What can you buy for a Fiverr (in bitcoin)?

Wednesday 18 March 2015

A few weeks ago I decided I needed a new logo for BitScan's weekly round-up of news and market analysis, This week on Planet Bitcoin. Although there were various places I could have gone to source it, I was intrigued when someone suggested I try Fiverr.com.

The idea behind Fiverr is simple. People list services you can buy for five dollars, and you buy them. (If you want something more involved, there are upgrades, but the basic principle is a job for a fiver. Hence the name.) So far, so good, though I had a couple of concerns.

One was how I would pay. I’m based in the UK and although PayPal will do the job, frankly I begrudge them their charges. Getting bitten by the bitcoin bug will kind of do that to you. You know money can move around the world quickly, without impediment and at low cost, so you have less patience with processors that extract their pound of flesh. Fortunately, it turns out that Fiverr accepts bitcoin.

The world at your fingertips

I only needed to spend a minute browsing the site to realise that this was a big deal. There is a vast range of services on offer, many of them for the ridiculously low price of $5 (you can tip your provider more if this irritates your conscience). Logo creation in under 24 hours was just one of them. And these are high-quality images, too, as the samples showed. I’d expected a race to the bottom, but there really are people who will offer professional services for the price of a latte. Then there’s the writing and translation, software development, video creation, music composition, business advice… and a few other more unusual services, like having a Kermit the frog puppet record the message of your choice.

Signing up to Fiverr is fast and simple, so I did. I selected the first graphic designer who looked like he or she could do the job (a helpful chap or chapess called ‘barghoda’), and headed for the checkout. This bit was a little more confusing than I’d expected, but only because as a self-respecting man I didn’t want to read any instructions. It’s actually pretty straightforward once you realise what’s going on: you pay for your ‘gig’ (a quick scan of a QR code for bitcoin) and then submit details about the specification for your design. One electronic ‘bip’ from my blockchain.info wallet and a quick message later, and the ball was in barghoda’s court.

Planet Bitcoin logo

And that was it. Less than 24 hours later my design showed up in my Fiverr inbox, looking very much like I had hoped it would. Not exactly: there was no bitcoin symbol in the middle. Some dialogue and another 24 hours and it was done. You can see the result on the weekly round-up.

Quality, speed, cost
There’s a maxim that you get two out of three of fast, cheap and high quality - something I’ve always agreed with from experience. Fiverr has changed my mind. It’s a fantastic service. Two points I should mention, though:
1) There’s a sneaky extra $0.50 handling charge they don’t tell you about until you get to the checkout. Ok, it’s not much, but it’s the principle. It’s not like the full $5 goes to the provider anyway, so Fiverr are getting a cut from both sides.
2) I don’t know what the conflict resolution is like. (If anyone has experienced this, do leave a comment.) It could be as great as the rest of the site. I just haven’t had cause to need it yet.

It’s a platform that allows you to hire talented professionals from around the world. There’s a vast range of services available. It costs just $5 upwards. And you can pay in bitcoin.

I’ll be seeing what else you can buy on Fiverr for $5.50 in the coming weeks. I’ve a feeling this could get addictive...


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