boh a year ago

As companies continually erode employee benefits and aggressively seek out ever cheaper labor, we have to continually be reminded how innovative and great this "massive shift enabled in large part by new technology" is going to be. Now you're going to get paid in unregulated tokens, isn't that amazing!

And guess what? Not using actual money also let's them access "millions of talented freelancers live in countries where it’s hard, if not impossible, to open a local bank account". That's great because those workers also tend to live in countries with lax or non existent labor laws. These new inroads in exploitation is just another great win for innovation! How bright our future gets every day!

  • RF_Savage a year ago

    From what I understand from past discussions on HN, it is legitimately hard and convoluted to pay remote workers in Africa for example. Your bank might just not want to do it, or make it complicated.

    I recall Nigerians and Ethiopians mentioning how cryptocurrencies have allowed them to more easily work with western clients or employers.

    Kainda sad how all else is either hard to use or skimms too much off the top.

  • YetAnotherNick a year ago

    I don't understand your reasoning. So you are saying paying privileged workers is better than paying underprivileged workers. Labor laws are non existent only because of economy. There hasn't been any country in history with good economy and bad labor conditions for citizens.

    • boh a year ago

      You're right, China now has nets to catch their suicidal workers.

      "Privileged" worker? The cult of the robber baron really has spread its wings. Not everyone is willing to talk themself out of a livable wage and benefits, but you do you.

  • throw101010 a year ago

    Is your solution to keep the walled garden systems we currently have that benefit proportionally very few people on earth? Why not give the rest of the world access to the tools for economical freedom too?

    And please let's not even debate if they work or not yet, I am more interested in the reasoning behind preserving the current status quo where billions of people literally cannot access these tools.

    • Cederfjard a year ago

      > Is your solution to keep the walled garden systems we currently have that benefit proportionally very few people on earth?

      Almost every single person on Earth benefits in some way from the current systems over not having them at all. Yes, they tend to let power and resources accumulate with a select few, which is not necessarily the best or most moral outcome. I'd be interested to know why you think this wouldn't be the case with the alternatives - regardless of the intentions of well-meaning ideologues, the powerful tend to get what they want in the end.

      > Why not give the rest of the world access to the tools for economical freedom too?

      If the issue was as simple as this sentence, then sure. In reality it isn't, though. I could flip it and ask "why abandon regulations that limit how capital can exploit labor and prevent criminals from evading laws"?

      > And please let's not even debate if they work or not yet, I am more interested in the reasoning behind preserving the current status quo where billions of people literally cannot access these tools.

      What line of thinking is this? Of course the reasoning behind preserving the current status quo, which is a known quantity, over something new, could well be that you don't yet know if or how the alternatives work? That doesn't mean that they can't be better or shouldn't be implemented at some point, but it's totally valid not to want to run head-first into something unknown and potentially detrimental, just because what we have now is imperfect.

      • GoblinSlayer a year ago

        I can imagine cryptocurrencies can make exploitation less severe, e.g. if there is choice between salary in USD and BTC, salary in USD would tend to be lower due to more regulation and better reputation for lower volatility.

      • throw101010 a year ago

        > Almost every single person on Earth benefits in some way from the current systems over not having them at all. Yes, they tend to let power and resources accumulate with a select few, which is not necessarily the best or most moral outcome. I'd be interested to know why you think this wouldn't be the case with the alternatives -

        I'm not suggesting a complete replacement of the current system (for now). I want an alternative, accessible to everyone, even the people in the walled gardens. In other words a system that is open, public, borderless and censorship resistant. A. Antonopoulos summarized these properties and couple others with an acronym: RIPCORD systems ( One of the goals is to include the 1.4 billions of unbanked adults (out of about 5 billions of adults in the world) and give them the same means you and I share to participate in an economy, I believe this kind of access should be a basic freedom and the systems they rely on should be public goods (this obviously disqualifies a lot of "crypto" projects).

        > regardless of the intentions of well-meaning ideologues, the powerful tend to get what they want in the end.

        Obviously if this was considered nothing would ever be tried, but the purpose of choosing decentralized systems that cannot be taken over and controlled by these few is to go past this consideration. For example, Bitcoin still being verifiable on low-end hardware with limited bandwidth is mainly driven by this idea, if the attempts to take over it and increasing block size had been successful I would have considered this experiment failed and moved on to an other idea.

        > I could flip it and ask "why abandon regulations that limit how capital can exploit labor and

        You'd have to prove they are in place to this effect... and considering that many industries rely on this exploitative behavior currently and they usually do well within these regulations, I would think you'd be in a pickle.

        > prevent criminals from evading laws"?

        Criminals are barely hindered by KYC/AML procedures. And banks often accomodate them anyways: . The answer of governments is to either ignore it, or take part in it by taxing this laundering (I believe they call these "fines", but in my book when the profits taken with the fraud outpace the fines I consider that they are just taking their cut). So I am in favor again in providing an alternative that give these means to everyone, currently only a select few individuals can do this with near impunity.

        > What line of thinking is this?

        The one that attempted to not derail the discussion into a technical debate on which decentralized system works the best for this task right now and rather explore what our goals should be for a freer society. And that does not mean I am against work related regulations, my idea is to level the playing field though, the current system hides this exploitation by excluding the same people it exploits (and they benefit of no regulation we put in place usually, companies find ways around regulations as long as they aren't uniformly applied).

        > Of course the reasoning behind preserving the current status quo, which is a known quantity, over something new, could well be that you don't yet know if or how the alternatives work?

        The issues of the current system are known though, and there is work done to bank the unbanked (the World Bank shows progress in this) but it's been a pretty slow process... mostly helped by technology and not better regulations or a desire by governments to include more people.

