The Internet has, since its inception, been a boon for firms which offer digital services like web and graphic design, but often in the midst of a larger goal, producers only need some small part of a project completed by those with expert hands. Hiring out such work to large firms can be costly, and once you’ve committed that part of your budget, you can’t try again with someone else without going over budget.
In 2010, Fiverr launched with a simple strategy: pay only $5 for what people would be willing to do for $5. It turned out that college students, people with other streams of income, and those in less expensive economies would be willing to do a lot for $5. Personally, I was able to start a transcription business with clients I garnered through Fiverr, long before their system perfected the art of disallowing outside contact. Between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011, I made a fair amount of money, largely with referrals from the original clients I sneaked away from Fiverr.
Why did I want to sneak them away from Fiverr? Well, the 20% Fiverr tax, of course! In more recent times, I’ve been far more interested in cryptocurrency topics, and I’ve had the recurring thought that someone should create a site like Fiverr which is based on cryptocurrencies. Especially for parts of the world that have difficulty making use of PayPal, like India, which charges a 30% fee to Indian patrons.
Enter BitLancerr, the outsourcing service based solely on cryptocurrency. Its system is very much like Fiverr’s, but instead of using PayPal, it uses Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. CCN sat down with Wali Farooqui, one of BitLancerr’s founders, on a Saturday afternoon, for a chat.
CCN: So, I think a lot of folks have been wanting something like BitLancerr for a long time. That you work with multiple cryptocurrencies is also nice. Someone mentioned that Fiverr accepts Bitcoin now. What makes BitLancerr better than Fiverr?
WF: It’s true, Fiverr is accepting Bitcoin but it is also charging a lot for that option. Although we are offering similar services, we have a different approach than Fiverr. As of now, we target creative and talented professionals who are willing to work for cryptos. We have regulated bitcoin prices to keep job value constant. We are targeting freelancers from South East Asia, where they face several problems like high transaction fee by PayPal and government interferences during their payment cycle. Only digital currencies may offer them a better alternative to trade. Our basic target are people at grass root level who don’t have substitute of earning bitcoin other than mining.
CCN: So Fiverr charges a vendor around 20%. What does BitLancerr charge?
WF: For seller it’s just 10% and for buyers it will be free from this Monday.
CCN: How much usage have you seen?
WF: Well, we have received an overwhelming response, around 100+ registrations. We are monitoring jobs and publishing only relevant ones. To date we have received three orders. So, I think it’s a good start for us, as Rome was not built in a day.
CCN: How much marketing do you intend to do in order to expand the buyer base?
WF: Currently, we are pulling funds from our salaries. We don’t have investment as of now. But we plan to pitch our idea to some investors. We have planned to run a campaign especially for buyers by the end of this April. Money matters a lot. We are working on our detailed business plan to woo investors. We are the only player in the market accepting different digital currencies. We are planning to approach investors via Angel.co.
CCN: So what do you guys do for day jobs? You said you’re mostly propping up the site with your salaries.
WF: Our team is diverse and has 10 members with different demography and disciplines. We code for survival. We have coding experience of around 5 years. Two guys are from marketing domain and one member is responsible handling for legal aspects of BitLancerr.
CCN: Where are most of you based? Where is the company based?
WF: Basically core team members are from South East Asia, but We have individuals from US and UK also. Founder and co-founder of BitLancerr are from India, and company is registered in India. And We focus on catering to the world’s largest freelancer community living in South East Asia.
CCN; So it gives them better access to funds, since they can cash out on Asian Bitcoin exchanges?
WF: Yes, most of the freelancers are from South East Asia, but due to high transaction fee charged by PayPal and government interferences, they face problems almost at every payment cycle. For example, in India it’s flat 30% on any business done via PayPal. In India, Bitcoin is not illegal, so there are several bitcoin exchanges. I think our services may help them to get paid in real value of their hard work.
CCN: So, an Indian wanting to use Fiverr via Paypal will pay 50% to access their money! That’s crazy.
WF: Yes, crazy but true.
WF: There is an on-going debate on the functionality of traditional business processes. Many companies are embracing idea of virtual offices. And startups look around for freelancers to get job done within short span of time without hiring full-time employees. And with the popularity of Internet culture, everybody wants to be master of their own. I think this will create a very good business opportunity for BitLancerr.
CCN: So if you were talking to someone on the subway, how would you pitch the site to them as a way to get a task done? What would you say?
WF: Evolution is everywhere, so does with currencies. Commodity based, politically based, and now maths based. It’s the beginning of a new era. You may mine but you will not be able to reap value out of it. If you have talent and creativity, then we have created marketplace tailored for you. Trade your talent at BitLancerr, and earn digital money.