California has essentially declared war on freelancing. A new law essentially makes companies have to convert their independent contractors into full-fledged employees, including providing healthcare and other benefits. This basically means that freelancers such as writers and rideshare drivers just became much more expensive and troublesome to employ if they’re from California. Predictably, the layoffs have already begun. While this is a tragic moment for the untold thousands of worker who just lost their income source, it may help grow the usage of cryptocurrencies for payments.
The legacy financial system is a system of control
Make no mistake, the old financial system’s first concern isn’t in helping you make your life easier. Sure, there have been numerous innovations in the industry over the years that have simplified payments and improved user experience, but on a structural level the system has been designed for maximum control. That’s why we have this push to get rid of freelancers and the gig economy in favor of pushing everyone on the full employee track with health benefits and more. Everyone’s income is much more provable and easy to tax from a single source, the healthcare industry is easier to control when everyone is required to receive mandatory benefits, and, most importantly, employees are more scared of losing their job since more of their life relies on this one source of income.
When you receive all your money via direct deposit from the same entity that provides for your healthcare as an official employee, your life choices become extremely limited. Centralizing your whole life as much as possible is no accident, and the gig economy is the enemy of this. Whatever the alternate excuse presented may be, this is the real reason California cracked down on freelancing.
Peer-to-peer digital cash works without confines
This is a common industry line from the old days, but it bears repeating: be your own bank. A peer-to-peer digital currency can be sent to anyone, anywhere, at any time, without restriction. When you can no longer receive freelancing income from a geography and identity-based financial system, you can still receive digital funds from channels which are not limited to these factors. You can write for a publication that pays you in cryptocurrency without more than an email exchange worth of interaction, or publish your own content for donations of any level or origin. Essentially, all the usual checks and processes behind making financial transactions are not necessary.
In more regulated areas, we see cash-based economies emerge. The challenge with freelancers is that they tend to be remote workers, and as such can’t receive cash from a distance. However, digital cash knows no geography, and provides the most elegant of solutions.
There are still challenges, but earning an income vs. not is good enough motivation
Of course, don’t take this whole discussion to be pure utopian nonsense. I know that challenges still exist. Many companies will still naturally avoid California-based freelancers, even some of those paying in cryptocurrency. Learning how to use, buy, and sell new digital money can prove to have a challenging learning curve, and still may maintain some connections to the legacy financial system. However, when faced with the prospect of simply not making money, learning to receive and spend this crazy digital cyber money thing seems like an attractive option compared with the alternative.
Too many people use fiat currency systems over cryptocurrency. That’s because they still can. When they can’t, and more jurisdictions join California’s war on freelancing, just watch how important mass adoption becomes.