Freelancers are to be found everywhere today. There is hardly an industry where a freelance service is not available in the “gig economy”. Always eager to open up new revenue streams, and thus learning and growing every day, this global tribe is now adopting the latest technological marvels of NFTs, blockchain and machine learning.
Though their work is not recognized as “work”, many freelancers are hard-working. With no official work times and routines, their work can expand into midnights, and include weekends and festivals too. A new order can drop in anytime, and there is competition to keep getting more orders, maintain quality and time standards of the freelance platform and stay in the race. It’s a daily grind.
The post-pandemic times have seen an increase in freelance workers. In India, a media report suggests a 46% increase in the year 2020 in the first two quarters, supported by employees suddenly out of work. In USA, the same year saw 2 million workers taking up freelance work. The report says this was an 8% increase, taking up the total full-time engaged freelancing population in the US to 36%. The entire sector generates $1.2 trillion in annual income.
Enter blockchain, and the latest craze, NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. These are digital art works, collectors’ items, works of photography, and even music, that have been uploaded and turned into a unique token, which is then sold at NFT marketplaces for huge amounts. In India legendary actors like Amitabh Bachchan have released art-work of their film posters as NFTs.
Since digital art is the most common ingredient to create NFTs, it is but natural that artists, designers, illustrators and software developers are now in demand to create unique art works that can be turned into an NFT and sold. The NFT market is supposed to be around $27 billion strong. Another buzzing field is the Metaverse, where women are making a strong presence. There are other obvious fields where freelancers are to be found, like writing blogs and articles for blockchain and Web3 technologies.
For freelancers, NFT and metaverse have come as a boon, and more and more gigs are announcing these services. On a well-known freelancing platform, there was a 64% increase in profit earning freelance NFT services. A press release from the service says that freelancers are an early adopter of NFTs.
It’s easy to imagine a humble logo worker raking in some more moolah after launching an NFT gig, and that’s what has happened in reality. The services in this space can be divided into making of artwork, development and those related to the NFT marketplace.
A simple search with “NFT” keyword on a popular freelancing site brings up over 50,000 gigs. Of these, narrowing the search to India results in over 2,500 gigs offering NFT related services. Some of the services include – creating 3D animated NFT membership cards, bulk uploading NFT to a marketplace with metadata, creating concept art, animating or looping an NFT artwork, and so on. The price range can be anywhere between $5 to $1,000 with various quality and work-related metrics thrown in.
Freelancers have been early adopters of the NFT business, and it’s not surprising that even the hard to fathom fields like machine learning are lending themselves to the gig economy. It’s easy these days to find freelancers offering machine learning services for a few hundred dollars or even less. These services usually help predict sales, revenue, consumer behavior and other important metrics based on past data patterns.
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