The free agent workforce comprised of freelancers, temps, creatives and other genres of independent contractors continues to exact a powerful influence on the global economy. It reflects the continued movement away from a traditional wage model connected to a single corporate entity and locale to one that’s untethered by geography or the nature of the work.
As this free agent model continues to expand, new approaches for connecting talent to work opportunities are being advanced. Moreover, blockchain technologies are opening up new possibilities for how talent is paid for project work, without the need for banks and other forms of financial middlemen.
Leading this trend is an Australian-based company known as ChronoBank. The company’s quest is to provide talented professionals with a new means of identifying and being compensated for work opportunities. Here, it seeks to disrupt the prevailing world of HR talent management in a manner similar to how the transportation networks Uber and Lyft have reinvented the taxi space.
This ambition is seen as the next iteration of what are known as “time-based currencies.” It’s a concept that has existed for nearly 200 years, with applied case studies having taken place via a small number of time-based economies. The still operating Ithaca Hours community currency in Ithaca, New York, is just one example of a pioneering effort in this space.
ChronoBank’s innovative blueprint proposes a decentralized, intermediary-free ecosystem where talented people can sell their time and specialized value in a given field. Compensation will occur through the use of digital tokens in a private, time-based money system, where transactions happen between business and workers without third party interference.
Known as Labour-Hours (LH), these tokens represent the tradable resource for ChronoBank’s time-based economy. They can be settled into BTC, ETH or fiat and will be accessible 24/7 via a LH debit card.
Available on the Ethereum, Waves and Lisk blockchain networks, LH tokens will connect to the average hourly wage of a host country. The rate that a worker charges will be indexed according to what that a person normally charges: for example, if a Labour-Hour in Australia is $25 per hour and someone charges $100, then they would charge 4 x LHAU (Labour-Hour in Australia) for their hour of work.
ChronoBank is supported by a labor force network tied to large recruitment and talent management companies around the world. Labor hire, recruitment and HR partner companies are selected based on credibility, size, financial performance and other factors. The initial list of companies who agree to compensate workers with LH tokens include Anderson Recruitment and Training, Host Group/Host Labour Hire, AES Labour Hire, and Edway Labour Hire.
Another element of the ChronoBank platform, known as LaborX, represents a decentralized marketplace where people can market their labor hours for work and project opportunities. Users will also be able to track their Labour-Hour expenditures on LaborX via an online dashboard.
As a reputation system similar to Upwork, LaborX facilitates feedback for each worker, providing companies a efficient way to hire the most competent professionals from the online and offline worlds. ChronoBank.io assigns a reputation score based on the individual’s experience with an initial project assignment. Those who have yet to participate will receive a nominal average reputation skill to get them started.
Freelancers are therefore compensated based their skill level and value. The higher the score, the more they can command for an hour’s worth of work.
ChronoBank is the brainchild of a community of professionals with over 100 years of combined recruitment experience. This community works with blockchain application experts to find real-world business solutions. Says CEO Sergei Sergienko, “ChronoBank is an open source project, one where the best products are always created in collaboration. We’re hoping to get people excited enough about it so that they begin thinking about this new model for their own projects and industries.”
Sergienko says the goal is to curate short-term employment opportunities that appeal to the masses, allowing people to pick and choose when and where they want to work. “We wish to make short-term work employment more attractive than long-term. Time as a work resource is scarce enough to be valuable, yet abundant enough to be accessible to anyone, especially in the countries and places where nothing else of value exists.”
His ultimate vision is to have a stable token developed on Ethereum and start testing and developing a Minimum Value Product (MVP) for LaborX.
“We want to see ChronoBank's disruptive potential realized and recognized. We would also like to see a greater connection between cryptocurrency and real world, one where the government and legal lines of communication are open and all interested stakeholders are integrated into our system. It’s an exciting time for us in terms of what’s ahead.”