        > That doesn't mean that they can't be better or shouldn't be implemented at some point, but it's totally valid not to want to run head-first into something unknown and potentially detrimental, just because what we have now is imperfect.

        It is a valid point, and I don't have a strong argument against a conservative approach... but the fact is the ideas behind effectively decentralized cryptocurrencies are not really stoppable. You can hinder them at their edges (mainly fiat bridge/ramps), but if they develop parallel economies you will have to deal with them anyways. There will always entities acting as bridge between those systems, until they either collaborate or merge.

    • zaptheimpaler a year ago

      Just don't forget that capital works in the interests of capitalists above all. It's not because they suddenly started caring about all the countries they previously ignored.

      Today Braintrust is a democratizing force enabling talent to earn from anywhere, yay! Tomorrow everyone is going to be competing with the absolute cheapest labor globally and NA will be earning avg(NA, Africa) salary while paying NA rents. Uber's trajectory is the same - in every market, it started out with drivers making amazing wages (yay Uber is great!!) and ended with them making less than minimum wage.

      • Karrot_Kream a year ago

        Right but in this case, Braintrust's governance is based on token holders, the talent who actually put their work up on the platform. Braintrust is paid for via a 10% fee on client success. This is a relationship where labor ownership is baked into the platform.

  • hef19898 a year ago

    >> The future of work

    Heck, if the future of work is limited freelance gigs, without any workers rights and protection, and being paid in potentially worthless crypto tokens, it is a very ugly future.

  • fny a year ago

    A lot of the world does get paid in unregulated "tokens" though. That's literally what the eurodollar system is. A US dollar abroad is not equivalent to a US dollar in the US. US banking regulations do not apply to those dollars. Hence, they even have different interest rates!

    But you're absolutely right that this is a mechanism by which they can expand the labor pool for digital work.

    • lottin a year ago

      First, a Eurodollar is a USD that is deposited outside of the US. As such it's interchangeable and indistinguishable from a USD.

      US banking regulations don't apply to these dollars? Well, of course, because US banking regulation only apply in the banks in the US. Banks that are located outside of the US are subject to whatever regulation is in place in the location that they're at. Does that mean that Eurodollars are unregulated? No, it doesn't.

      Second, currencies don't have interest rates. Only debt instruments do. I have no idea what you're talking about when you say that Eurodollars and US dollars have different interest rates.

      • Karrot_Kream a year ago

        Because eurodollars have fewer regulations (for good and for bad, such as FDIC reserve requirements) around them, eurodollar deposits can generate higher interest rates than equivalent USD-denominated deposits. Saying a eurodollar is identical to a USD is a stretch as regulatory regimes, and as such risk, are different between them.

        • lottin a year ago

          I don't know that they have fewer regulations. Banking regulations follow the guidelines set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and as a result are very much the same across the developed world. Also it's absolutely not true that looser regulations result in higher interest rates.

    • nicbou a year ago

      It is regulated by central banks though, and taxed. What's your definition of unregulated?

  • rabite a year ago

    I am on my 12th year of virtually no access to the traditional financial system. I had all my bank and brokerage accounts killed with no suspension and no allowance to appeal. No bank will do business with me either on my Pridnestrovian passport.

    Your regulators are thieves and thugs and I don't trust them one bit. I have faith in Bitcoin, or things I can instantly convert to Bitcoin without your regulators interfering. Fiat currencies I need SWIFT or ACH to access are literally worthless to me as I have access to neither, and even if I did it would be a precarious situation that I have to worry about all my money disappearing in a Kafkaesque net of AML investigations from which it will never escape. Your sarcastic tone about "unregulated tokens" is exactly how everyone in my country views your worthless dollar.

  • imtringued a year ago

    If people prefer unregulated tokens over government managed tokens I don't see the problem.

    I am more worried about excessive tax complexity that getting paid in a foreign currency brings.

  • civilized a year ago

    Everybody wants to talk about how bad the sweatshop is. Nobody wants to talk about the poverty that was so bad, people jumped at the chance to work in the sweatshop.

    • boh a year ago

      Yes they do. They love to talk about that and do all the time. It helps make exploiting poor people with limited protections seem moral.

      Don't forget to mention how employing a person to work 16 hours a day making clothes or a phone helps feed their family.

      • civilized a year ago

        I share your moral objections to exploitative working conditions. But most of us aren't doing those people any good. Work opportunities, on the other hand -- even exploitative ones -- do seem to be doing them good, if they are voluntarily choosing to do them. I think that should humble and temper all of our moral sensibilities a little, when we are attempting to judge a development like this as Good or Bad.

        Here is something doing good for poor people, and here we are, doing nothing for those poor people, judging it. That feels off to me.

        If this was Stripe Slavery, I would have no problem calling it Bad. I don't support slavery. But empowering people to engage in voluntary working arrangements -- it can be abused, sure, but Bad? I'm skeptical.

        • vore a year ago

          drunk driving may kill a lot of people, but it also helps a lot of people get to work on time, so, it;s impossible to say if its bad or not,

          • civilized a year ago

            Oh jeez, I quit Twitter and it's followed me here.

      • jimmySixDOF a year ago

        I have worked off and on with an overseas engineering company. The department I work through has a secretary who left his South Asian home and family to work there in basic accomodations sending home every overtime hour he could get his hands on. One of the best days I can remember in an office is being introduced to his son the recent engineering graduate who just joined the company. Following the success of that young mans career as he went to better and better jobs makes me smile and shields me a little from the over woke virtue signaling brigade of people who probably mean well but tend to let their outrage at a problem get in the way of actually fixing it.

        • vore a year ago

          Your solution to fixing the problem is... hoping you have a successful child?

          • jimmySixDOF a year ago

            not sure where I proposed a solution but if there is one, I can tell you it will not involve crying out exploitation when someone offers an impoverished person the opportunity to pull themselves up somewhere better in life, just because you think it's unjust for that poverty they live in to exist in the first place but yet also have no working alternative.

