Industrial Revolution 2.1: How Blockchain Can Finish What the Internet Started
As the world created by that first revolution looks ready to lurch into another future age, the Internet guides us forward
People often make the mistake of thinking that the Industrial Revolution (the catalyst for modernity and the driving force behind geopolitics to this day) was a phenomenon that took place all at once, in a vacuum, around the world. In fact, it took decades for inventions like the steam engine and cotton gin to spread, improve their functionality, and make a major impact in the lives of everyday people around the globe.
The steam engine itself is just one example. Although rudimentary versions of steam engines existed as far back as the early 1700s, it wasn’t until a century later that the technology powered the British Isles to world conquest.
Fast forward another two centuries, and the wave of digitalism that began in the late 20th century, one that we are all still experiencing, has been equated by many notable scholars as something of an “Industrial Revolution 2.0.”
As the world created by that first revolution looks ready to lurch into another future age, increasing jobs in technology, the shared economy, and online platforms show the way forward. The one thing that unifies them all is the Internet.
The digital revolution
The first wave of internet-based employment innovations brought websites like Monster and Indeed, online job applications and remote work. The second wave, where we’re at now, is comprised of digital workspaces like Slack and app-based employment.
Uber, Fiverr, Upwork and others all offer particular twists on how people can make money in their spare time with their skills. The online job economy is still fraught with shortcomings for everyday people looking for work. Just google Uber!
Thankfully, this digital revolution is by no means over. We are still improving. Just as it took many years to perfect the inventions of the Industrial Era, the online job market now finds itself as an ideal candidate for one final upgrade: Blockchain. Taking that next step and adopting Blockchain technology could actually make good on the promise of horizontalized, decentralized, free, open and fair work that was promised by the Industrial Revolution all those centuries ago.
Internet job portals
Right now in the Blockchain space, there are a number of job portal innovations that, although still in their infancy, claim they can bring us to “Industrial Revolution 2.1.” Two platforms lead the way.
Ethlance is a job portal built on the Ethereum network that is underutilized outside of the very finite scope of digital currency fanatics. Although it was a pioneer, it may have entered the fray before a critical mass could be reached.
Chronobank, another option, aims to be a recruitment portal and disrupt Human Resources departments around the world by undermining the status quo. Chronobank, for now, has a strict focus on certain professions like warehouse staffing and construction, so it may not provide the solution for everyone.
A platform aimed at students
A recent and particularly notable development in the space is Israel-based startup bitJob. Aimed at students specifically, bitJob has identified the ideal demographic ready to experiment with new technology, one with skillsets perfect for the internet age, and ready to take on part-time or online jobs as they go about their schooling.
With a complete ecosystem built on their own STU Token (for which the token sale is currently underway), bitJob is a global endeavor, leveling the playing field for students around the world to earn fair value from their talents quickly and directly. Further, the ecosystem is said to include marketplaces with deep STU discounts on school gear and travel for users, and perhaps most importantly, bitJob offers Paypal functionality that can turn students’ digital currencies into cold, hard cash, just in time for the weekend.
In one hundred years’ time, when they write articles about “The Digital Revolution,” it’s likely that Blockchain will be remembered as the final piece of the puzzle towards a truly digital era. With every new project that develops on the ideas of prior generations, we get closer to a world where fair work earns fair pay all around the world.