UpWork is Ripping You Off

UpWork, Fiverr, Freelancer — all of these sites have something in common. They’re centralized, unfair, biased, and demand sky-high fees from their customers. So why are they the de-facto freelancing sites for just about everyone, from businesses and entrepreneurs looking for a logo, to brand new designers wanting to monetize their skills?

Well, it’s simple.

They have a user monopoly.

This will only change if we consciously change to a better platform; a place that values the individual’s skills, privacy, and economic freedom. We have to vote with our dollars, our bitcoin, and our ethos. MatchBX is one such platform. It’s decentralized, censorship-free, and only demands fair fees (which are burned — the platform owners, ourselves, gain 0% from the fees). It’s intended to truly create a decentralized alternative that’s returning power to the freelancers. Nobody wants a platform controlling their financial freedom. It’s not fair, and it stops now.

On MatchBX, freelancers can not only complete jobs listed by employers (similar to UpWork), but also proactively list services (similar to Fiverr) so that they can both scoop up existing work and eventually create demand for new work.

On the technology side of things, MatchBX is built on the Ethereum blockchain and utilizes smart contracts and ERC20 cryptocurrencies: ETH, DAI, and WBTC, for example, for payments and escrow.

A view of the upcoming v1.0 release dashboard

The importance of decentralization

People around the world are gradually beginning to change the way they approach their daily jobs. The comfort and convenience of working from one’s home is something that people have already warmed up to. Any half decent organization allows its employees to work from their homes from time to time, in order to maintain a proper work-life balance.

Moreover, a lot of skilled professionals have been rejecting the idea of a regular job to venture into the field of freelancing. Freelancers are typically domain experts, who undertake short projects which might last anywhere between a few days to a couple of years. They dictate their own working hours, and their home is their perennial workplace. However, the absence of complete and proper paperwork in some instances between the client and the customer can lead to difficulties unheard of in the formal job sector. Late and untimely payment, or even a total lack of payment, are other factors plaguing this industry. Quality of the platform dictates both an employer’s and freelancer’s satisfaction with any job or service outcome. Platforms exist where clients can search for and hire the services of such freelancers, but all of these platforms have the same key issues: high fees, delay in payment, censorship, and centralized arbitration. This is where blockchain and decentralization provide incredible value.

With MatchBX, the freelance platform no longer wields all the power. The power is firmly placed in the hands of the individual and their peers. MatchBX would not decide on complicated cases where a freelancer accuses an employer of avoiding payment. Instead, their peers would. MatchBX uses Kleros for crowd-jury arbitration, ensuring that any arbitration case is solved in a matter where there are no conflicts of interests. MatchBX, for example, could not decide in the interest of a corrupt employer which historically had brought in more revenue to the platform than the brand new freelancer. Instead, fairness would rule, and the freelancer would get paid out of the smart contract’s escrow, tied into the crowd-jury’s decision. This is different to the platforms Fiverr, UpWork, and Freelancer. Their arbitration process is centralized, and we simply do not know if fairness reigns supreme.

Trust is of the past

It does not matter if MatchBX is a trusted platform that would always have ruled in the interests of fairness. All that matters is that there is zero possibility whatsoever that there could even be a corrupt arbitration scenario. This is why MatchBX rises above its peers even within the world of decentralized freelancing. Its competitors, such as CanYa, utilizes centralized arbitration, undermining the very ethos of its decentralization. Some competitors don’t offer arbitration at all, an even bigger problem.

Decentralization is key when it comes to the matter of economic freedom.

An individual with the keys to their own money, and the means to procure it, is much more free than one having to follow a platform’s rigid terms of service. Such a person could only hope that their livelihood is not suddenly cut off one day. We defer to self-custody wherever possible because we believe access to your finances is a human right.

Stop being ripped off by the likes of UpWork. Take control, and use MatchBX instead for all your future freelance needs instead. Help build a better future.

For more information, please visit the MatchBX.io website or email us at [email protected]

This article was also posted on Hacker Noon.