            • vore a year ago

              Sidestepping your culture war flaming, this is just a race to the bottom. Are we supposed to give employers are free pass to work someone to the bone just because they're poor? Surely we can also acknowledge that, that while it's unfortunate that having a sweatshop job is often better than no job, employers should not treat their employees like shit either.

          • imtringued a year ago

            Do you think school is a lottery?

            • vore a year ago

              Of course. Quality of education highly depends on your family's economic background -- the worst off you are, the lower your chances of leaving poverty are. We can cherry-pick the success stories for those who did escape the poverty trap but in aggregate it doesn't look so great.

      • XorNot a year ago

        "that child worker could be an important income source to help feed their family"

        I've heard that in polite settings when I was younger, and my absolute rage at it has only grown.

    • vore a year ago

      Paul Krugman literally wrote a notorious article about this.

      • hef19898 a year ago

        The more I think about the current state of things, and the more I learn about the ugly truth behind the industrial revolution prior to workers rights and such, the more I understand how Marx came to his conclusions. And why the communist movement developed.

        Last time, the industrial revolution ate the artisans. Then automation ate the blue collar jobs in the industrialized world. It seem digitalization is going to eat the white collar jobs, kind of starting, it seems, with the lower level dev jobs that helped to bring this whole thing about in the first place. Early on it was workers forming unions that brought change about, not sure if white collar employees, currently being highly paid, will do the same thing.

  • datadata a year ago

    Cheaper labor is sought, but also workers are capable of doing more and more productive work due to technology. The net is economic growth. Maybe I am an optimist, but generally things have gotten better. For example poverty globally has been plummeting.

    Given also this announcement is a new capability for how to get paid, not an impairment or obligation, I would hope it wouldn't have detrimental results.

    • hkt a year ago

      I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but in the UK we have a woeful record of investing in anything new, at least in recent memory. Offshoring and outsourcing are both cheaper than doing anything new with technology, so companies do it whenever they can.

      Which is to say that, certainly for now, there's a conflict between technological progress and profit, because cheap labour is so reliable and de-risked compared to eg, creating new machines to automate a process that is currently outsourced. Risks include being undercut by cheap labour, too.

      All of which is to say, I don't share your optimism. Maybe there's a case to be made for global full employment being preferable to a highly automated economy, but that begs the question of how to make work itself less hostile to life.

  • birracerveza a year ago

    You get paid in unregulated tokens which you can trade for hard cash money, if you so need. What's bad with having the option to do so?

  • porsager a year ago

    Or maybe everyone could have a more prosperous life, if we didn't have so many people, like you, scared of losing their priviledged positions, and using exploitation as an excuse to quell any potential competition. If you're so afraid anyone will get exploited, spend your time telling them how much you make, so they dare charge a bit more.

    • boh a year ago

      It's amazing how cutting into corporate profits is now considered unethical. Educated people from first world countries wanting a living wage and benefits? How greedy of them. If there's one thing missing from every 10k it's how prosperous "everyone" is becoming.

      • porsager a year ago

        Yes, indeed greedy..

        > If there's one thing missing from every 10k it's how prosperous "everyone" is becoming.

        What does that even mean?

  • from a year ago

    I can assure you that most developers from the former Soviet Union would prefer USDC over their fake local currencies any day of the week.

gitgud a year ago

To be specific they're allowing transfer to the USDC token, which is a "stable coin" pegged to the USD currency and owned by coin base.

This is a fairly low risk move by Stripe, as USDC is more open and trusted than USDT (Tether)

  • sneak a year ago

    Issued by Coinbase. It is owned by whoever has it.

    They are also easily and instantly (and perhaps most importantly permissionlessly) exchangeable to hundreds of other tokens thanks to DeFi swap smart contracts.

    • MacsHeadroom a year ago

      USDC is not permissionless. Coinbase froze all USDC in Tornado on the Ethereum blockchain, for examaple.

      • sneak a year ago

        That's after the fact. Anyone can use and trade in USDC without being whitelisted.

        You can receive payments in USDC and immediately exchange them for other safer tokens if you wish, and if you use a fresh address each time, nobody can stop you.

        • mudrockbestgirl a year ago

          That doesn't make it permissionless. The parent is right. USDC is closer to an IOU than a permissionless ERC20 token because the contract it uses has been modified for the centralized blacklist functionality and can lock you out any time.

          It's the same as a centralized bank. If you get your salary deposited you can also go and take out cash immediately, but until you do, you don't truly own the par value.

    • pjc50 a year ago

      I think what people are pointing out is that "permissionless" is a function of the legal environment, not the technology. If you "permissionlessly" send some pseudo-dollars to Iran you're relying on your opsec and lack of enforcement, rather than the permission which you didn't get.

djbusby a year ago

Now when stripe suddenly shuts down your business you can be even more outta-luck than when it was USD. Better for them you're on the no-recourse crypto.

  • zeroclip a year ago

    This comment is misinformed; if the asset lies your non custodial wallet, only Circle can blacklist your USDC funds. So far Circle has mostly only frozen funds related to government sanctions.

    Users are free to exchange the funds to DAI which cannot be frozen by a centralized issuer.

  • sneak a year ago

    Quite the opposite is true. USDC payments are fast and irreversible.

comfypotato a year ago

I stopped reading at “in 5 years the majority of workers will be freelancers”. Am I missing something? Seems like an incredibly naive article. The statement I mentioned, for example, either doesn’t know what a freelancer or majority is. Or am I totally in the dark regarding how the world is employed? Basic functions of society around the world will still require traditionally employed people as the majority, yes? Not to mention that the corporate workplace isn’t going away anytime soon in the developed world.

