The rise of platform economies has blurred the relationship between employers and employees. The 242 biggest platform economies now represent a market value of $7,176 billion (Kässi et al., 2021), and there are 163 million freelancers offering their services on online platforms (KPMG, 2018). Due to technological developments and the pandemic, hiring flexible workers instead of fixed staff is also becoming commonplace, eliminating geographical barriers.
Commercial freelance/gig platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk, Upwork, and Fiverr take advantage of this opportunity. They are rising quickly, representing a paradigm shift in how we will work in the future. However, these platforms suffer from economically inefficient business models with commercial commissions of up to 30%. The platforms charge these high commissions for relatively simple services such as payrolling, reviews, matching, curation & chatting. From the perspective of the middleman, the platform economy is very efficient; however, from a macroeconomic point of view, it’s unsustainable. The technology of the different platform economies strongly overlaps and is quickly commodifying, causing the operational costs to decrease over time. With the emergence of decentralized marketplaces, and the trend of disintermediation, a solution arises to provide unbiased matching of employers and workers without intermediaries.
The future of work is peer-to-peer
Work X is building ‘The Internet of Jobs’, an optimal efficient platform economy providing unbiased matching for all types of work with any contract where labor costs are minimized and salaries optimized (Rapmund, De Witte & Kehrer, 2021). With a transaction fee of 2-5%, Work X will run a decentralized organization (DAO) that rewards people who contribute to the development and maintenance of the platform. Given the expected economies of scale, learning effects, and commodifying functional components, this transaction fee will also be used to decrease the costs when the platform scales up.
“Rik Rapmund, co-founder of Work X, describes that the upcoming platform economy is already providing a big opportunity for many people around the globe to earn a fair wage for their services. For example, a developer, who used to charge a maximum of $20 for local services, is now able to work with employers on the other side of the world where the services have a higher value. This developer can now ask $40 for the same services but has to give back up to $12 to the platform. Work X will ensure that this fee will be reduced to just $1-$2. When we interviewed a large number of online workers, the majority indicated that they loved the user experience of the platforms; with a single click, they are matched to a client, and everything is handled automatically from communication to payrolling and administration. However, the hefty fees they have to pay are forming a big disadvantage. In the case of the developer mentioned above, a salary increase of 40% is realized even in the current situation. However, wages have also decreased significantly in numerous other industries, like the taxi industry. Workers cannot pay their rent and care for their families because they’re forced to work with big tech giants that ask for excessive fees. This has to change!”
Work X will offer the same user experience without the need to possess knowledge about the underlying blockchain technology. Customers can pay service providers with existing payment solutions. In the background, Work X bundles transactions and buys back the $WRKX token from the market, which will be distributed to developers who contribute to the development and maintenance of the platform. Every token holder will have the right to vote on development proposals to decide on the platform’s future. The Internet of Jobs will be used, owned, and maintained by the people.
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