On January 31st, 2018, a San Francisco based project known as Thor released their white paper titled ‘How Blockchain Will Fix The Gig Economy’.
At its core, the Thor platform allows for participants in the ‘gig’ economy to find work. The gig economy is comprised of freelancers, contractors, temps, and on-demand workers who are generally hired on short contracts or for individual tasks. Examples of popular gig economy platforms include Uber and TaskRabbit. According to the white paper, it is predicted that the gig economy will make up to 43% of the American workforce by 2020.
However, the issue with the gig economy is that it is difficult for participants to achieve financial stability or access benefits such as group health insurance. These are among two pain points which Thor intends to address through its platform.
Thor will offer contractors group policy healthcare, using the collective buying power of the ecosystem to subsidise the cost of the plans. One of the major benefits of this approach is that companies looking to hire on-demand workers can offer cost effective health benefits at no additional cost to the company itself. In addition, a contractor will be able to move from one gig to another without having to worry about losing insurance, as is the case today, with many employers essentially being the gatekeepers to health benefits.
Additionally, using Thor tokens and NEO smart contracts, contractors will be able to receive near real time payments. The white paper cities a 2014 study that found that one in every two freelancers had trouble being paid that year, and that over 71% had trouble collecting payments at some point in their career. It was also reported that these workers were being shorted an average of nearly $6,000 per year.
Thor intends to alleviate these issues through the use of tokens and smart contracts, effectively guaranteeing that the worker receives timely payment upon work completion. To help both companies and workers adapt to the new platform, Thor will integrate with an exchange such as GDAX or NEX to convert fiat into Thor tokens and back again. The employer will have the benefit of receiving pay check processing at no cost. The employee can choose how much of their pay check they would like to receive in Thor tokens and how much should be in USD.
Contractors will also have the option of holding a Thor VISA card, which will entitle the owner to discounts and promotions from partnering brands.
Thor will make it simple for employees and on-demand workers to connect through the Gig Network, allowing all users to manage the workflow and application process. Workers will be able to find high paying gigs to assist with their time management and be kept in the loop for other work opportunities. Easy onboarding to gigs along with the real time payments will help alleviate the earlier mentioned issue of financial stability experienced by on-demand workers.
Thor intends to target the San Francisco Bay Area in onboarding companies to the Thor platform, as they have many existing relationships with start ups in this region. Thor hopes that the incentives of zero cost pay check processing and health care access for gig employees will be enough to entice companies to use the platform. Through demonstrating successful use of Thor with these early adopters, Thor will leverage this success to attract larger partners.
A token sale will be held during the first half of 2018, where Thor plans to raise $40m split between public and private sale. A total of 100,000,000 tokens will be minted, with 50,000,000 being sold for $1 each (early private investors can purchase at $0.80), and 50,000,000 being reserved for business expenses and running costs.
Amongst the Thor team is CEO, David Chin, who through his role as the head of international business development at Dubai Silicon Oasis helped place over 2000 companies and over $10B+ worth of technology growth in Dubai, and CTO, Matt Moravec, a City of Zion developer who also built the ad engine used on nytimes.com and was the architect of many A/B testing and personalization programs at CNN, NYTimes, ABC, NYPost, and Disney.