Take your typical painting/handyman/landscaping/small-scale-construction business as an example. In the US at least: you could call the owner a freelancer, but the majority of the small business is traditionally employed workers.

  • jt2190 a year ago

    They’re citing this report:

    “Freelance Forward Economist Report” by Dr. Adam Ozimek for Upwork.

    • comfypotato a year ago

      That source says that the majority of post grads In the US work as free lancers. And you’re still implying that in 5 years the majority of all workers will be free lancers. These statistics are a joke. I literally do not know a single freelancer in my post grad program. I have never met a freelancer who is a post grad. I don’t care enough to sift through the bullshit of your source to see what they actually researched. Upwork is a bullshit site that wants 30 YOE workers to program for $20.00 an hour. This HN post is a waste of time.

      Thanks for the source though, don’t mean to sound annoyed at you but rather the post in general.

  • hef19898 a year ago

    I read it less as a prediction and more like a goal of the, pardon the French, capitalist elite for future employment. Amazon's constabt fight against unions, the Apple-Google-Facebook cartel around SV dev salaries, they all fall into the same bucket.

colesantiago a year ago

It is a massive mistake that Stripe is offering anything in the crypto space as everyone and Stripe knows it is full of fraud, money laundering, scams and it is completely unregulated.

I look forward to the day that Stripe will get investigated for all of the above with this and end up like Paypal, eventually freezing or banning these accounts.

Crypto does not offer anything new at all.

EDIT: It seems Stripe and Crypto apologists have downvoted & flagged my comment since Stripe is somehow a HN / YC darling that is immune from valid criticism even if they venture into crypto scamming, with no usecase that is better than the current financial system.

Crypto is only used for speculating and will eventually collapse under regulation.


Stripe is no exception here for regulation and will comply by banning accounts if these 'remittances' are fraudulent as the majority of them most likely are.

Even in El Salvador, the country that has adopted bitcoin, merchants aren't using it for payments because they lose money extremely quickly due to volatility, so there isn't a usecase for cryptocurrencies or blockchain at all.

  • karaterobot a year ago

    Crypto is very popular among people working in rich countries who send remittances back to their families in other countries. That's a legitimate use, a very popular use, and is obviously what Stripe is going for here.

    • hef19898 a year ago

      Isn't that what Western Union is doing, rather well and gobally?

      • karaterobot a year ago

        I don't know if this product will successfully compete with Western Union.

    • lawgimenez a year ago

      I'm not sure where you got this info from but my relatives in the US sends money via Xoom. Nobody's touching crypto.

      • djbusby a year ago

        TransferWise, now just Wise works awesome too.

        • mudrockbestgirl a year ago

          Not only much more expensive and slower than crypto, but also not permissionless. I had funds frozen up for before because of an identity/location verification misunderstanding. It was all sorted out through customer support, but it took a week. Closed my account after that because I don't want to take that risk, I just want to transfer funds without middleman hassle.

          Great as long as it works for you. Just wait until you yourself are stuck in a situation such as "Google locked my account and I can't reach support", "Stripe banned my business for no good reason" or "Wise froze my funds" - you literally see these threads on HN every week. Crypto suddenly starts to look a lot more appealing once you've experienced these situations yourself.

        • refsab a year ago

          I'm using Binance P2P. By far the cheapest way to transfer funds from rich to poor countries.

          Have used Wise in the past because it's very convenient to use but they are just extremely expensive compared to P2P crypto.

          Also they don't support many countries or only support one direction.

          Not a crypto bro and very critical of crypto fads normally but this use case actually works for a regular person like me.

          Going to try Xoom though and check their rates. Hadn't heard of them.

        • lawgimenez a year ago

          Yes but my relatives are old-ish and not the tech type.

    • jfghi a year ago

      Once the remittance is received, how is it then exchanged for the currency the recipient needs?

      • skybrian a year ago

        Here's a pretty in-depth article about how things work in Argentina. I know nothing other than what's in the article, but apparently, many of the local black market exchanges ("cuevas") use cryptocurrency internally (instead of carrying stacks of US dollars around on motorcycles) and will exchange crypto for cash for their customers.

      • rafaelm a year ago

        From my own experience, you can use a very popular exchange that has a huge P2P marketplace, precisely for this.

        • missedthecue a year ago

          What is this marketplace named?

          • refsab a year ago

            It's Binance P2P. You can transfer crypto directly into local currency. It uses local residents as liquidity providers.

            • rafaelm a year ago

              Yep that's it. I just didn't want it to look like I was shilling something in the comments :)

              Locally, Binance P2P is used a lot for remittances, and plenty of establishments use it as a way to receive payments as well. I've seen the Binance QR code in a bunch of restaurants and autoparts stores, for example

              I used it earlier this year to send money to my sister in Argentina. Super fast, no fuss.

              • throw101010 a year ago

                Just to balance this, Bisq is a decentralized alternative P2P marketplace (based on Bitcoin mainly) which will keep working even in adverse conditions, where a centralized company like Binance will generally restrict/stop their activity if a government shows their teeth.

    • yao420 a year ago

      Coinbase closed their remittance project due to absolutely minuscule usage. Like a couple thousand of dollars a month or value being transferred.

      If the biggest player in the crypto space can’t get enough users, I’m doubting any real adoption.

      • crypt1d a year ago

        Let's not mistake Coinbase's ability to execute for a lack of user interest. If anything, Coinbase has plenty of failed projects under their belt (and while they are certainly popular in the US, they are not the 'biggest player' by any measure).

  • x-complexity a year ago

    > EDIT: It seems Stripe and Crypto apologists have downvoted & flagged my comment since Stripe is somehow a HN / YC darling that is immune from valid criticism even if they venture into crypto scamming, with no usecase that is better than the current financial system.

