and stability. Plus, no longer needing to attempt to budget each month to cover all of life’s expenses.
But it also means freedom and autonomy. More choice when it comes to how and when you work. Freedom from the constraints of traditional working models.
And, listen here employers, there’s plenty in it for you too.
The blockchain is decentralized and built on trust through consensus. This is what makes it such a revolutionary technology.
The way blockchain builds and operates on trust means payroll can be agreed to, verified and paid between employee and employer, and automatically triggered by set conditions without heavy loads of admin.
For employees this creates a much more efficient, cost-effective way to managing payroll.
And buh bye to the reliance on centralized institutions and third-party intermediaries like banks and payment processors. It can remove these layers entirely, creating less touch-points and reducing time and fees.
Believe it or Not, Most of the HR World is Already Setup and Ready for Real-time Payroll
I can hear all those payroll officers grumbling… “Yeah but we already have our systems in place…” *Taps on calculator, slurps coffee, looks dreamily at spreadsheets*
Alright, I hear ya.
But, here’s the thing… those super fangled payroll and HR systems mean you’ve got everything you need.
Gosh darn, how can that be?
We can create real-time compensation for many of the systems that are already used by the bulk of today’s HR world.
Let’s look at hourly workers for instance.
Getting verification of their hours or shift is easy. We simply integrate with popular HR systems their employers use to manage employee schedules and payroll and voila! Workchain.io has the data it needs for validated work records.
And we don’t need to imagine things here. Because it’s already starting to happen.
Soon to be integrated with WorkChain.io, that’s a million people getting access to real-time earnings.
And to take it even a step further, in future we’ll be able to integrate with task management software like JIRA, and as soon as a task is marked “done” it can automatically trigger a payment.
See, nothing to worry about payroll people. But plenty to be excited about.
No More Waiting Weeks to Get Paid. Thanks Blockchain, You’re The Best
So, while we’re no longer etching our hours in stone or getting paid in beer the way the world gets paid is out of synch with how we work.
Next time you finish a day’s work, ask yourself: “I’ve done the work, why am I waiting weeks to get paid?”
Because you don’t have to.
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