Today I’d like to dare to dream a little. As many of you know, Medium pays writers to produce content that is helpful, inspires, entertains or elicits a laugh through the partner program
Anyone can join the program and you don’t need to be a professional writer. By being part of the program, you can earn money. At the end of the month you are paid in USD via a Stripe account. (Currently, this is the only way to be paid as a writer.)
But what if there was another way to be paid? It’s my dream as a writer to be paid in cryptocurrency. Here’s why?
As a writer, you work damn hard to produce work that is worthy of reading. When you are paid in USD, if you live anywhere but America, you’re going to have to deal with exchange rates.
The exchange rate game is a huge business and it doesn’t work in your favor.
Every time you get paid for your writing by Medium, without having the choice, your payout is converted into your local currency.
The transparency around when the currency was converted, how much it cost you, and what the rate was at the time of converting (without the hidden spreads known as profit for the financial institution doing the conversion) is kept a mystery. There are ways to figure it out, but even then, it’s challenging.
When you see the “rate of the day” listed on the internet, what’s often missed is that there is no central exchange for foreign currency markets. At any point in time, every bank, payment provider and financial institution has a different rate of conversion for any currency swap.
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency for the internet and allows you the freedom to avoid a lot of the headache of foreign exchange rates.
When you get paid by Medium and store the money in your bank account, one of two things happen:
- In places like Australia, the interest you earn from the bank is eaten away by inflation and your money goes backwards.
- In places like Europe, putting money in the bank could actually cost you because of negative interest rates.
There is a solution, though — it’s called Defi.
Not I’m no guru on the subject but for a normal person like me, Defi is where you store cryptocurrency in a digital wallet and earn interest, or you lend your cryptocurrency out to a business or cryptocurrency traders who speculate on the market, and you receive interest for doing so.
The interest you get depends on the risk you take and there are plenty of lower risk options for conservative people such as me.
The point is that you get paid a lot more interest than you would if you had your money stored in a bank account being eaten away by your evil twin sister called inflation.
Not so lucky countries
Part of my desire to be paid in cryptocurrency extends beyond my own situation. I live in a lucky country like Australia that has a proper banking system and access to Stripe accounts.
There are many gifted writers who don’t live in a country that supports Stripe accounts — or that even have a proper banking system or a currency that is not experiencing hyperinflation like Venezuela.
These people are left in the cold. They can write, but they can’t earn a living from it. And many of them are far better writers than me.
Introducing cryptocurrency democratizes writing and allows anyone to be paid.
Cryptocurrency doesn’t discriminate and you can open a digital wallet to store your earnings in far more countries than you can open a Stripe account.
Cryptocurrency is damn fast. When I transfer crypto from an exchange to a digital wallet or from one digital wallet to another, it’s fast. It happens in minutes and it’s glorious to watch.
Getting money from Stripe, though, takes days. For me that’s no biggie, but for someone who depends on the income to pay bills, it’s a big deal.
Cryptocurrency is saying yes to speed and a simultaneous yes to the future of the internet and money.
The interesting thing about Medium is that the CEO of the company is Ev Williams, who is also the Co-founder of Twitter alongside Jack Dorsey. Jack foundered an innovative and disruptive financial services company called Square in the US and they allow businesses to easily accept cryptocurrency.
Without knowing either of them, I’m pretty sure they would still see each other regularly. Enabling cryptocurrency on Medium wouldn’t take much if Ev called his mate Jack and got him to get a handful of dudes/dudettes to code it up on the weekend over a few frothy beers.
It would be awesome to see Medium allow writers to be paid in cryptocurrency so that everybody, not just people in wealthy countries like me, could have access to the gift that is being paid for your art.
The two major cryptocurrencies worth considering for payment to writers would be Bitcoin or Ethereum, given the number of users both have and their time in the market.
Cryptocurrency is faster, cheaper to use, universal, more transparent and allows you access to better interest rates on what you earn so that you can invest your earnings from Medium and setup your financially wise future and the future of those you seek to give back to.
If Medium offered cryptocurrency as a payment option, I’d do it. What do you think?