UPDATE (16th February, 6:18 GMT): with more accurate information and comment from Fiverr.
It’s amazing what people will do for five dollars.
However, offering your services on popular freelance microtasking site Fiverr could prove very lucrative, now the company has announced a partnership with payment processor Coinbase to accept payments in bitcoin.
Fiverr is a site where people do a surprising variety of jobs for prices starting at $5. Over the site’s millions of listings this includes almost anything.
The front page alone has listings for two hours of ‘Virtual Office Assistant’ work, composing and recording a song, logo and icon designs, illustrations and short voice recordings. Freelancers can also offer larger jobs for higher amounts of money, sometimes up to $8,000.
Coinbase called Fiverr “the world’s largest two-sided marketplace for services starting at $5,” and “The first large services marketplace to accept bitcoin,” in announcing the new partnership on its blog.
Through the single act of signing up Fiverr, Coinbase has increased the number of things you can buy with bitcoin exponentially.
Update: According to Fiverr’s own blog, payments to sellers will unfortunately not be made in bitcoin, with Coinbase converting them to dollars before handing out. The company says “On the seller side, it’s business as usual. Revenue is earned and withdrawn in US dollars. The option to withdraw revenue in Bitcoin is currently not available on Fiverr.”
This will probably disappoint a lot of sellers, who would be happy to accept payment in bitcoin. A recent survey revealed that over 50% of IT professionals would choose to be paid in bitcoin if it were offered. Fiverr itself takes a 20% cut of all sales made through the site, so most sellers would probably prefer not to hand over more in transaction fees.
Popular freelancing hub
Started in 2009 and available in over 200 countries, Fiverr has been called “one of the most useful sites on the internet” by users and is one of the most popular freelance work hubs. About half the jobs offered are still at the $5 price point, and 15% of its sellers say Fiverr is their primary income source.
If you prefer, there are plenty of ways to find odd jobs for actual bitcoin out there as well, including Twitter’s @bitcoinjobs feed, Reddit’s /r/BitcoinJobs subreddit, Coinality, and a few smaller places here and there.
The size of jobs offered on Fiverr varies wildly, many falling into the “would they really do all that for a fiver?” category.
“Fiverr is one of the leading disruptors of the Gig Economy”, said Fiverr’s Director of Business Development, Constantine Anastasakis.
“Our community is passionate about innovation and creativity and Bitcoin represents this spirit of innovation in the payment space. It is only natural that Fiverr will be in the forefront of marketplaces embracing this new digital currency and security standards.”
“Our partnership with Fiverr brings the community another step closer to broad consumer adoption of bitcoin,” added Adam White, Director of Business Development at Coinbase. “This further validates that cryptocurrencies are a trusted, widely accepted form of payment.”
Less noble people have also been known to use Fiverr to get extra reviews on Amazon and iTunes, or buy thousands of fake Twitter followers. The latter tactic is often used by celebrities, especially politicians.
We can only hope the bitcoin payment offer will be extended to sellers in future as well. Even after the crashes and shocks of recent months, $5 worth of bitcoin in February 2013 would be worth around $143 to you today (or $250 last December) – a deal much better than five bucks.