2021 was a breakthrough year for the cryptocurrency sector and this year is expected to see the “mass adoption” trend expanding.
Public awareness of blockchain technology is increasing, and a new cohort of projects aiming to fill more niche roles in society are likely to emerge in the coming months.
Three sectors that have the potential for significant growth in 2022 are human resources (HR), employee payment solutions, and platforms that serve the gig economy by offering enterprise blockchain solutions.
HR could move towards blockchain
HR management is ripe for blockchain integration due to the security and data storage solutions on offer. Blockchain would allow each employee to have a unique address where all relevant information could be cryptographically stored.
Human resources also deals with recruiting and hiring new employees, an increasingly difficult task in today’s world where the labor force participation rate is 61.9%, its lowest level since 1976.
For blockchain-related jobs, the task becomes even more difficult due to the limited number of people with the knowledge and skills to work in the burgeoning sector.
Keep3rV1 is a protocol focused on connecting employers and employees, and the decentralized job board is specifically designed to connect blockchain projects with external developers offering specialized services.
While Keep3rV1 focuses specifically on blockchain developer jobs, if the model proves successful, the concept could easily expand to cater to a wider audience of job seekers and employers.
Payroll also falls under the HR category, and projects like Request (REQ) support a decentralized payment system where anyone can request payment and receive money in a secure manner.
This is an ideal setup for freelancers. Experimental platforms like Sablier Finance are also offering workers the ability to get paid for their work in real time, rather than waiting 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. Estimates for 2021 show that 36% of the US workforce was involved in the gig economy as either a primary or secondary source of income. The data also shows that 55% of gig workers also had another day job.
Current projections suggest that by 2023 up to 52% of the US workforce will be actively working in the gig economy or will have done so at some point in their careers, so it’s a growing area to benefit from the integration of blockchain technology could.
One project that has already launched its own job board for freelancers is Chronos.tech (TIME), a blockchain-based recruitment, staffing, and payments processing protocol whose LaborX platform is similar to sites like Fiverr, but handles all transactions using blockchain technology and smart contracts.
In addition to the Chronos.tech, LaborX, and PaymentX protocols, the ecosystem also recently added decentralized finance (DeFi) capabilities by allowing TIME holders to stake their tokens on the protocol to earn a yield.
Freelancers can use TIME on the network to earn bonuses for completed tasks, while clients can earn special discounts as a reward for holding the token.
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Companies rely on blockchain solutions
Enterprise-level blockchain-based solutions are expected to thrive in 2022 as well.
Many of the top competitors offering enterprise solutions are layer-one blockchain protocols like Ethereum and its Hyperledger framework, or Bitcoin’s layer-2 Lightning network scaling solution recently integrated into Cash App.
Other strong contenders in the enterprise solutions space are Fantom and the Polygon network as they have lower transaction fees and faster processing capabilities.
A final protocol that focuses specifically on creating an enterprise-class public network that enables individuals and businesses to build decentralized applications (DApps) is Hedera (HBAR).
According to Hedera’s website, the project is owned and led by some of the world’s leading organizations, including IBM, Boeing, Google, LG and Standard Bank.
The high throughput of Hedera’s Hashgraph architecture makes it ideal for large enterprises that would need a significant number of transactions to serve their global customer base.
These use cases include payment processing, fraud prevention, the ability to tokenize assets, verify identity, securely store and transfer data, and the ability to create a private, permissioned blockchain for internal use.
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