Labor in the 21st Century: Cryptoeconomics, Communities and Global Markets

This post is by jlk from The Barefoot VC

Today is Labor Day in the United States, a day when we are supposed to reflect on everyday people who work hard to make sure our economy works. The past two years have upended the 20th century industrial model of working – with COVID, many workers had to work from home. Another group of workers, who we called “essential workers”, which included delivery workers, grocery workers, healthcare workers and first responders continued their physical work.

Underlying some of these bifurcations was an even larger movement at play, one that only started to gain momentum in early 2021, one year after COVID forced many workers home – the emergence of a crypto economy that enables creators to connect directly with collectors of their work. Last year we had a “DeFi” summer, where peer-to-peer finance was being conducted through crypto products worldwide. Many people, some of whom who hadn’t been able to previous borrow and lend through their existing markets, were able to do so and accumulate assets; others, not satisfied with the yields they were getting in the traditional markets, turn to DeFi to increase their potential returns.

This year, we saw a markedly different demographic start trading and collecting NFTs. The growing NFT infrastructure allowed those that were not able to find markets for their art before to monetize their work through online global communities. Twitter is full of stories of artists who have been able to make hundreds of thousands of dollars off of their art, and in return (Read more...)