    > It is a massive mistake that Stripe is offering anything in the crypto space as everyone and Stripe knows it is full of fraud, money laundering, scams and it is completely unregulated.

    The argument is engaging in "everything is X" talk by blanketing an entire space as only engaging in negative impacts.

    It should be noted that the percentage of crypto used in illicit activity is significantly less than 1%, compared to the estimated 2-5% of global GDP that is involved in money laundering alone within traditional financial ecosystems. (page 1)

    Using the same argument, it could be said that cash should be banned because its private & semi-anonymous nature allows for its use in transactions for gambling, drug use, child porngraphy, assasinations, & slave trafficking.

    • Cederfjard a year ago

      > Using the same argument, it could be said that cash should be banned because its private & semi-anonymous nature allows for its use in transactions for gambling, drug use, child porngraphy, assasinations, & slave trafficking.

      If we somehow magically had come up with a cashless system first, and cash instead was introduced now, I am quite sure that yes there would be calls to ban it for those reasons. It is however an ancient legacy system that's deeply entrenched in our societies, so we're living with it for now, although perhaps not forever.

    • colesantiago a year ago

      At least cash is accepted everywhere in domestic countries, and even it's online it's card. Crypto isn't widely accepted or even used as a form of payment in the real world and has no useful legitimate usecase. We don't need more unregulated tokens that have no intrinsic value other than speculation, gambling and fraud.

      Sure we have issues in the current financial system, but augmenting (and dare I say) replacing it with an entirely worse unregulated system which loses people money through scams, increases and emboldens ransomware and exposes people to huge volatility is not the way to go.

      > The argument is engaging in "everything is X" talk by blanketing an entire space as only engaging in negative impacts.

      The negative impacts are FAR greater than the positive impacts of crypto.

      • zeroclip a year ago

        Cash is not accepted everywhere. Lots of countries are nearly cashless, with small merchants already unable to accept cash.

  • djohnston a year ago

    this is a real lazy take mate. i mean, i agree that the crypto industry is plauged by fraud and posers, but to say that blockchain offers nothing new is just showing ignorance of the technology.

    i recommend reading the original bitcoin whitepaper to understand what is new:

    • colesantiago a year ago

      What can crypto and blockchain legitimately offer that is better than what the current financial system offers?

      The Bitcoin whitepaper outlines a P2P payments system, today it isn't used as such, rather a store of value, not even Stripe is using Bitcoin for payments at all.

      So what use are these cryptocurrencies for, if not for scams and fraud?

      • tenpies a year ago

        > What can crypto and blockchain legitimately offer that is better than what the current financial system offers?

        Cancellation resistance. Protection from oppressive governments trying to squash freedom. Protection from retroactive laws targeting previously legal transactions. Asset protection.

        And look I agree with you. And everything I posted above carries a huge cost given the volatility of most cryptocurrencies, but unfortunately we live in times where if you truly care about freedom from tyranny, your behaviour is going to overlap heavily with criminal behaviour.

        • colesantiago a year ago

          I don't think evading sanction laws and taxes with crypto is a great use case and Stripe will be investigated and ordered to ban accounts doing this behaviour.

          So you're back to the current regulated system that works, is stable and is the best we have.

      • datadata a year ago

        From the article:

        > Speed is one advantage of crypto payouts. Reach is another. Millions of talented freelancers live in countries where it’s hard, if not impossible, to open a local bank account. For example, a majority of the people in Djibouti, El Salvador, and Bhutan don't have bank accounts. With Stripe, freelancers in those countries are now able to receive funds via USDC in minutes. With the addition of USDC, Stripe cross-border payouts extend to more than 4.4 billion people in more than 110 countries—a majority of the world’s population.

        • imachine1980_ a year ago

          I'm one of those, work remote from argentine is simply pay 90 tax becouse of a broken conversion rate technically, becouse you can pay 15 income tax and don't but have a company and return assets like bonds, is a mess . this is really useful and I trust stripe more than the competition

          • koolba a year ago

            What does “pay 90 tax” mean? Surely you don’t mean paying a 90% tax rate?!

            • ilammy a year ago

              Probably an exaggeration, but caveats apply.

              Say, you get paid in USD.

                  You got paid: 10000 USD
                  Income tax: 15%
                  Government exchange rate: 130 ARS per 1 USD
                  Unofficial exchange rate: 330 ARS per 1 USD
              Now, if you do things like daddy government says and use the official rate, you end up with this amount:

                  10000 USD * 130 = 1300000 ARS  and then  1300000 * (1 - 0.15) = 1105000
              But if you do what's good for you and still pay taxes to not go to jail:

                  10000 USD * 330 = 3300000 ARS  and then  3300000 * (1 - 0.15) = 2805000
              Now consider your "effective" tax rate:

                  You got paid: 3300000 ARS (fair market value)
                  Government rate: (3300000 - 1105000) / 3300000 = 0.66
                  Unofficial rate: (3300000 - 2805000) / 3300000 = 0.15
              Note that it's before you consider future devaluation of peso. For tax purposes you can say you received 3.3M ARS, but just keep it as 10k USD. Then your effective "government cut" rate over the years could very well be in 90% territory if you do the stupid thing and hold pesos.
        • shapefrog a year ago

          > For example, a majority of the people in Djibouti, El Salvador, and Bhutan don't have bank accounts

          > With Stripe, freelancers in those countries are now able to receive funds via USDC

          That is just people opening bank accounts, but with extra steps.

          • seibelj a year ago

            No you just use any number of mobile crypto wallets, many of which are open source. You don’t need any permission to receive USDC

        • colesantiago a year ago

          USDC is a completely centralised 'stablecoin' and has a blacklist function which means they can seize funds of people who they don't like. USDC again is not even regulated as I said with no proof backing this other than 'attestations' which is not a full audit of reserves.

