Decentralizing the world economy.
The internet redefined business forever, replacing brick and mortar with computer screens. But what’s more important is that it formed entirely new economic systems, such as the sharing and gig economies.
Made up of freelancers and temporary workers, the gig economy affords people the freedoms and independence to work in their own way. We can now customise our jobs to fit into our lives, and not the other way around.
The success of sharing economy startups-turned-conglomerates signalled that these community-driven businesses had a much-needed model – one which empowered consumers for the first time.
These sub-economies show us what our global community is capable of when given an internet connection and a platform to share, collaborate and connect with one another. They break apart the traditional professional landscape and opens up new, fluid streams of income.
Tokens - money of the fourth industrial revolution?
Token economies are the next iteration of finance. Their decentralized systems are designed by and for people, rather than purely commercial profit. For example, with traditional sharing economies, host platforms like Airbnb and Uber take their ‘share’ and turn into conglomerates.
In a decentralized sharing economy, these companies become obsolete; you are the user, the host and the network itself. Token economies can create financial opportunities for everyone, regardless of geography or level of education.
In a token economy, value can easily be digitised and shared. People are incentivised to contribute their time, resources or services through token reward systems. These transparent, secure and community-run systems are built on decentralised networks called blockchains, most commonly the Ethereum blockchain. They enable all kinds of decentralized applications (dApps) to be developed and plugged into them.
People pay businesses for goods and services. Revenue and profit flows one way – customer to business.
Sharing & Gig Economy
Businesses or individuals pay people to provide goods and services, but host companies take a cut and you play by their rules.
People rent, share and sell goods and services directly with each other or businesses on their own terms – no fees, no contracts, middlemen.
Here are some token economies which you can be a part of today.
Rent, don’t share
Golem allows the entire internet community to share their computing power through its decentralized network. It combines the power of users’ individual machines, creating one giant supercomputer. Anyone can tap into and utilise it for all sorts of power-intensive needs, such as rendering high-quality film. You receive tokens in exchange for contributing your own computing power.
Just like Golem, Mysterium has created an entire network which enables anyone to contribute their resources and receive tokens in exchange. In this case, users can buy a Rasberry Pi preloaded with a node and power the network. It’s as simple as plug, play and earn. Switch it on to start sharing your unused bandwidth (internet connection) while you work or sleep. Even better, users will be rewarded for each successful node they introduce to the network through their referral program.
Origin allows anyone to build their own decentralized marketplace. You can create and manage listings for all kinds of assets and services. Buyers and sellers use the platform to discover each other, browse listings, make bookings and even leave ratings and reviews.
Predict the future
Augur is a prediction markets platform which harnesses the power of the crowds. It allows anyone, anywhere, to create or participate in markets and bet on real-world events, such as elections or the weather forecast. For example, you can “turn your political knowledge into predictive power” by waging on the outcome of upcoming elections and other political events. You can bet on any event worldwide for no sign-up, no deposits or limits and near-zero fees. Prediction markets are not just for gambling – they create more accurate prediction tools.
Work for tokens
Earn bitcoin by replying to emails and completing tasks. You can set up a free professional profile and then join curated lists based on your skills and interests. You can receive paid messages from recruiters, startups, and researchers.
You can also get paid to learn about new projects within the cryptocurrency space, helping startups to build their communities, get feedback on whitepapers or airdrop tokens.
Similar to Earn, Bounty0x is a crypto bounty hunting platform. You can receive cryptocurrency and tokens by completing simple marketing, software development and creative tasks. This includes content creation, graphic design, filling out surveys, translating services, programming and video animation. They currently offer six different cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, as well as ERC20 utility tokens. They will soon be adding security tokens.
Earn tokens while you drive. With BULVRD, you help build and maintain a global mapping and road reporting network. Use the app while you drive and help report road incidents like traffic and hazards. You earn on the drives you’re already making and can use their Augmented Reality experience to earn even more.
The Bounties Network aims to change the way we collaborate, solving the core problems individuals face when working and transacting with each other across the globe.
It lets you create projects, collaborate and get paid for doing work in any domain – from freelancing to grassroots social action, research, content translation, or video production.
Use their Explorer to search through a global market of projects and talent. You can easily create or fulfill tasks, transacting in any Ethereum-based token with automated payments.
OpenBazaar provides everyone with the ability to buy and sell through their direct peer to peer app. You can create a store and sell whatever you’d like – your music, clothing, art. You get paid in cryptocurrency and as there are no middlemen, there are no fees and no restrictions.
Let your content work for you
Steemit rewards its users for making and sharing content on their platform. You can monetise your content, receiving tokens based on the popularity of your posts. Users upvote or downvote what you share, incentivising a higher quality. It aims to redefine social media by building a social or ‘attention’ economy, where users receive tokens for sharing their voice, as opposed to current social media platforms where users get nothing. It has already paid out $59,595,935 worth of native STM tokens.
A “crypto powered blogging platform” with a point of difference – readers and sharers, not just writers, can also earn. This publishing platform is crypto agnostic, meaning you can accept whichever cryptocurrency you like, not just a native token. Tips are given to you by the platform. You then read articles and split your tip with authors. Ambassadors can also crypto by sharing great articles with others.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Amongst the more exciting and promising use cases for blockchain is the opportunity to redefine traditional finance. Loan, borrow, trade, earn interest – all in cryptocurrency and tokens.
Compound is a transparent, autonomous money market. It enables anyone to earn interest by lending their Ethereum assets to other users. You can also borrow assets, for any length of time – even as short as one blockchain block (roughly ten minutes)! There are no requirements for how long an asset must be supplied or borrowed. Interest accumulates every block, so you’re free to withdraw or repay your loan at any time.
Maker is creating economic opportunity for everyone. It is one of the leading projects in the blockchain community and is known for pioneering transparent and sustainable finance. Its open platform allows equal access to high-quality financial services, including fair credit for everyone. They also provide a decentralized stablecoin, collateral loans, and community governance. They will help you understand everything you need to know.
Once you’ve made all your tokens, you can easily grow your crypto holdings to make your money go further. Instead of letting your tokens sit in a wallet or on an exchange (you should never let it sit in an exchange, for security reasons), you can lend your crypto and earn up to 11% interest APR. Or if you want to borrow crypto, you can get some in minutes – no credit checks required. Dharma doesn’t actually touch your crypto, it just gives you the platform to loan or borrow it.
Token economies are already creating a global workforce that is as diverse and varied as internet users themselves. You can easily be a part of them yourself.