A new dApp on NEO is bringing microwork to the blockchain. The platform is called EffectForce, and it pays users to perform tasks involving image classification, transcription, facial recognition, and survey responses.
Yesterday’s video update announced a reopened private beta and upcoming video coverage by two crypto news channels and shows. This suggests that the project is nearing a wider release, or at least is seeking new users.
EffectForce’s main competitor is mTurk, Amazon’s popular crowdsourcing site. Amazon mTurk pays users to perform brief tasks, but it has long been criticized due to its poor compensation model. EffectForce explains:
“The lack of competition enables Amazon to charge companies using its platform fees of up to 40%. Workers, on the other hand, have to deal with all sorts of restrictions while making less than US minimum wage.”
Although microwork, by definition, does not pay much (tasks may take only a few minutes or seconds), some of the money that workers could be receiving is lost due to the fees that Amazon collects.
Cryptocurrencies with low transaction fees can facilitate micropayments, and the creators of EffectForce claim that they “will not retain any commission.” The platform has also introduced the EFX token to facilitate payments and build a marketplace.
Other blockchain-based microwork platforms are taking a similar approach: Gems is a similar platform based on Ethereum that is currently in alpha, and Coinworker is a long-established Bitcoin-based microwork site. Collectively, these will help get money directly to microworkers.
Suggested Reading : Learn more about NEO in our ‘What is NEO?‘ beginner’s guide.
Another problem is the fact that not everyone can use mTurk: Amazon must adhere to local regulations in order to offer its services to particular countries. Cryptocurrency, however, facilitates international transactions, meaning that EffectForce “is accessible to workers regardless of their nationality.”
Of course, regulations could make actual adoption and approval difficult for EffectForce. The platform will have (seemingly optional) identity verification based on Civic. Ideally, this will let workers display their qualifications, but in a worst case scenario, identity verification could plausibly let regulators intervene.
Private Beta Reopens
As with many projects in their early stages, users are concerned about the status of EffectForce. One Redditor noticed several uncompleted tasks and exclaimed, “Where are all the beta testers?”
Part of the reason for EffectForce’s recent inactivity was reportedly due to NEO-related issues such as spamming and downtimes, which the team has been working around. Although EffectForce won’t be fully open for some time now, there is at last another window for those who wish to enter the private beta.
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