The decentralized ecosystem is a dream for those of us optimistic enough to believe in it. However, in my humble opinion, there are folks who would seek to desecrate such a belief by acting in sketchy ways with freelancers. In my humble opinion, the Ethereum community needs to do a better job at establishing standards for projects that it takes on and people it trusts. With that in mind, I’ve created some basic guidelines for crypto freelancers who are not co-founders in an organization/DAO/etc. on the projects which they are working on.
- Research the organization. Look at their website, look at their team. Are these people you want to work with or do they just look like people you want to work with? Bonus points: meet them IRL first before doing work if that’s a possibility.
- Join a professional organization such as Raid Guild, but still do your own vetting of projects.
- Make sure the terms of payment are upfront and the metrics by which you will be evaluated are reasonable expectations.
- If something is confusing, ask a question about it. It may be uncomfortable, but it will be less of a hassle down the line. Better to seem unknowledgeable than to not know a crucial bit of information that you may have missed.
- Get it in writing. Do not make agreements over Zoom and then expect them to be followed. Make sure you have telegram or discord chats to back up what your arrangement is and what to expect and keep records in case they may edit them in the future.
Pro-tip: If someone offers you something called a “native token” in exchange for your work or tries to say it’s like dollars, run. They likely do not intend on compensating you fairly and it is essentially slave labor in exchange for nothing. It is not a reputable organization that would do this to you and expect you to work part-time or full-time or at all really. Real work pays off with real money (DAI, ETH, something off-rampable to fiat).
- See if you can get paid 1/2 upfront and 1/2 upon delivering results or in tranches specific to your deliverables and not have the deliverables move.
- Offer to do an escrow contract if you know how to code smart contracts or check out OpenLaw for that. This way you know the money exists and is there instead of getting scammed when you look to get paid and have already delivered a product/code/blog posts etc.
- When in doubt, ask for help on terms of a project. If something seems unfair, it may actually be unfair.
Right now, it’s trust based. In the future, Raid Guild is adopting a widespread use of escrow contracts for freelance projects. with mediation/ADR from lexDAO in the future using contracts like lxl from lexDAO. I’m currently contributing some security audits to the smart contracts for it.
These are just a few recommendations that I wanted to write up and not a comprehensive guide for crypto freelancers. Just wanted to put this out there because I hadn’t seen anything like this written up and recently had an unsavory experience that could have been avoided.
I hope this helps!