A new startup wants to change the way freelance talent and respective clients find each other through a community-run platform. To accomplish this, the project will feature its own governance token. The core premise of the platform, known as Braintrust, is to remove middlemen from the process of hiring highly skilled talent for contract and freelance work — primarily in the IT industry. But unlike the many iterations of this concept born in the initial coin offering era, Braintrust will not force users into a proprietary token for payments. Instead, it borrows some concepts from DeFi governance, and especially Compound, to create a community-run platform.
Jackson believes that existing freelancer aggregation platforms, like Upwork and Fiverr, suffer from fundamentally misaligned incentives between the owners of the platform and its users:
“Their job is to connect buyer and seller, company and talent, and then facilitate the transaction. And then take as large a fee as possible as a percentage of that transaction.”
The fees incurred by freelancers are usually about 20% of the total billed amount. This is the norm for any “two-sided market” born on the internet, with eBay pioneering that model. Normally, these firms can get away with large fees due to the value they add by creating a trusted environment and providing escrow services. But that aspect can be recreated by a peer-to-peer vetting system, Jackson explained. Users will be incentivized to validate new clients and freelancers as additions to the community.
The system is not a decentralized autonomous organization though, and a non-profit foundation will take care of some aspects of the system, like accepting money. “But that’s just one of many companies or people or entities that are helping build this thing,” Jackson added. Braintrust is also not completely feeless, as the foundation will collect 10% of each transaction from clients. But the exact rates are subject to change by community governance.
Payments on Braintrust will be conducted through traditional fiat USD, though crypto-based payment will also be supported. The Braintrust token, or ., only has governance functionality. Its holders are able to vote on key aspects of the platform: what kind of clients and talent to accept, what features to develop, how much the platform should charge. Jackson hopes that the new model will promote a vibrant talent network that will be actively interested in improving the ecosystem.
“This new model I’m describing actually isn’t possible without a token. The token, [and] the blockchain facilitates replacing the middleman.”
Jackson revealed that Robert Leshner, the founder and CEO of Compound, is an advisor and investor in the project. Furthermore, Braintrust is reusing a fork of Compound’s governance code to power its own systems. The platform’s users will earn the token by contributing to it, for example by evaluating new candidates.
Unlike some DeFi protocols though, it appears that the platform’s revenue will not be distributed to token holders. Jackson did not wish to go into detail about the token economics, though he promised that it will be explained as Braintrust approaches launch at the end of the year. Braintrust’s concept represents an interesting use of crypto-native systems to solve real-world problems. However, it remains to be seen if it proves to be more successful than previous attempts.
3 Big Blockchain Firms Working Together On A DeFi Product That Pays Passive Income
In a special announcement made at the Unitize conference on July 6, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Terra revealed a new DeFi savings product called Anchor that aims to offer dependable interest rates on stablecoins deposits. The companies involved in the creation of Anchor plan to launch it across their respective blockchains at the end of Q3 this year and scale across to other PoS blockchains in the future. Do Kwon, founder and CEO of Terra, explained in a prepared statement:
“While DeFi staples such as Maker and Compound have been revolutionary in creating fully decentralized crypto money markets, the volatility of their interest rates makes them unsuitable to be used as a household savings product. DeFi mass adoption needs the creation of a fully decentralized savings account that offers dependable APR.”
Anchor’s smart contracts receive stablecoin deposits and use a portion of them to acquire staking positions on compatible Proof of Stake blockchains. Users will receive their passive income from these staking rewards. The initial governance for this platform will come from the Interchain Asset Association (IAA), a newly formed organization that sees Zaki Manian of Cosmos, Jack Platts of the Web3 Foundation, and Do Kwon of Terraform Labs collectively steering the ship.
Telegram Is Set To Shut Down The TON Testnet By August 2020
Although Telegram has terminated its blockchain project, Telegram Open Network (TON), in May 2020, the TON test net has been apparently running for almost one year. In a July 6 update, the official TON development group on Telegram announced that it would be discontinuing its support of the test network for TON. Remaining TON validators will be turned off by August 1. In the post, the TON official recommended network participants save all their relevant data and stop their testing processes. Despite the testnet being set to shut down less than a month from now, network participants will still be able to continue their experimentation after the testnet is terminated. In order to do that, users can install their own testnet validators, described in greater detail in three different how-to documents containing guidelines for the Full Node, the Validator, and Test Grams.
Telegram launched the TON testnet for explorer and node software on Sept. 6, 2019. In anticipation of its scheduled Oct. 31 launch last year, the company released an alpha version of an iOS wallet to work with its native token, the Gram. But Telegram’s TON plans were never fully realized, as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission suddenly deemed Telegram’s $1.7 billion ICO illegal in mid-October. After a long-running legal battle with U.S. regulators, Telegram agreed to shut down its TON project, as well as return $1.2 billion to investors in line with a court-approved final settlement. As officially announced by Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, the firm had already reimbursed more than $1.2 billion by June 25.
Brock Pierce Enters The 2020 US Presidential Race
Brock Pierce, entrepreneur, crypto venture capitalist, and child star, has announced his USA Presidential run on Twitter July 5. His tweet stated: “
“I, Brock Pierce, am running for President of the United States of America.”
Pierce’s campaign site states that he is a pioneer digital currency and has raised more than $5 billion for the companies he has founded. Pierce is the Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and co-founder of EOS Alliance, Block.one, Blockchain Capital, Tether, and Mastercoin (first ICO). His website, sparse on details, does not say if he is seeking a nomination in a political party or if he is running as an Independent.