Have Skills – Will Work For Bitcoin

Does a restaurant, bakery or cafe that is cash-only make you want to go there more? What factors do consumers take into account when they decide how and where they want to spend their money if they have lots of options to buy in a crowded seller’s market? Would you consider hiring a freelance copywriter or designer just because you knew you could pay them it Bitcoin?

Being a freelancer is sort of like being a lone ranger. Some freelancers like to consider themselves entrepreneurs and others like to simply consider themselves service providers. The line between those attributes can get blurry, but what all freelancers have in common is that they like to get paid often and on time. Rustling up new work can be a hassle and time consuming, especially when those hours when you’re pitching and selling, you’re not getting paid, so the pressure can get intense in order to differentiate in one’s market. Is it possible that changing your primary payment method of choice to Bitcoin has advantages? Let’s take a look.

One of the most challenging things about offering general services as a freelancer, especially in the content production and marketing realm, is that there are plenty of websites where there are many people offering similar services and drastically undercutting each other on the price of the service. In doing so, many services offered on a freelance basis are viewed as cheap or lower value because businesses feel they can get them for cheap, cheap, cheap. But the quality often isn’t there when you go so low on the price.

In an already challenging field, here are some thoughts current freelancers who work only for Bitcoin had to offer on their experience.

Michael Scott, a journalist who covers the digital economy beat from Denver, Colorado currently receives up to 60% of his income as Bitcoin. He believes he’ll increase his overall income to around 90% Bitcoin in 2016 and spoke to why he prefers accepting payments in Bitcoin so much over other options.

“As a freelancer, getting paid by check  was slow and cumbersome. Between the check processing time, slow postal delivery and the check clearing the bank, the length of time needed to receive my money became unacceptable. So I began pursuing writing opportunities with digital publications that pay in Bitcoin.”

Another digital marketing professional who goes by the name of Jana has worked for Bitcoin for over a year and commented on the transactional benefits of accepting Bitcoin for payments.

“Bitcoin is ideal way to pay for digital products. There are no recurring payments, it’s fast and instant, and Mycelium Gear easily allows to collect email address with the order so that the merchant gets a list of people who are interested. A nice surprise was also that it will be quite hassle free legally (EU).”

So, are you ready to get started? Are you ready to have that first surprising conversation with someone ready to hire you to tell them that you only accept Bitcoin for payment? For freelancers looking to dip their toes into earning Bitcoin, Mr. Scott also offered this advice:

“I was stunned to discover via a web search that a growing number of companies that are now paying freelancers exclusively in bitcoin. Two thoughts here. For starters, check out XBTFreelancer.com. It’s an amazing repository of bitcoin paying gigs. I receive notices daily requesting project bids. “

“Secondly, think globally. In  particular, countries overseas are begging for American experts. One of my biggest clients is in Eastern Europe. These countries seem light years ahead in terms of their adoption of bitcoin and thus are more willing to pay you in it for assignments”

Do you have any tips on where to find clients that pay in Bitcoin? Have you tried to make the payment transition already? Please let us know in the comments!


The Future of Micro-Lending With Bitcoin

We’ve seen a lot of unique crowdfunding and microlending ideas pop up and become popular in recent years. Lending Club is something I’ve personally used to get a modest return on some micro-loans I’ve made in the past and Kickstarter and Kiva both have their own unique models that we’ve seen replicated by other businesses as well. These are all typically models of giving a relatively small amount of money ($25 let’s say) towards a larger fund goal. Depending on the business model you either get some sort of interest return paid on your loan, or you get a share in the project/company you funded, or you just do this as a charity and get your money back without interest. They’re cool ideas overall.

Last week I saw an article on QZ stating that the SEC will allow people who aren’t traditionally wealthy to become investors in startups. Being that I worked in the tech-startup industry for 10 years in Boston, MA, Madison, WI and Boulder, CO, I was happy to see this. I always felt frustrated sitting out on the sidelines when only my wealthy (usually older) friends I knew could make an investment in the startups and potentially get a payout if they hit it big.

I’ve been around long enough to not have “hitting it big” be the delusion that makes me want to invest, though. I like to put my money where my mouth and interests lie. I’m doing that with Bitcoin in the types of companies I invest in on in the NYSE. I did that with renewable energy companies I liked as well in the past. It makes me feel like I have skin in the game. So, I’m happy that if I meet some startup team that has a great idea and I want to invest any amount of money in them, I can do that.

But what I’m curious about is, how could Bitcoin be applied to this model. Can Bitcoin be applied to a micro-lending scenario like the ones mentioned above where you give a little bit towards a funding goal and then be entitled to some basic return as the company achieves success and pays the loan back? Even if the company strikes it big and you’ve got some residual Bitcoin investment with them.

Has anyone built any sort of model like this? What would be the challenges technically and legally speaking?


Learning To Crawl Before You Walk and Run with Bitcoin and Blockchain

I remember hearing about Bitcoin a while ago. I thought it was interesting and even met some people who had bought a little bit and made some money on the early days huge value shifts. I wanted in on the action. I dabbled in buying and trading stocks on the NYSE before and never made much money, but I figured if I could figure out the mechanics of that, I could figure out how to buy and trade BTC. Boy, was I wrong.

I quickly got in way over my head with technical data. I’m not a technical knuckle dragger, per se, but I’m certainly not a computer developer level person with intuition past a GUI. I need my hand held a little. I’ll admit that. I quickly found the buying and selling process of BTC too complicated for me. I quit without ever making a trade. I remember feeling like I needed to be a programmer just to get involved and I put it on the backburner.

Then a few weeks ago upon coming back to Korea from visiting home in the USA, I saw BTC was accpted at a few retail locations I visited. I was interested again. Upon doing some basic google research, I realized that the technology behind granting n00bs like me acess to the world of BTC was totally different. There were GUI’s and no need for writing code and command line madness. Maybe it’s hipster of me to say that BTC is closer to “mainstream” now, which means I’m way behind the 8-ball.

Anyways, I signed up for Xapo and Coinbase. I bought my first bit of BTC currency and started playing with some faucet apps (Zapchain included, at the advice of Coinbase). I also inviested on the NYSE in some companies that are both holding companies for BTC and blockchain related businesses as well as some businesses that leverage heavily on BTC and blockchain somewhere in their business models.

I’ve found that BTC is still incredibly layered and complex, however the technology that people are building into the UI of it all is great. I really apprecaite that I can get involved at some level now without feeling totally intimidated. Sites like Zapchain have also given me a great opportunity to network and learn about whatever interests me, related to BTC and blockchain, which rocks.

Next up for me as I learn to crawl before I can walk, I want to start trading. I signed up at Coincube, but it looks like I can’t use my Coinbase wallet with them because Coinbase doesn’t allow trading in my country. So, it’ll require I do a bit more digging, which I’m enjoying doing so far.

Next steps beyond that? Well, maybe start to think of some business models using BTC! I really like micro-services and micro-payments using Bitcoin, so I’ll be exploring that as well as some other ideas.

Do you share any similar sentiments in becoming acclimated to BTC and blockchain? How long have you been in the game? How fast were you on the uptake?