2021 was a breakout year for the cryptocurrency sector and this year is expected to see an extension of the “mass adoption” trend.
Public awareness of blockchain technology is on the rise and a new cohort of projects designed to fill more niche roles in society are likely to emerge in the coming months.
Three sectors that have the potential to see significant growth in 2022 are human resources (HR), employee payment solutions and platforms that serve the gig economy by offering corporate blockchain solutions.
HR might pivot toward blockchain
Human resource management is ripe for blockchain integration due to the security and data storage solutions offered. Blockchain would allow each employee to have a unique address where all pertinent information could be cryptographically stored.
HR also deals with the recruiting and hiring of new employees, an increasingly difficult task in today’s world where the labor force participation rate stands at 61.9%, its lowest level since 1976.
For blockchain-related jobs, the task becomes even more challenging due to the limited number of people with the knowledge and capabilities to work in the nascent sector.
Keep3rV1 is one protocol that focuses on connecting employers with workers, and the decentralized job board is specifically designed to connect blockchain projects with external developers that provide specialized services.
While Keep3rV1 focuses specifically on blockchain developer jobs, if the model proves to be a success, the concept could easily be expanded to serve a wider audience of job seekers and employers.
Payroll also falls under the HR category and projects like Request (REQ) support a decentralized payments system where anyone can request a payment and receive money through secure means.
This is an ideal setup for freelancers. Experimental platforms like Sablier Finance also offer workers the option to be paid for their labor in real-time rather than wait for the end of a payroll period to receive their paycheck in a lump sum.
The gig economy
Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and creator/freelance marketplaces like Fiverr were the bedrock of the gig economy. 2021 estimates show that 36% of the United States workforce participated in the gig economy either as their primary or secondary source of income. Data also shows that 55% of gig workers were also working a separate primary job.
Current projections indicate that by 2023, up to 52% of the U.S. workforce will be actively working in the gig economy or will have done so at some point in their career, so it’s a growing field that could benefit from the integration of blockchain technology.
One project that has already established its own freelancer job board is Chrono.tech (TIME), a blockchain-based recruitment, HR and payment processing protocol whose LaborX platform is similar to websites like Fiverr but conducts all transactions utilizing blockchain technology and smart contracts.
In addition to the Chrono.tech, LaborX and PaymentX protocols, the ecosystem has also recently added decentralized finance (DeFi) functionality by allowing TIME holders to stake their tokens on the protocol to earn a yield.
Freelancers can stake TIME on the network to receive bonuses for completed tasks while customers can stake to earn special rebates as a reward for holding the token.
Corporations embrace blockchain solutions
Enterprise-level blockchain-based solutions are also expected to thrive in 2022.
Many of the top contenders that offer enterprise solutions are layer-one blockchain protocols like Ethereum and its Hyperledger framework or Bitcoin’s layer-two lightning network scaling solution that was recently integrated with the Cash App.
Other strong contenders in the field of enterprise solutions include Fantom and the Polygon network because they have lower transaction fees and faster processing capabilities.
A final protocol that specifically focuses on creating an enterprise-grade public network that allows individuals and businesses to create decentralized applications (DApps) is Hedera (HBAR).
According to Hedera’s website, the project is owned and governed by some of the world’s leading organizations including IBM, Boeing, Google, LG and Standard Bank.
The high throughput nature of Hedera’s hashgraph architecture makes it ideal for large businesses that would require a significant amount of transactions to serve their global client base.
These use cases include payment processing, fraud mitigation, the ability to tokenize assets, verifying identity, the secure storage and transfer of data and the ability to create a private, permissioned blockchain for in-house use.
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