As CEO of a fast growing tech company, it’s becoming more important than ever to stay focused and remember why we started Moonlighting three years ago. Ritesh, Roy, and I wanted to help those people who need to make money the most find employment quickly right from their mobile device. It was never about control or greed for us, but more about independence and security, rights that everyone deserves access too.
As Moonlighting began to grow, so did our mission, and we saw more and more freelancers empowered by the tools and opportunitIes provided by our platform. With the anticipation of our ICO launch, we are preparing to take the next step in empowering our users to take control of their information, their business, and the trajectory of their lives.
Power to the User
So, how does launching an initial coin offering empower and free our users? All you need to do to answer that question is take a close look at the landscape of marketplaces trying to address the needs of freelancers. Digital marketplaces like UpWork, Toptal, and Fiverr share in our vision to provide freelancers with work opportunities. But all of them generate their income from taking a percentage of a freelancers check, something that we, at Moonlighting, refuse to do. For the past three years, we have become acutely aware of what a freelancer needs as we listened to the 600,000 voices using our platform.
And users made themselves clear: they did not want to be charged commission fees on their hard earned income. Freelancers work too hard and already have to pay taxes, so why should we build a model that takes away 10–25% of their paychecks? It isn’t fair to the freelancer.
However, it is still the case today that job sites and online marketplaces, like Moonlighting, exist at the center of the on-demand economy. We regulate, maintain, and distribute the information on our platform to best accommodate our users. But in 2018, Moonlighting will reposition the freelancers themselves at the center of this economy, and we will do it with Blockchain technology.
The Power of Blockchain
Being a 49 year-old entrepreneur, and one of the earliest to get involved in mobile back in the mid 80s, I have seen quite a few disruptions in technology in my 30-plus year career. I have been with my share of startups, and even helped take a few companies public, but I had not seen anything as powerful as what I see with blockchain in 2018. But as we toyed with the idea of launching an ICO and adopting a cryptocurrency for our platform, my co-founders and I began to see it as the obvious step in advancing our mission.
Let me explain. Blockchain is the technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, and LiteCoin. Blockchain allows for decentralized, distributed, and trust-less transactions to be made in a way that is more secure, verifiable, and unchangeable by third party entities. In the most basic sense, blockchain enables marketplaces like Moonlighting to act as a distributed ledger, a democratic platform where the rules of engagement are defined and governed by all the users of the platform. Any transaction written to or from the blockchain remains engraved in unalterable data.
Additionally, Blockchain makes profile information portable. User profile data is owned by each platform on which an individual creates an account. Now, users will own this data themselves and that information won’t be confined to one place. If a user wants to leave Moonlighting, they can take their information and content with them — past work experience, transaction history, customer reviews, and general information will be theirs to maintain and distribute to whatever platform they desire. They have the freedom to choose what they do with their information and where they want it displayed.
Taking it Global
We are excited about the opportunities this will give to our users, but we also look forward to the security and fluidity it will allow for the future of transactions that take place on our platform. With the adoption of Blockchain, we will also get the chance to release our own token called Moonbit within the US and abroad. Users will be able to use this currency within the platform to buy advertising subscriptions, pay other Moonlighters, and more as we expand to Canada, the UK, and Latin America. With our Moonbit acting as the monetary medium, users all over the world will be able to avoid expensive currency and bank fees that often eat into a freelancers valuable check.
Needless to say, it’s an exciting time for our company. With over 600,000 users and counting, we have the responsibility to continue helping our Moonlighters thrive in today’s gig economy. Coupling the power of a decentralized platform like Moonlighting, with a “made for freelancing” cryptocurrency in Moonbit, we give freelancers the freedom to move throughout the work force effortlessly and without constraints to build their own independent work life.