(Photo by Flickr user davesandford, used under a Creative Commons license)
With the rise of the freelance and sharing economies, you can expect to see more blockchain companies like Coakt forming — maybe especially in Delaware: Gov. Jack Markell launched an initiative earlier this year in support of blockchain technology.
What is blockchain? It’s a new way to process transactions. It’s done completely online and it’s maintained across a network of computers. It’s decentralized. It’s meant to distribute the power of banking into the hands of many, as opposed to just a select few. Through blockchain, transactions are maintained in a public ledger, lessening opportunities for financial foul play. (Further reading: Sister site Technical.ly Brooklyn did an overview of how blockchain can build a better democracy.)
Coakt cofounders Kevin Kriss and Nick Barba see a promising future for blockchain, and their platform aims to connect “investors” with companies. “Investors” here also includes contributions from those with non-monetary value units — like skills, personal knowledge and tangible assets.
“If you can write for someone and you can find a startup that needs their story told, instead of freelancing and taking the one-to-one [service-for-cash] payment, you can take equity and grow it,” said Kriss. “It will level the playing field and hopefully it will lessen the gap between the one percenters.”
The idea is to potentially recognize everyone’s unique value or expertise. Kriss sees it as being “very Libertarian” in a sense. Collaboration is encouraged. Coakt is all about “leaving it to the experts” to demonstrate their value.
The company is actively raising funds at the moment and has raised some money so far thanks to friends and family. In addition to money, Kriss and Barba have also been actively recruiting skilled experts. Robert Herrera from The Mill and video producer Zach Phillips are two of the newest additions to the skills pool.
“A lot of companies fail because they don’t know their customer,” said Kriss. “We’re getting a lot more control in the beginning before getting stuck in expensive code. We will seek more funding to build a large platform and scale our team, which we’re hoping to do by the new year.”