Introducing Layers

The Layers is a decentralized freelancing protocol built by freelancers for freelancers. It will be governed by the users and will be working on the principle of proof of work.

The Layers protocol is aiming to bring transparency, authenticity, ownership, and interoperability to the existing freelance ecosystem and provide more opportunities to users with its unique freelancer liquidity models. We’ll go into the following details:

  • The Layers Profile

  • Agreement Contracts

  • Escrow Payment Network

  • On-Chain Experience

  • Talent Playlist

  • Verification Dashboards

  • Disputes

  • Layers DAO and $LYRS

The Layers Profile

Layers is using soul-bound NFTs as user profiles to make sure every profile is unique and this NFT will be attached to all of the data that any user will generate through the layers. This NFT is non-transferrable means that once minted can’t be transferred to any other users, unlike the traditional NFTs.

This NFT can have the data such as profile images, descriptions, external links, and any other data points the user would like to have. All these data points can be changed later but the blockchain will always have the proof of change.

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Agreement Contracts

Layers offers decentralized, immutable, and cryptographically secure agreement contracts. The data of agreement contracts will be hosted on decentralized storage networks such as IPSF and Arweave. For privacy-focused users, there is an option to encrypt the data inside the agreement contracts so only the allowed parties with the secret key can only view it.

Because of the immutability of decentralized storage networks, the data can’t be changed, and with digital signatures, the signer can always be verified and identified which makes the agreement contracts a single source of truth to make sure what needs to be delivered.

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Escrow Payment Network

The Layers has built-in smart contracts-based escrow payments which offer 3 type of escrow-based payments, which is the future will expand to be highly flexible or customizable depending on the needs of the users.

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Flat Fee

When the client pays x% amount goes directly to the freelancer and the rest will be in the escrow and will be transferred when the job is marked done by the client.

There will be no time bound in escrow so whenever the client wants can release the payment.

Milestone Based

  • The payment amount for each milestone needs to be specified but it’s not necessary to deposit the money for all milestones at once, the only necessary condition is the escrow should have money for the current milestone in order to start the next milestone.

  • Only the client can release the payment here.

  • The payment will be released after the freelancer completes the milestones defined in the agreement contract.

  • The milestones will start from 1 and the payment will be released for a completed milestone.

Recurring Payments

Payment will be released to the freelancer on a weekly and monthly basis.

The client will have two options here:

  1. The client can make the recurring payments automated and payment will be released to the freelancer automatically after the period of time.

  2. The client controls the payment and will be released only after his permission but the freelancer can check whether the client has deposited money in the escrow or not.

Note - It is not necessary that the payments for every recurring time period should be the same, it depends on the agreement of both parties, they can be the same or different.

On-Chain Experience

Owning something valuable leads to good results but the experience is precious and owning it leads to a better career. Imagine not being dependent on any third party to prove the work experience and the verifier would be able to verify the claims in a trustless manner without any friction.

Traditional freelancing platforms use data servers to store user’s data but the technical drawback with them is they can’t provide the trustlessness and ownership over data.

Layers stores data generated through every interaction on the blockchain networks which acts as the proof-of-history. Storing and manipulation of data happens through smart contracts and data related to a user can only be generated by the respective user.

Users can always use their data the ways they want, whether it’s applying for a job somewhere else or joining a new freelancing pool. Users always have the freedom to approve who can access their data and it’s even applicable for Layers.

Whenever a verifier needs to verify any user’s claims, it can always check the data associated with the user on the Layers dashboards and can crosscheck through blockchain API provided by the protocol.

Talent Playlist

For every different need, there is a new freelancing platform that pushes freelancers and clients to search in multiple places and maintain multiple profiles to fulfill their needs. Freelancers always want to have more opportunities so they must be on these platforms and maintain multiple profiles and the same for the clients. Building these platforms is harder than chewing glass but with the Layers it is a cakewalk.

On the Layers, interested people can create their own freelancer pool for a certain category and invite freelancers to join and it brings more opportunities for the freelancers while the client can easily filter through different categories of pools with different rates and select the freelancer from the pool which fulfills their budget and needs.

Every pool is governed by the operator and has rights over the pool which include:

  • Deciding the Pool fee & Freelancer Rates.

  • Review and Ratings to freelancers and clients.

  • Which freelancers can stay in the pool (can’t kick out in the middle of a job)

  • Resolve disputes.

The protocol fee, operator fee, and dispute resolution fee will be decided by the Layers.

Verification Dashboard

Every piece of data generated through the layers is stored on public blockchains or decentralized storage networks, but it’s not easy to do the verification there because data is unstructured, so Layers is providing verification dashboards that are using decentralized API (The Graph) to fetch the data from the blockchain. All the necessary links to blockchain explorers also will be attached there.

Disputes

When both parties working in an agreement have a disagreement over the work and they need help to resolve it, the dispute will come there. Any party can report the disputes and then the protocol participants (community) will help them to sort it out for a small commission.

The dispute will be handled in the following ways:

Public Dispute Board: It will be a dashboard where all the unresolved disputes will be shown and interested parties can apply to be the disputer and the parties having disputes will decide which disputer to choose. After choosing the disputer, it will address the issue and resolve it.

Pool Owner: Disputes reported inside a pool will be subject to resolution by the pool owner. The pool owner can also delegate them to the Public dispute board.

Anyone inside the Layers community can be a disputer.

The Layers DAO & $LYRS

$LYRS is an ERC-20 token that the users will receive after using the protocol. $LYRS will be used majorly as the governance for the Layers DAO which includes clients, freelancers, and pool owners.

Holding $LYRS provides benefits in creating and voting for proposals.

Closing Thoughts

The Layers protocol is built on the ideology of open systems, transparency, Modularity, Flexibility, and collaboration. It is owned by “no one but also everyone”. It is open to everyone whether they want to use it for their work as a tool or want to build something using it.

The profession doesn’t matter, the only important thing is that everyone has the right to get paid fairly for their work so let’s make it possible using the Layers protocol.

The Future of Layers

With the help of layers, the users can work in the freelancing space without needing to trust the other party and without worrying about getting paid. The Layers protocol does all of this heavy work with its on-chain-based experience and payment network. Every piece of data is stored on the public blockchain networks which makes it transparent, and verifiable, so users don’t need to trust anyone. The agreement contracts make sure the terms and conditions of the work are clear and once signed by parties can’t be changed when it is plugged into the escrow payments it enforces the payments to be released as defined in the agreement contract.

Closing Thoughts

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