Moonlight – The Smart Economy Workforce on Neo Blockchain

July 2018
By CeAnn Simpson
Posted: Updated:

Future of Work conferences and articles abound about what employment will look like in the future.  The doom-mongering continues at pace with AI, Robotics and automation threatening to make humans obsolete for many jobs and industries. Recently I read an article where the author argued that the most important question for entrepreneurs and start-ups is not what will change in the future, but rather what will not change.  Decentralised ecosystems will change how people exchange their time and skills for monetary reward and will create more project-based skill-oriented ‘roles’.  The traditional corporate organisational structure will struggle to adapt to this ever-changing skills landscape or to deliver the skills necessary to take new projects forward to delivery.

Currently, employment methods for hiring knowledge workers are heavily based on pre-digital mechanics such as job posting and resume checking. A 2016 survey of 1192 companies found that job postings took a 30-day median time to fill at the cost of $2000 per posting. Additionally, there is a median 15% annual employee turnover rate and standard recruitment costs for knowledge workers are 20% of salary. Background checks verify employment history and income. Moonlight solves these issues by using the blockchain to integrate the fragmented resource management space and to create trust between all participants in the hiring process.

The Moonlight platform, built on the Neo Blockchain, will include a global task match-making service and analytical project management tools.  The goal of these tools is to reduce the compartmentalisation of resources to build a workforce platform for the smart economy.  To understand how the platform works, we need to outline the participants, their roles and functions.

Organisations are the entities that create content on the platform by issuing/generating tasks (acting as an Issuer) in the ecosystem and organisations can also resolve tasks (acting as Resolver). Issuers or Resolvers can be made up of individuals, groups of individuals, or other organisations.  Moonlight tracks organisational efficiency through:

  • Skills: Every task completed is published to the blockchain and are logged into the organisation and can represent their domain-specific capabilities.
  • Reviews: Upon completion, issue and resolver organisation are prompted to review each other. These reviews are published to the blockchain as well.  This gives a holistic view of the organisations.
  • Bid Accuracy: Resolvers place bids on tasks. The accuracy of these bids relative to the actual completion duration act as a tool to indicate the organisation’s bid quality for tasks and for evaluating bid accuracy within the ecosystem.

Skills fulfil a critical role in identifying potential tasks and help to define experience on trustless resumes. As tasks are resolved, points are accumulated against skills on resumes, which are scaled by criteria including their review scoring and the task’s value.

A task is an atomic unit of work in the Moonlight ecosystem.  Tasks (any combination of activities or tasks) have values assigned to them (either in currency or remittance), depending on their value to the Issuer.

A matchmaking algorithm is built into the Smart Contract to provide resolvers with task recommendations based on skillset. Developers wishing to interface with the ecosystem will have access to the matchmaking algorithm through the public API. In contrast to traditional contract hire-mechanics where bids are in terms of value or monetary reward, resolvers bid with a task duration.  The Issuer is then able to make the final selection based on how long it will take to complete the task.  This tool is more closely aligned to project management techniques.  The data collected within the platform should improve estimation and bid accuracy by analysing selection criteria and achievement against estimation.

Moonlight supports both conventional resumes and trustless resumes which are based on points and reviews generated by participation in the platform and through the completion of tasks. For the Moonlight platform to scale globally, it must provide a reliable method for payment and for currency exchange.  Moonlight will integrate with Neon exchange, as its primary currency exchange.  Moonlight has five remittance features:

  • PostPay: The default payment feature. Remittance occurs after the task is completed and the first of two review rounds is handled.  Lack of review submission as a strategy to forgo remittance by the issuer is avoided by the phased review process which will impact the organisation’s reputation on the platform.
  • PrePay: This feature executes when a task is awarded to a resolver, immediately releasing payment in cases when funds are needed to complete the task or if the task creates a new project.
  • Staked: This means that a task is contingent on the completion of other tasks.  In this case, the issuer may stake the project with another form of payment such as tokens, and this provides a mechanism to incentivise resolvers to contribute to new ventures, effectively crowdfunding projects while reducing the risk to resolvers for taking on the work.
  • Flex: This is similar to PostPay except that the compensation amount is undefined until after the task is completed.  Issuers are required to provide details on compensation criteria to avoid payment default.
  • Periodic: Similar to conventional salary payments, remittance occurs at regular intervals which are defined before task assignment.

Moonlight platform will have three revenue streams:

  • Remittance: The platform charges a 1.00% fee on task completion remittance in Lux, their platform token or GAS, other tokens incur a fee of 2.5%.
  • Platform Contracts (Seats): Subscription product which grants users unlimited access to the platform and its applications.  This is designed to support corporate entities or contributors who wish to use the platform on the main net or an internal private net.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): This subscription product provides hardware and administration of private nets running the Moonlight platform where data security is critical. All data read and written to the platform is controlled by the service owner.

Moonlight’s Lux token will use a similar, multi-token UTXO operating mechanism to Neo and Neon Exchange (NEX) to provide value to token holders.  Addresses holding Lux will periodically be awarded GAS proportional to their Lux holdings. The amount of Gas awarded to Lux holders is proportional to the fees collected by the Moonlight project. By using Lux for remittance, resolvers and issuers will be charged reduced system fees.

In my opinion, I struggle to see why Moonlight requires a specific token for their platform when NEO or NEX, Neon Exchange’s crypto-currency could be the currency of choice for all platform transactions.  Data analysis will only be possible once large numbers of users, organisations and structures are using the platform.  The chicken and the egg argument here is very apt. They discuss how their marketplace will work in principle but not how they will create the supply and demand between users within the platform or for their token outside of Moonlight.  More detailed token economics are needed to explain how the token’s value will not be adversely affected by speculation or the

Project management methodologies used within large organisations and for large projects provide structure and uniformity for measuring and driving productivity. However, project management methods are complex and centralised; I struggle to see how these will work within a decentralised ecosystem. Decentralisation by design is not controlled by a central authority or project manager.  Decentralisation should create ecosystems that remove central control, the hallmark of project management.  Efficiency may or may not be driven by higher bid accuracy or the matching algorithm; there is no way to know until the platform provides enough data to prove their theory behind their marketplace is correct.

There is also little detail about how data will be protected or secured on the platform especially as organisations store their data off-chain or within their private nets and then use an API to access Moonlight platform.  How will this exchange of data not be compromised or hacked as APIs are notoriously insecure when data transactions happen between off-chain and on-chain systems?  All the data may belong to the service owners and organisations but how will their platform ensure data security?

Their leadership team are very experienced in blockchain and as developers. Hopefully, they will have an MVP by the end of 2018.  The part that is less clear is how their business model will deliver revenue without large volumes of users.  As LinkedIn demonstrates, it is not their premium services (subscription product) that generate revenue for their business model but rather their advertising and sponsored content.

Project Score: D+

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