Our favorite stories covering the future of work and decentralized governance.

PayPal tests tokenized employee incentives. The gig economy battle continues. Radical ideas are recognized. And more.


PayPal Tests Tokenized Employee Incentives

PayPal have begun testing a tokenized reward system for employees. Tokens are earned for contributing to innovation programs, tradable amongst employees, and redeemable for more than 100 experiences, including martial arts sessions with the CEO. This employee incentive intranet was developed over six months and launched in mid-November.

Earlier this year, BBVA launched a similar system called BBVA Campus Wallet. Employees spend tokens on training sessions and earn tokens for providing training. The pilot program operated with 4,000 employees across Spain and Argentina. Now, BBVA are planning to bring the system to the Ethereum network.

It’s exciting to see Fortune 500 corporations hacking together Colony use cases.


More Gig Economy Battles

Last week, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) approved a minimum wage floor increase that will amount to an estimated $10,000 annual raise per driver. This comes at an important time, as the viability of the gig economy is called into question, with many workers earning less than 50% of their 2013 incomes.

It’s not all good news for gig workers, however. Deliveroo riders lost their high court battle to gain union recognition. The court ruled that riders could not be classified as workers or employees under European human rights law, because they have the flexibility to abandon or hand over jobs to another rider.

These are interesting developments in light of last week’s digest, with the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) behind both employment rights cases. These regulatory battles are worth watching, especially since we may have our own legal definitions to clarify in time. If these topics interest you, check out Collin’s article about the history of employment law.


FT Recognizes Radical Ideas on Capitalism and Work

The Financial Times have finalized their Books of the Year for 2018. Here are a few we’ve added to our reading list:

  • David Graeber’s “Bullshit Jobs”: Based on this 2013 essay, Graeber’s book is a compilation of first-hand accounts of meaningless experiences in the workplace. He argues that these pointless jobs are allowed to exist because of the protestant work ethic and bureaucratic hierarchies. You can read more in this review.
  • Paul Collier’s “The Future of Capitalism”: Collier’s radical proposals include a return to mutual obligation, for example, by embracing worker cooperative models and contributory social security. You can read more in this review.
  • Sarah Kessler’s “Gigged”: Kessler is the deputy editor for Quartz at Work, and former reporter at Fast Company, where she has reported on the gig economy since 2011. In this book, she explores the more personal stories of those actually gigging in their day-to-day lives. You can read more in this interview.

  • Introducing BudgetBox: Our new decentralized capital allocation mechanism, a scalable way to continuously aggregate financial preferences on-chain. This represents an important new tool in the decentralized governance toolkit, which we’ll be applying to colonyNetwork's developer incentives.
  • Centralization vs. Decentralization: Fred Wilson’s article about the history of decentralization in different layers of the tech stack. Tech monopolies are broken by open source alternatives, so regulators should be encouraging not impeding crypto.
  • Unpacking Bitcoin’s Social Contract: A look at Bitcoin’s off-chain governance through the lens of social contract theory.
  • On Governance - Coordination, Layers, and Structural Integrity: An overview of governance issues, which explores the token governance models of Melonport, 0x, Maker, and Aragon. Concludes by arguing that layer 2 token governance is plutocratic and only as good as the base protocol.
  • The Growing Focus on Blockchain Governance: Growing interest is fueled by concerns about the efficacy of off-chain governance, the emergence of on-chain alternatives, and the need for clarity for risk-averse investors. This essay argues these issues will be crucial to reaching and sustaining the next level of crypto adoption.

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