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1% to 3% won't even cover the direct costs of being an intermediary for payments if you e.g. accept credit cards.

Such levels of pricing is not sustainable unless you're burning money to provide the service at a loss while you gain market share and network effects.

I agree that 20% fee seems excessive, but as soon as you're handling other people's money, 1-3% are not reasonable rates, they are unrealistically low, not feasible even for a non-profit that has all volunteer workforce.

It may be feasible to have a very low fee business model if you expect everyone to pay each other directly, but that still means managing all kinds of nonpayment and fraud issues, which takes a lot of time and thus expenses.




Bitcoin has several solutions here. First of all the transaction fee is small, around $.05 at the moment[1]. Second, there are contracts and escrows[2,3] which would support remote work by strangers.

1. https://bitcoinfees.21.co/

2. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Bitcoin_Escrow_Service

3. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Contract


Exchanging money for BTC (the buying company) and BTC back to money (so the worker can pay rent and buy food) isn't fast nor free, and is likely to cost more than the 1-3% once all those expenses are factored in.

BTC is a possibility for settling particular purchases, but it's not the best way to receive your main income, it's like getting paid in an obscure foreign currency.


More places are starting to take it. It might end up being a grassroots thing.

Last month I was at a sheep and wool festival (yeah just what it sounds like) in central MD, visiting a merchant in a straw floor awning tent at the county fairgrounds. He had a sign up saying he preferred BTC because card fees kill him. My wife whipped out her Mycelium app and the transaction went through in seconds.

It's not Macy's or Amazon yet, but it's getting there. Overstock takes it.


Bitcoin is still a relatively new concept with limited implementation and infrastructure throughout the world. But it is certainly promising.


of course, 1%-3% doesn't make sense if you want to be in the control of the transaction between the freelancer and the client. But you don't have to be. The client should pay the freelancer as he see fits, in euros, pounds, bitcoin, shells or giant round stones.

If you can leave that aside and just charge the freelancer with that 3%, let's say. If this doesn't make sense, you can always set a minimum charge, like 5 euros or 3% of the transaction, which ever is bigger.


If you don't have your hands in the transaction, then you'll be cut out if the transaction as soon as both parties are comfortable with each other.

That may be ok, but is definitely far less sustainable, as you have to keep creating new matches (as opposed to being paid for an existing match continuing).


You are right, but the same can be done over current Upwork; once I trust a freelancer, I can deal outside the Upwork range, using a normal contract.

However, the most freelancers get short jobs and many clients, as in the original article is specified, so this just simply works.

EDIT: it seems that as currently implemented, even Upwork is bumping in a search the ones with many hours/money earned. So cheating would be a bad decision, since it may drastically affect your visibility on the site


> So cheating would be a bad decision, since it may drastically affect your visibility on the site.

And may be one of the primary reasons for this "feature". I don't blame them, they are a marketplace and should encourage transactions on their platform.


Encouraging transactions on their platform benefits the people too, since the platform offers some degree of protection to them.




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