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How Bitcoin Could Improve Crowdsourced Outsourcing

by Jeremy Coward

Crowdsourcing is sometimes hailed as outsourcing modernised for the 21st century. In theory, crowdsourcing should offer companies more flexibility, less overhead costs, and plenty of healthy competition which will boost outsourcee productivity.

However, those perks come hand-in-hand with some less appealing aspects. Those who opt to crowdsource rather than outsource also encounter less reliability and rarely have one single party that they can hold accountable if anything goes wrong. Furthermore, there are simply too many other variable factors that need to be considered - as a result, outsourcing feels like the safer option.

How can these problems with crowdsourcing be solved? There’s good news for crowdsourcing fans - as so often seems to be the case nowadays, the 21st century’s digital currency of choice might just be the answer.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin was once perceived as the currency of the ‘Dark Web’, used to buy drugs and hire assassins; now the currency mainly features in stories about hacked online exchanges, individuals being cheated and the general loss of funds through unforeseen price fluctuations.

However, that’s just one side of the bitcoin. The currency could one day change the face of modern finance, removing the fees that come with online transactions and generally democratising the world of online payments.

Blockchain and Crowdsourcing

Bitcoin, along with a handful of other digital currencies, is reliant on blockchain, an online accounting system that keeps track of every single Bitcoin payment made. Bitcoins are granted off the back of computers running very complex mathematical equations - blockchain technology is central to this and also used to verify whether a Bitcoin transaction is legitimate.

This is the technology that can be applied to business crowdsourcing. When individuals are granted certain responsibilities or chunks of business, a blockchain-like system could determine which of those individuals are worthy of credit. The distribution system will only give credit if the solutions are correct and delivered on time, cutting down on wasted time and increasing the speed at which overall projects are completed.

This approach to group-based problem solving would be most applicable to computer programming and other technical fields, but success in those areas could lead to a more comprehensive use of the same system long-term.

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