          How is this decentralised money that was promised by crypto and blockchain? You may very well use Wise, Moneygram and other regulated alternatives which works better, is also relatively faster and is more stable and widely accepted than these USDC tokens.

          • pirate787 a year ago

            This is partly incorrect -- USDC is regulated and audited. You're confusing it with Tether


            • colesantiago a year ago

              No. I am talking about all stabletokens including USDC.

              I don't see any fully independent verifiable real audit of their entire reserves anywhere with USDC, and a lousy blogpost by Circle isn't strong enough evidence and no substitute of this.

          • dontknowwhyihn a year ago

            USDC can be sent peer to peer with low fees. And I would be extremely surprised if Wise or Moneygram are cheaper or faster.

            • toomuchtodo a year ago

              Does it adhere to KYC and AML at exchanges and other fiat ramps? I think it’s a clever backdoor hack to instant cross border value movement without traditional banking (Wise and company), but the reach of government is always there.

              Curious what US Treasury, FinCEN, OFAC, etcs take on this is. The plumbing is easy, it’s the laws, regulation, and compliance that are the work.

              High level, Stripe is reaching for growth when there isn’t much innovation to be had in financial utilities besides reducing waste and inefficiencies by cannibalizing your business or someone else’s while the industry continues to commodify basic services like payments, cross border transfers, and deposit accounts (lending and data is the last bastion of profits for financial services).


      • djohnston a year ago

        absolute control of your own money. borderless currency. distributed applications/smart contracts outside the reach of any state. these are my personal faves

        • colesantiago a year ago

          With Stripe and USDC you don't have control of your money at all and smart contracts don't work and are broken causing people to lose money in the millions.

          It is a fragile, brittle system that is highly likely to fail, you only need to look here to see why. [0]


          • datadata a year ago

            > smart contracts don't work and are broken

            This absolute statement is asserting that ALL smart contracts don't work. There is overwhelming evidence of some smart contracts working just fine, and of course a lot of smart contracts also have problems. It is wild to just drop all of the nuance of such a complicated issue. What new technology has been flawless without any failures along the way?

            • dmitriid a year ago

              Those things are neither smart nor contracts.

              They are just pieces of code in esoteric programming languages running on world's slowest VMs. They encode primitive trivial rulesets and are still so complex that their own authors fail to see trivial errors even after multiple audits.

              An actual real world contract such as buying or selling property (which I've done several times now) would be a beast of such byzantine proportions that it would take until the heat death of the universe to write and audit it. And it would still be unenforceable after that.

            • colesantiago a year ago

              This 'flawless argument' is an irrelevant statement, we have given blockchain technologies over 15 years to improve, but the scams have been getting bigger in an unregulated environment.

              I also don't recall any regulated bank accounts getting automatically drained or losing everybody's money due to a single scammer or a bad actor.

              One single error or exploit in these smart contracts results in millions being drained. This happens on a weekly basis with a giant lack of consumer protection, unaccountability or any chance of getting your money back (which that is a huge unsolved problem). So yes, these smart contracts do not work.

              It's a system designed to fail with thousands of disasters, rug pulls and scams just waiting to happen.

              • datadata a year ago

                This is what the arguments you are making sound like to me:

                One single failure on an airplane can kill hundreds of people, even a single line of code could crash several planes. There are just thousands of accidents waiting to happen. Planes do not work. They have had a hundred years to make planes perfectly safe. Every year more and more people fly. It is a system designed to fail.

                • colesantiago a year ago

                  The main difference you're not getting is that there is accountability and regulations for when these issues happen, Crypto has none of these and it has been over 15 years in its existence.

                  Crypto is a lawless 'decentralised' wild west that has zero accountability for when anyone loses their money in smart contract hacks, scams, wallet draining and rugpulls, in all cases your money is gone with no refunds or consumer protection.

                  So yes, it is a system designed to fail.

                  • elcamino44 a year ago

                    I think a better analogy is the internet. Or phones. By any measure, either of those technologies have unleashed a torrent of scams and fraud, especially in the areas where they are largely unregulated.

                    Of course, I’d say the benefits of cryptocurrencies are far smaller than the benefits of the internet (it’s pretty hard to compete with connecting almost the entire world into a single instant global network for the first time). But some benefits do exist, and I feel like you’re being wilfully blind if you disagree with that.

                    Of course, you might feel that the downsides (massively) outweigh the upsides. And that’s fine. Others will disagree.

                    One thing I think we can all agree on is that crypto is at least decentralized and permissionless enough to not go away any time soon, no matter who wants it gone.

                  • datadata a year ago

                    Do you honestly think there is zero accountability or regulations for all of crypto? Would not a single fee levied towards a crypto company for violation of a law invalidate the point you are trying to make?

                    I would agree with you that more regulation is needed, but to keep saying there is zero regulation is either ignorant or disingenuous. Regulation can also coexist with something that is decentralized and is not obviously adversarial, e.g. we have regulations for gold markets to prevent scams, etc.

                    • colesantiago a year ago

                      It wouldn't invalidate anything because I can list countless examples of scams, hacks, rugpulls, wallet drainings, fraud, ransomware enablement that the crypto space is responsible for. Any example of the opposite doesn't change the fact that the negative aspects are significantly greater than whatever source you can provide.

                      The list of course is too large for this comment section so somebody has already done parts of the work. [0]

                      Any user would be very lucky to get their money back in these situations, but like I said, no refunds or consumer protection in the crypto space when you lose your money.


                      EDIT: So? My point still stands about accountability, regulations or not, even Paypal knows the buying and selling of crypto assets is completely unregulated after 15 years.

                      The main point of this thread is that there is more evidence of broken smart contracts causing more damage to consumers and there is nobody to hold scammers accountable when a rugpull happens.

