This blog introduces to you the FLAN Token (FLN) and our partnership with Celo.

Looking at the global economy today, there’s a huge demand for workers at every skill level. Not only that, but work has never been easier to do remotely! International clients are no longer a characteristic for big corporations, and all from the convenience of our homes. So naturally once a bridge has been built between client and freelancer and the project details are determined, the questions that follow are: how will the designer get paid? What is the currency? What’s the most convenient method of payment?

There are many options to consider when thinking about the currency. Some freelancers choose to get paid according to the client’s country of origin, so if the client was in France then the payment is in Euro. Other designers set their currency from the beginning regardless of where they or their clients are located. It can also depend on where the online platform the freelancer uses to get the gig is based; for example, if the freelancer uses FLAN - a US-based company- then one of two options would be to use the US dollar. The second option on FLAN would be the Flan token, which brings me to the main topic of this blog: cryptocurrency as payment for freelancing gigs. Here’s what I’ll be discussing:

  1. Where is this coming from?
  2. The FLAN Token
  3. Blockchain 101
  4. Cryptocurrencies?
  5. Should you get paid via cryptocurrency?

1. Where is this coming from?

To give you a little background into why FLAN is launching its own token, let me start with what is currently taking place worldwide. If you’ve been following tech news for the last decade, you are aware of the rising value and opportunities being offered via blockchain technology,  specifically decentralized financing. Decentralized financing means that a financial transaction does not need a middle party to facilitate the transaction, ie. banks. With this concept in mind, cryptocurrencies emerged.

On another note, 2020 is considered a turning point for many employees and employers. COVID put the 9-5 working system under scrutiny and forced us to look for efficient alternatives when it comes to performing many jobs. Due to the success of many of these alternatives, many freelancers and employees are exploring and settling into nomadic and flexible lifestyles that do not revolve around work and are considering means of payment that embrace this flexibility and facilitate opportunities. This is where cryptocurrencies enter the picture. Many freelancers and employees see the potential in cryptocurrencies as a way to cut down on transfer fees, exchange rates, and banking intermediates, and are requesting they get paid via cryptocurrency.

2. The FLAN Token (FLN)?

At FLAN, providing fair and global opportunities for freelancers by utilizing futuristic solutions is an important part of the company’s values. This includes ensuring that FLAN is up-to-date with upcoming payment methods including cryptocurrencies, making it a crypto freelance platform. Recently, FLAN partnered with Celo (a global payment infrastructure for cryptocurrencies) to create the FLAN Token, a cryptocurrency based on the Celo platform.

The FLAN token is set as an option for freelancers and clients to utilize on the platform. It is not mandatory and you have the option of using USD for payment instead. For more information about the FLAN token, FLN, you can check out the whitepaper here.

3. Blockchain 101

To get a clearer idea of what I'm talking about and a better grasp of this new technology, you should start by understanding the basics: blockchain technology.

What is a Blockchain? 

A blockchain, according to Investopedia, is “a distributed database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network”. The name comes from the way that data is stored within this database, in blocks, that have a limited capacity for information, so that once it is filled up a new block is created and chained to the previous block of information. Another way I like to think of blockchain is that it is a contract or spreadsheet set in stone for all to see, you can further carve into this stone and connect a new stone to it, but you can never remove anything that is already there.

Why is it so special?

This is a very valid question, dear reader. Blockchains are special for a number of reasons, the first being that all transactions and actions made on the blockchain are stored on it permanently. This means that you can trace every blockchain to its creation! Secondly, any transaction on the blockchain is public and for all to see. Each blockchain has a peer-to-peer network that receives instantaneous information about the blockchain and can confirm the validity of the transaction, ensuring transparency and pinpointing any change.

How does Blockchain become a currency?

Blockchain technology offers plenty of opportunities for the future especially with the peer-to-peer decentralized validation process taking place for each transaction and addition of information. The most talked-about use of blockchains is cryptocurrencies

The paper money we use originated from the barter system of exchanging a good or service with an object of value i.e. a golden or silver coin. The value of this coin is determined by its users and how much they use it. Currently, we’ve replaced the coin with paper; however, the value of this paper is not always equivalent to a set sum of gold or silver. It can stem from the demand for this paper that is needed for transactions (as is the case with the US dollar). The larger the number of transactions carried out by a certain paper the higher the value of this paper and the stronger it can stand on its own without the need for gold or silver to counter it since people will still use it to exchange with goods and services. The cryptocurrencies in their infancy are like the paper dollar in its early days, a spreadsheet that is exchanged between individuals for money. The more exchanges it goes through, the higher its value and buying power; and the more people who use it, the higher its demand and consequently its value.

4. Cryptocurrencies

Despite the similar journey into gaining value, it’s important to understand that cryptocurrencies operate in a different manner than normal currencies. What this means is that cryptocurrency exchanges occur between two parties, but because a cryptocurrency is based on a specific blockchain type, then any transaction will have to be confirmed by the peer-to-peer network of this blockchain to ensure that it is valid and that this blockchain is not hacked. Furthermore, a cryptocurrency transaction does not need a third party to facilitate any transfer of funds or transaction, which means that banks are not needed in this monetary exchange. It only needs to adhere to the guidelines set by the smart contract, or blockchain it is based on, which are automatically agreed upon when acquiring the cryptocurrency. In the case of the FLAN token, FLN, an ERC-20 blockchain is used and operated on the Celo infrastructure which also uses the same blockchain for its own token.

Benefits of using a cryptocurrency

While it is still not the most common way of payment, there is no doubt it will become more common in the coming years, especially with the introduction of the metaverse. The US considers cryptocurrencies a digital asset, with many countries following lead and wanting to be at the forefront of this technology. This means that if you consider getting paid with cryptocurrency and use a crypto freelance platform, you are opening up doors for yourself to invest in assets that will gain value over time and have the ability to multiply your income. Additionally, cryptocurrency allows you a quick and easy transfer of assets in addition to accessibility to your money from any place in the world. It can be a secure currency in countries with unstable currencies or volatile environments. A FLAN token’s value would not be affected by the economic challenges taking place in a country, making it a relatively stable incubator for your money.

Things you will need to be aware of when dealing with cryptocurrencies

While cryptocurrencies offer secure and quick transactions with no control from banks or governments, they are still an emerging technology that has a long way to go before it matures from a legislative point of view. That being said, countries around the world have different policies when it comes to cryptocurrencies and how to convert a cryptocurrency into the intended real-world currency. Moreover, despite the security and stability of cryptocurrencies, they remain volatile market assets with fluctuating rates. Make sure that you fully understand how to navigate ‘the field’ before you acquire a cryptocurrency; understand that you have the option of sleeping on your tokens rather than selling them immediately.

5. Enter the Cryptoverse or stay on the sidelines?

It's interesting to see the leaps of efficiency and opportunities that technologies such as blockchain bring to our everyday lives. The cryptocurrency seems to be a promising method of payment with many advantages waiting to be uncovered as time goes by, nevertheless, this path is not without its own risks. Acquiring cryptocurrencies is being facilitated by many businesses and countries around the world, and one of those businesses is FLAN. FLAN is aiming at being at the forefront of cutting-edge technology to provide its community of freelance designers and clients an option to further optimize their transactions and belong to the bigger community of Celo and crypto-holders worldwide. You can invest and get paid at the same time with the Flan token, it’s a win-win.

Let me know what you think about cryptocurrencies and crypto payment platforms below! Or join the discussion on any of Flan’s social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram. You can also email me at rasha@flan.design