Gig Economy

Category Archives — Gig Economy

Deliveroo employees are getting shares, riders are getting nothing – TechCrunch

Food delivery startup Deliveroo is feeling generous today. The company is handing out equity to all full-time staff members. In other words, 2,000 employees are going to receive the equivalent of $13.5 million in Deliveroo shares.

“Our phenomenal growth and success has been made possible thanks to the hard work, commitment and passion of the people who make this company what it is,” co-founder and CEO Will Shu told Reuters. “And that deserves recognition which is why I want all employees to be owners in Deliveroo and to have a real stake in the company’s future as we expand and grow.”

This is a great way to prove that you care about your employees. And yet, there are a few caveats.

First, the company is currently worth over $2 billion. In total, Deliveroo is just handing out 0.675 percent of the company to its employees. I’m sure plenty of early employees already have equity.

But those who joined more recently aren’t likely to get rich over this — it represents a $6,750 equity bonus per employee on average. And shares usually vest after a certain amount of time.

Second, this is the perfect example of the gig economy. In addition to the usual benefits, full-time employees are getting rewarded once again. If you’re a self-employed rider, Deliveroo doesn’t want to thank you.

Arguably, Deliveroo still thinks that riders are disposable. They might be the ones who pick up food in restaurants and hand it to customers, but they will never be full-time employees.

Sure, Deliveroo and Uber Eats are now providing free accident insurance coverage, but it mostly covers hospital bills. Riders have been asking for better rights, and this insurance package is just a good way to ease the pressure.

Working with contractors at scale is the backbone of Uber, Deliveroo and many other on-demand startups. This way, startups don’t have to pay the minimum wage or expensive benefits. Startups can also terminate their relationships with their ‘partners’ without any consequence.

It’s a great way to pressure your contractors in working more for less money. And today’s move by Deliveroo is further proof that riders are just an afterthought.

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From Freelancers to Decentralized Empires: Blue Whale, the First ICON ICO

Rewards, Transparency, and Value: blockchain’s answer to freelancing

The state of the gig economy is in a precarious situation – facilitated by the leveling of the marketplace, in part. If you look at any of the current leading service providers for freelancers and their employers, you might notice that after a while: both sides present some recurring complaints.

Key issues include extortionate service fees (often applied to both participating sides of a freelance contract), slow processing times, and a lack of customer support. Unfortunately, it’s now been a while since a new contender has had a significant disruptive impact on the market.

That was, until a unique solution based on decentralized blockchain technology decided to enter the arena…

To Decentralize & Disrupt an Industry

‘Blue Whale Platform’ is the next evolutionary step in the long-term vision of a company named Verlocal, who are specialists in the creation and distribution of various SaaS solutions. These include a tried and tested, pre-existing freelance marketplace and economy infrastructure.

Essentially, it is a decentralized take on the freelancing platforms and web services that you may be already familiar with. Verlocal hopes to prove to the world that blockchain / distributed ledger technology can improve upon the (centralized) gig economy just as significantly as it has fiat currencies.

Both the Blue Whale Foundation and Verlocal are headed by Will Lee, a crypto entrepreneur possessing a strong vision, along with a portfolio of qualifications and professional experience. What’s different about Lee and his team’s approach to the freelancing sector, is that they offer unrivaled standards of partnership, support, and facilities to their clients.

Furthermore, the organization has been incrementally growing their talent, having recently added the co-founder of OKCoin to their team (Professor Arturo Bris) as an advisor.

Hail to the Whale: The Benefits of Blockchain Freelancing

The original use case for blockchain technology was Bitcoin, and subsequently cryptocurrencies.

Features offered by this phenomenon include anonymization and encryption of user data, whilst allowing these users to privately access information pertaining to them through use of a private/public key system. In terms of finance, the high commission fees and slow payment processing times are to be negated using a proprietary cryptocurrency token (BWX).

According to the white paper, BWX will be used for all financial transactions which take place on their platform. This isn’t just between client and freelancer, but also for their revolutionary advertising and referral schemes. By introducing new methods of revenue generation, Blue Whale aims to significantly reduce costs associated with traditional online freelancing platforms.

CAM DAN ReBa: Big Fish, or a Blowhole?

Blue Whale themselves have actually published what they consider to be the ‘three pillars’ of their platform’s underlying proposition. These are all considered to be both decentralised applications (‘dApps’) and APIs, which means that they can be adapted and implemented by third parties.

These are referred to by the team themselves as the Blue Whale ‘WORK’ (Worker Optimized Reward Keeper) – which comprises a set of tools and functions divided into three distinct categories…

Contribution Activity Manager (CAM)

  • The system which supports the tracking and distribution of rewards to users. These incentives are rewarded for the completion of a range of tasks, including successful introduction of new clients or freelancers to the platform. Other bounties include successful driving of traffic to various service providers as an influencer and established recommender; as well as community-driven conflict resolution & reputation verification.

Decentralized Associated Network (DAN)

  • This is the name which Blue Whale uses to refer to its community of freelancers and clients; denoting the advanced level of interconnectivity afforded by their platform. One of the main draws for both parties is the competitive cost and value propositions. The benefits of their decentralized relational databases are linked to the implementation of cutting-edge machine learning activity; resulting in a truly bespoke yet-secure service. Additional unique selling points of this network include the provision of a comprehensive suite of valuable business development tools – giving freelancers unparalleled support for scaling and streamlining their operations.

Reward Bank (ReBa)

  • A decentralized entity, accountable for the automated processing of payments, both receipt, and distribution, for the Blue Whale eXchange (BWX) coin. The activities and decisions implemented by the Reward Bank are informed by the algorithmic and machine learning systems contained within the DAN. Additionally, all transactions are transparent & trackable on the ICON decentralized blockchain – with agreements enforced via smart contracts.

The Blue Whale ICO is slated for a May 2018 launch. If their pre-launch funding round is anything to go by (25 million Singapore Dollars raised): then the hard cap is going to be reached extremely quickly for the public launch in May

Check out their website, social media (Facebook / Twitter), whitepaper and Telegram group if you are interested in learning more.

Keep an eye out in the following weeks for big news regarding forthcoming partnerships with traditional / ‘centralized’ businesses.

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