                      Because nobody is going to get their money back for them.

                      How is crypto, this brittle, 'decentralised' broken and unregulated system going to augment or replace the current financial system?


                      • datadata a year ago

                        You have said several times, "there is no regulation in cryto". If you know that this statement is not true, then why do you say it? Just say that there are many instances where lack of regulation has lead to bad results. I agree with that.

          • sneak a year ago

            You can immediately exchange your USDC payment for some other token that retains full control, via DeFi contracts like Uniswap.

      • madsbuch a year ago

        transparent algorithmic governance.

        I think it is easy to dismiss as a value proposition. In the end, the future will show, so we probably should not spend too much time speculating.

      • imtringued a year ago

        >What can crypto and blockchain legitimately offer that is better than what the current financial system offers?

        They don't deny the existence of negative rates.

  • telephone2 a year ago

    People seem to forget that 6 trillion dollars of liquidity was injected into the US monetary supply in 2020 (close to a 50% increase in the total USD monetary supply). The 2008 financial bailout popularized by "The Big Short" pales in comparison to what happened in 2020. While there are situations where creating liquidity via monetary policy is necessary - it sucks that it directly impacts the savings and wages of everyday people through inflation.

    Total bitcoinization would be dystopian but as a lifeboat against the inexorable spread of the negative side effects of inflation and the skyrocketing price of assets due to the cantillon effect - it is remarkably effective.

    Hate to be a parrot but... "zoom out".

    • arcticbull a year ago

      Can you find any article anywhere which quantifies the magnitude of the Cantillon effect because I certainly have looked and found absolutely nothing.

      Crypto is hardly inflation-proof, with major cryptos having fallen 80% or more in the last 6 months putting it on pace with the Lira - if you then adjust it for inflation you lose another 10%. It's somehow managed to do all that in the single most inflationary period in 50+ years. I was pretty sure we'd given up on that silly narrative. Crypto is a high-beta speculative play on US dollar liquidity in the global financial system, not a hedge on inflation.

      Wanna save money from inflation? Buy some I-bonds.

      So uh, zoom back in ;)

      [edit] Also, liquidity per (as defined by the size of the Fed's asset book) se isn't really correlated with asset prices, which is why we're doing interest rates. I recommend listening to the Odd Lots podcast with Kashkari in re: inflation.

      • imtringued a year ago

        Honestly, the cantillon effect is a red herring because any form of spending, it doesn't matter if the money is physically printed as a bank note with no debt backing it or simply spent from savings in a gold standard. If you divide the economy into two sectors, your bank account and the rest of the economy, then spending off your bank account will create a net increase in the money supply in the rest of the economy, this will raise prices in close proximity to you. Or in other words, the cantillon effect describes how price signals propagate through the economy. The strange thing is that people have this fixation on "printed" money causing inflation but as I mentioned, the cantillon effect also applies to normal spending of money that was received via taxes. If you ban the "printing" of money as we have already done by establishing central banks the cantillon effect remains.

        Where do we find proof of the cantillon effect then? Government spending as a percentage of GDP and subsequent public sector employment but then again, this isn't something new, it is boring and obvious, not some conspiracy of the government scheming against you.

    • soared a year ago

      How would crypto be immune to inflation? If prices of housing, assets, etc go up, crypto does too.

      • imtringued a year ago

        Bitcoin went down from 68k USD to 20k USD...

    • skybrian a year ago

      USDC isn't a inflation hedge. It's pegged to the dollar, after all. Looking at the chart, Bitcoin is worse than an inflation hedge for anyone who bought in 2021 or later.

      If you're worried about inflation then I-bonds seem like a less risky way to handle this. (Though the limits are too low for many people, and the website is pretty bad.)

      • imtringued a year ago

        RAI isn't really meant to be an inflation hedge but in theory people can create a price index and then index RAI bonds against it which would then allow you to maintain your purchasing power.

        TIPS and I bonds are in my opinion the way the economy should work everywhere. Yes it means nominal yields can be negative but the entire point of the concept is that the unit of account should be stable and not inflating. Even if rates are excessively negative, it is still more predictable than inflation and you know exactly how much you are losing and prices will stay the same so your salary doesn't shrink over time.

        • skybrian a year ago

          What's an RAI bond? My search didn't find anything.

  • jejeyyy77 a year ago

    Lol, feels like some people never see trends until it literally steam rolls over them.

    • imtringued a year ago

      You mean negative interest rates? Most cryptocurrencies have died as expected. Some of them are still alive but nobody really uses them as a medium of exchange.

  • notatrader a year ago

    Crypto is very trackable and especially when cashing out. Only countries without kyc/aml protections allow individuals to cash out illicit crypto and that's only a small fraction.

    Most of crypto is built on speculation which results in direct losses to consumers. And extensive and endless hacks, which is just another tax on consumers. Very little of bitcoin or any cryptocurrency is used for drugs, terrorism or other serious crimes.

    Real world money laundering (trade based etc) is 500x that of bitcoin and real world drug dealing is at least 1000x greater than darknet markets.

  • houstonn a year ago

    No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame.

  • gfodor a year ago

    these comments get increasingly funny to read as time goes on

jonathan-adly a year ago

Good for stripe. Not sure about Crypto, particularly the cyberpunk ones.

Stripe is the next Google - with the all the good and bad that this brings.

zeroclip a year ago

This is good but I wish it wasn’t specific to Braintrust. Have been in crypto for a while and have never heard of Braintrust or their token. Freelancers should just be paid directly in a ERC20, Stripe could take a small fee on transfers for their UX and API services, no need for a DAO or separate BTRST token.

