The labor market is evolving. From remote jobs to the Great Resignation, how we work and how we get paid are changing.
The growth of freelance work is a big part of this. Just like online dating used to be a marginal way to meet people but is now the norm, online freelancing has evolved from stigmatized to mainstream. In five years, it’s predicted that a majority of Americans will be freelancers—a massive shift enabled in large part by new technology.
Braintrust is one example. It’s the first decentralized talent network that connects skilled, vetted knowledge workers with the world’s most reputable brands. And because it’s decentralized, the people that use Braintrust also own and operate the network: Talent keeps 100% of its earnings and clients can make their budgets go further by cutting out unnecessary middle men. Hundreds of Fortune 500 companies are active on the platform, including Porsche, which is using engineers sourced from Braintrust to build software for its cars. NASA is using Braintrust talent too, to develop software for tracking packages between Earth and the International Space Station.
Vivek Singh is one engineer who’s found freelance work through Braintrust. A self-taught crypto engineer based in Mumbai, Singh used to travel around India in search of work opportunities. Then he went on Braintrust and met Stardust, a US-based NFT gaming company. They paid Singh to work remotely, so now he can stay home with his family and work on his own time—no more criss-crossing of India required. In his first three months on Braintrust, Singh earned $50,000, five times more than he used to make over a similar period of time. Altogether, Braintrust has helped freelance workers around the world earn nearly $100 million.
Building on that success, Braintrust is now adding a powerful new payout option with Stripe Connect: USDC. This means that Singh can choose to be paid in rupees to his Indian bank account, which could take a few days, or in USDC to his crypto wallet, which can take just a few minutes.
“Access to reliable economic infrastructure can vary depending on where our talent lives. The global reach of Stripe Connect levels the field. We were able to get up and running with Connect crypto payouts quickly, allowing our talent to get paid in minutes, rather than days. Instead of building a giant money movement organization, we’re able to focus on our mission of connecting great talent to great jobs,” said Mark Williams, vice president of infrastructure at Freelance Labs, which built Braintrust.
Speed is one advantage of crypto payouts. Reach is another. Millions of talented freelancers live in countries where it’s hard, if not impossible, to open a local bank account. For example, a majority of the people in Djibouti, El Salvador, and Bhutan don't have bank accounts. With Stripe, freelancers in those countries are now able to receive funds via USDC in minutes. With the addition of USDC, Stripe cross-border payouts extend to more than 4.4 billion people in more than 110 countries—a majority of the world’s population.
The future of work is continuing to change and we’re inspired by Braintrust’s mission to make the best jobs in the world accessible to more people. Stripe is working on support for additional blockchains in additional countries, with the goal of making the financial world smaller so that people like Vivek Singh can thrive in it.
Learn how to build your crypto business with Stripe at stripe.com/crypto.