Growth in the gig economy and a decentralised financial market run on cryptocurrency will transform the way people live and work in the future, researchers say. 

And the changes will mean people who take part will benefit from better choice, increased flexibility and more control. 

That’s according to a new report commissioned by the global gig-platform Appjobs and index provider Vinter, looking at so-called ‘Peer to Peer Economics’. 

Alok Alstrom, founder of AppJobs, described the growth of the gig economy and blockchain technology over the last 10 years as “remarkable”. 

He said: “We believe the emergence of blockchain technology and the gig economy show that cryptocurrency and the digitised gig market will soon converge and create the natural next step in the evolution of economic systems. 

“The first step to make this happen is for individuals to gain independence by having more choices at their disposal.”

The gig economy is a flexible way of working in which people are paid for each ‘gig’ they perform, rather than a specific daily or hourly rate. 

This means they can work across various apps doing different jobs and at a time to suit them.

According to the AppJobs data, delivery roles currently make up around half of all gigs in the UK. This is closely followed by freelance jobs, an emerging area thanks to many traditional industries such as marketing exploring the use of freelancers in greater numbers. 

Pet sitting or walking comes in third for data covering the first half of 2021, closely followed by cleaning jobs. Driving gigs, house-sitting and handyman jobs are also popular. 

Alstrom says the benefit of the gig economy is people are able to choose not just their job and who they work for, but when and how much they work. 

He said: “More and more people are becoming entrepreneurs or employees at startups, driven, I believe, by a desire to shape their own future. 

“The same can be said for the gig economy where the growth in gig workers, gig platforms, gig jobs and gig clients is remarkable. 

“AppJobs alone adds more than 20,000 new members a week across the western world who are interested in working in the gig economy.

“And just as the gig economy is a global phenomenon, decentralised finance has also seen a big uptake, with a survey last year showing a real world adoption of bitcoin usage.”

The report identifies the need for public blockchains to become a “truly global payment system”, and that the gig economy needs to access a global financial system with low entry barriers for workers, clients and platforms. 

It states: “When these two phenomena converge, we will see a true internet-based economy.”

AppJobs helps people to find paid roles across different apps. Since being created in 2017, it has gained nearly two million members in 500 cities across 40 different countries and has connected half a million job seekers with apps and services such as Uber, Airbnb and Doordash. 

AppJobs has founded the Future of Work Institute, sharing insights and collaborating with researchers to provide stakeholders within the labour market and gig economy with up-to-date data and stats.