A new bitcoin micropayments tool has launched to take aim at the global freelance and on-demand services market.
Called Faradam (after inventor Michael Faraday), the service uses a simple timer to facilitate payment between two parties, with freelancers seeking to leverage the service only needing to provide their name, hourly work rate and bitcoin address. In turn, those looking to employ short-term services simply receive a link and connect a wallet.
Created by former Quasar Ventures senior business analyst Demian Brener; engineer Esteban Ordano; and Manuel Araoz, the developer behind decentralized verification project Proof of Existence, the three founders are currently based in Argentina.
Unsurprisingly given its high bitcoin adoption rates, it’s in this region where Brener believes Faradam could have the biggest impact, telling CoinDesk:
“What we’re now doing is focusing mainly on use cases where people have bitcoin like international freelancers, and they charge their clients in bitcoin. In Argentina, we don’t have a PayPal, it’s really hard to charge for freelance services from the US.”
While a novel use case for micropayments, the technology underlying the service is not new, having been created by Brener for Streamium, his decentralized video streaming project launched in May.
Brener explained that Faradam was inspired by Streamium users, who saw that the ability to charge for services rather than content would be broadly useful. He indicated he now sees that project as a proof of concept for what could be a variety of more commercial use cases.
“The value of what we did lies not in the livestream video, but the metered payment infrastructure,” he continued. “This lets you charge in real time for on-demand services.”
Brener went on to suggest Faradam will focus on bitcoin users in “niche markets”, before adding other payment methods depending on the product’s use.
Faradam charges 1% for all payment sessions facilitated on the service, a contrast to Streamium’s free, open-source model. The company does not currently plan to enter an incubator.
Brener indicated that Faradam was also inspired by Streamium’s design, specifically the need for it to streamline the interface for novice bitcoin users.
“We know it’s a complicated concept, payment channels and bitcoin, so we worked really, really hard on doing the site very simple so people could grasp it and understand it as soon as possible,” Brener said.
To break down the design to simple elements, Brener talked with Streamium users, including online teachers and professional psychologists, who had sought to leverage its metered video payments as a way to earn income.
“We finished the Faradam project a week ago, and we shared it with our champions, our early adopters, freelancers, teachers and consultants who use it with their clients,” he continued. “Today it’s a simple product to use and you can grasp it right away.”
Built as a web application, Brener said Faradam can be used in conjunction with popular communication apps such as Skype or Slack.
“It’s independent of how you provide the service, you don’t depend on a webcam or live streaming application,” he said. “You turn the switch on and money starts flowing right away.”
Freelancer image via Shutterstock