  • jsemrau a year ago

    We were evaluating ETH payouts for Finclout and at the time transaction fees was a huge barrier. We are currently working with the Cardano chain because it allows for a min payout of 1 ADA which makes users happy when they get payouts more frequently and us happy because fees are low.

    • zeroclip a year ago

      Personally feel that a better solution long term is Ethereum L2 payouts.

      • imtringued a year ago

        L2 is a fragmented mess. There can only be a handful of solutions that must all be interoperable with each other. Honestly the number of L2 for Ethereum convinced me it is a deadend. Even bridging is a deadend. I have seen 6 wrapped versions of DAI on Solana. The crypto skeptics were right, you can fork cryptocurrency endlessly until it becomes difficult to agree on which chain is the right one.

        Honestly either you do everything on L1 Ethereum or you do everything on L1 Solana(or Avalanche or any other scaling blockchain), there is no room for solutions in between.

        • zeroclip a year ago

          > I have seen 6 wrapped versions of DAI on Solana.

          What does Solana have to do with Ethereum L2s? And what are you referring to about bridges, forks, chains?

          L2 = rollup. Users have several to choose from, and are not forced into a single processor like Stripe or PayPal. Withdrawal back to L1 is trustless. Interop might eventually be solved with recursive zk proofs.[1]

          Trying to build a decentralized payment infrastructure on a centralized chain like Solana sounds like a disaster.


      • Karrot_Kream a year ago

        L2s are still pretty young. Polygon is popular but is ultimately a sidechain. Optimism hasn't rolled out fully. I understand why some would not want to trust L2s yet.

        • zeroclip a year ago

          Agreed, although short term solutions like having freelancers paid in ADA just to avoid ETH fees might end up hurting users and eroding their trust in blockchains in the long run.

      • jsemrau a year ago

        The future of payouts will be omni-chain. Now that ETH is PoS, it is actually one of the benefits of the move, that there is a treasury with non-random payout cycles.

  • Karrot_Kream a year ago

    As far as I can tell, this is just an article from Stripe about Braintrust using Stripe Connect for USDC payouts. This doesn't seem to be an actual product by Stripe. Braintrust is managing the platform but using Stripe for payouts. Agreed, I haven't heard of Braintrust or their token either which would make me cautious were I to use the platform.

houston_Euler a year ago

First, I think it's great to have a talent network that's owned by it's stakeholders, but I think it's questionable to say the token holders "own" the network.

My concern is that the organization is split into two entities: (1) Freelance Labs, which owns and controls the website.[1][4], and (2) A Panamanian Non-profit that "owns" the token.[2]

Stripe's copy: "And because it’s decentralized, the people that use Braintrust also own and operate the network: Talent keeps 100% of its earnings and clients can make their budgets go further by cutting out unnecessary middle men."

#The Braintrust Foundation has nothing to do with the website:

From the TOS[1]: "This Terms of Service (also referred to as the “Agreement”) is a contract between you (“you” or “User”) and Freelance Labs, Inc. (“Freelance Labs,” “we,” or “us”)."

#The website controls the operations of the network:

Also from the TOS[1]: "The Site is a marketplace where Clients and Freelancers can identify each other and advertise, buy, and sell Freelancer Services online. Subject to the Terms of Service, Freelance Labs provides the Site Services to Users, including hosting and maintaining the Site, facilitating Projects between Users,, and assisting Users in resolving disputes which may arise in connection with those Projects Users are required invoice and pay any amounts owed for any agreed upon Projects facilitated by the Site and/or Services."

#Users keep all their earnings, except for the 10% fees clients pay:

From the Braintrust whitepaper[3]: "Talent are charged no fees: they are paid their full contracted rate (whether that be per hour or per project). Clients are charged 10% of the total contract value, an amount that is significantly less than in other networks and consulting firms.

Client fees are collected in USD, converted into BTRST, and sent to the Braintrust DAO through the Fee Converter, a smart contract that was proposed, voted on, and implemented by the community in October 2021. This process makes it possible for client fees — in the form of BTRST tokens — to pay for network operations and to fund community programs"

#The token technically doesn't own anything:

Also from Braintrust's whitepaper[3]: "BTRST is not a share of stock, does not represent a claim on profits, dividends, equity, or debt in any company or organization, and is not a financial instrument. BTRST has been adopted by the Braintrust network and users for various activities on the network only, such as for staking, governance, voting, and educational purposes"

#The token has no claim to anything:

From a podcast with Adam Jackson: "We have a token instead of a share of stock. It does not represent any financial claims, any dividends or profit sharing, simply because there is no profit. The network is meant to run sustainably. It's meant to sustain itself. And so, it charges just enough fees to get by on, paying for hosting and maintenance and upgrades and that sort of thing."

Again, I still think it's a potential improvement on the alternatives, and they've built a lot of functionality, but I just worry that the website, seemingly the only way to contract on the network, isn't owned by the foundation.

Is the foundation contractually obligated to heed to any votes from the DAO? It's not very clear that they are.

They've built out a lot[6] that makes me hopeful their network will hold its value, but I just wish they could leave no doubt that their users own the network as well as the resources that power that network.

For example, what if once the network has gained enough value, the owners of Freelance Labs sell the website to UpWork? Can they, and if so, what happens then?

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

trhway a year ago

> Then he went on Braintrust and met Stardust, a US-based NFT gaming company. They paid Singh to work remotely, ... In his first three months on Braintrust, Singh earned $50,000

I wish the best to the guy, yet i'm wondering does anybody think it is kind of fishy?

knorker a year ago

I don't understand how this is related to the future of work. Is it just clickbait?

Or are they making the assumption that the future of work is freelance gig economy? That sounds awful. And it's not how I've seen the phrase used before.

zhoujianfu a year ago

I hope they are also offering USDC on polygon so the fees are less than a penny instead of generalll more than a dollar.