With crypto adoption increasing at such a rapid pace, it was only a matter of time before digital assets made their way to the freelance industry. Today, several platforms have cropped up that are offering consultants and individual operators the option to receive payments in cryptocurrencies. This gives freelancers several benefits, but it also exposes them to a few risks. Here are all the essential details you need to know before accepting crypto payments for your next freelance gig:
Getting paid in cryptocurrency — the basics
Things to know and boxes to tick before you can accept crypto payments.
Crypto Wallet: A crypto wallet is like your physical wallet; the only difference is that it is digital and stores cryptocurrencies. Without a crypto wallet, one cannot accept crypto payments.
Public address: Every wallet has a unique public address. Several wallets also allow you to convert this address into a QR code. Only once you share this address/QR code with the sender can they initiate your payment. Ensure that you share the right address as payments once made cannot be reversed or cancelled.
Private Key: A private key is a gateway to your reserves. It is like the password to your wallet. Therefore, it is always recommended that you store it somewhere safe or use a password manager as a backup. If you lose your private key, you lose access to your wallet and holdings.
Local Regulations: In some geographies, accepting payments in crypto can be illegal or imply heavy charges by way of taxes. Therefore, you might want to double-check this aspect before accepting payments in crypto.
Platforms that pay freelancers in crypto
1. LaborX: This is a global online marketplace that hosts everything from freelance gigs to full-time jobs. It is built on the Ethereum blockchain and employs smart contracts to ensure clients get their work on time and freelancers receive quick payments. The platform charges a standard commission of 5 percent per gig for freelancers and 1 percent per gig for clients.
2. CoinGigs: This is a portal that pays freelancers in Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash. It requires no knowledge of cryptocurrency or blockchain; all you need to do is sign up, search for gigs, and start working. The platform also has the option of an escrow account that helps automate payments. While there is no sign-up or enrolment fee, the portal charges an 8 percent commission per gig.
3. Ethlance: This is another platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. It offers payments in Ether and does not charge a commission — it is free for its customers and freelancers. However, you do have to pay Ethereum gas fees, which are usually very minuscule and rarely exceed a few cents. The only downside here is that it does not provide dispute resolution support in case of non-payment or non-delivery.
4. Cryptogigs: This platform allows you to earn in any cryptocurrency — from Bitcoin to Ripple. All you need to do is sign up to the portal to start earning. However, since the platform is still new, it does not offer a lot of jobs. And it also does not offer any protection if your payment is not made, or work is not delivered.
Types of work
Most portals offer freelance, short-term, and full-time jobs in several different industries. These usually include graphic design, web development, writing & translating, accounting, and so on. They usually post all the available opportunities and list the skills required for each gig. So, no matter what your skillset is, you should be able to find a freelance gig to take up.
Advantages of crypto payments
-Crypto payments are made almost instantly.
-For traditional payments, overseas remittance fees can be as high as 25 percent. On the other hand, these fees can be as low as 0.25 percent in the case of crypto payments.
-This brings international gigs into the fold and makes them more viable.
-The use of blockchain also leaves very little room for payment fraud.
-Finally, smart contracts automate payments and ensure that clients do not have to chase work and freelancers do not have to chase payments.
Challenges of crypto payments:
– Cryptos are volatile. A payment of 10 BTC could be worth one thing today and something completely different tomorrow. This could be an issue if a large part of your income comes from cryptocurrency.
-Then there are the tax implications of crypto payments. In India, crypto payments are hit with 30 percent taxation.