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About Braintrust

Braintrust is a decentralized freelance network that connects businesses with top technical and design talent from around the world. Using blockchain technology, Braintrust aims to disrupt traditional freelance platforms by directly connecting clients to freelancers without any middlemen. This allows for lower fees, better pay for freelancers, and highly skilled talent for businesses.

Origins and Founding of Braintrust

Braintrust was founded in 2018 by Adam Jackson and Chuck Pettid. As experienced technology entrepreneurs, Jackson and Pettid saw major inefficiencies in traditional freelance networks. Middlemen took large cuts from freelancers’ earnings while businesses often struggled to find the specialized technical talent they needed.

To solve these problems, Jackson and Pettid conceived of Braintrust as an open talent network that replaces rent-seeking middlemen with an incentive-aligned protocol. Braintrust launched its Ethereum-based network and BTRST token in 2021 after raising $18 million in venture funding from leading firms like Pantera Capital.

How Braintrust Works

The key innovation of Braintrust is eliminating intermediaries by directly connecting clients to freelancers in a transparent, decentralized process. Businesses post projects on the Braintrust network and top applicants are selected and paid in the native BTRST token. 10% of earnings go back into the network as fees.

This protocol design incentivizes high-quality work. Freelancers are motivated to maintain excellent client reviews in order to win more project bids. Meanwhile, clients can view freelancer profiles, ratings, and past work examples to find the best talent for their needs.

Smart contracts built on Ethereum allow for secure escrow and automatic payment distribution when project milestones are achieved. Everything is commission-free and decentralized with no controlling organization.

Braintrust’s Native Token BTRST

The BTRST token is the native currency that powers transactions on Braintrust network. Clients fund accounts with BTRST to pay freelancers and funds are held in escrow until work is completed satisfactorily.

BTRST serves two key purposes: compensating freelancers and incentivizing participation. Freelancers earn BTRST as payment which gives the token inherent utility and value. Also, network participants are rewarded with BTRST for referrals, reviews, dispute moderation and other actions that benefit the community. This encourages high-quality work and involvement.

As adoption grows, increasing utility of BTRST is expected to drive appreciation in the token’s value within the decentralized network.

Benefits of Using Braintrust

For businesses, Braintrust provides direct access to specialized talent on demand. The network effects from globally crowdsourced labor enables matching with freelancers that traditional agencies simply cannot provide.

Freelancers benefit from earning higher incomes as Braintrust’s zero fee structure means they keep more of what they earn. They also gain exposure to more clients around the world.

Overall, both businesses and freelancers report high satisfaction using Braintrust compared to legacy platforms. The blockchain approach solves fundamental incentive issues that have plagued centralized gig economy networks.

Braintrust’s Funding and Investors

Braintrust has raised $18 million in funding to build out its decentralized network thus far.

In 2018, Braintrust raised a $6 million seed round led by Pantera Capital with participation from leading investors like NEA and Coinbase Ventures.

This was followed by a $12 million Series A in 2021 led by institutional investors including True Ventures, DHVC, and Blockchain Capital.

The startup also participated in Y Combinator’s acclaimed startup accelerator program in 2020, receiving guidance and early funding support.

This backing from top tier crypto and VC investors signals confidence in Braintrust’s future vision of transforming the freelance economy.

Competitors and Market Positioning

Braintrust operates in the rapidly growing online freelance services market, competing with traditional platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and

As one of the only blockchain-based freelance networks, Braintrust differentiates itself from legacy players through its decentralized protocol that directly connects clients and freelancers peer-to-peer. This eliminates intermediary fees and provides clients access to higher quality talent.

By focusing on specialized technology talent like developers, designers, and data scientists, Braintrust targets the high-skill end of the freelance market. The platform’s global talent pool and competitive bidding process appeals to businesses seeking niche expertise.

While newer to the market, Braintrust’s blockchain network effects and commission-free structure gives it an advantage in attracting top freelance talent. The company will need to continue scaling its user base to compete with the entrenched client and freelancer networks of incumbent platforms.

If adoption of its BTRST token takes off, Braintrust could leverage cryptocurrency enthusiasm to rapidly expand its freelancer pool. As the problems with legacy platforms persist, Braintrust’s decentralized approach appears well-positioned to disrupt this sector.

The Future of Braintrust

Looking ahead, Braintrust aims to continue scaling its network by onboarding more businesses and skilled talent onto its platform. Growing the adoption of BTRST will be crucial in establishing it as a leading currency for the freelance economy.

On the product side, upgrades like reputation portability, personalized algorithms, and more robust collaboration tools could strengthen the benefits of Braintrust for both clients and freelancers.

Particularly as decentralized networks mature, Braintrust sees an opportunity to capture significant market share from legacy players and become the premier way to hire and find highly skilled technical and design talent online.

While still early, Braintrust’s promising growth shows the potential for blockchain to solve coordination problems that have plagued traditional platforms. As more users experience the benefits of its transparent, decentralized approach, Braintrust could fundamentally disrupt the future of work.


Braintrust is a decentralized talent network that connects highly skilled technical freelancers with leading global brands such as Nestle, Porsche, Atlassian, Goldman Sachs, and Nike. It serves as a blockchain-based alternative to traditional freelance platforms, aiming to align the interests of users and clients for mutual benefit. The network is controlled by its users, and the native BTRST token grants ownership and control.

Braintrust was co-founded by Adam Jackson and Gabe Luna-Ostaseski. Adam Jackson is also the CEO of Freelance Labs, which built Braintrust. Sherry Deutschmann is another key figure associated with Braintrust, having founded a company with the same name that helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Braintrust operates as a blockchain-based platform where businesses can post project descriptions and freelancers can apply for these projects. Transactions related to projects are handled through smart contracts, ensuring transparency and efficiency. The platform charges clients a flat fee of 10% for its services. The Braintrust token (BTRST) incentivizes users to contribute to the network by building profiles, referring new talent, and helping to vet the talent pool.

Braintrust is used to connect highly skilled technical freelancers with renowned global brands, creating a decentralized Web3 talent network. This network helps in sourcing vetted knowledge workers for these companies, aligning the interests of both freelancers and enterprises. It provides a more equitable model compared to traditional freelance platforms.

Braintrust (BTRST) can be purchased on various cryptocurrency exchanges. Prominent exchanges like Coinbase and CoinGecko list Braintrust for trading. It’s also available on other platforms that support trading in various fiat currencies and stablecoins like USDT and USDC.

BTRST earned on the platform is stored in a wallet hosted at an insured, qualified custodian. Multi-Sig wallets are held at Coinbase and Anchorage Institutional Custody. Once tokens leave the platform, they are the responsibility of the owner, who should follow best practices for wallet security​​​​​​. For a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet option, IronWallet could be considered, known for giving users full control over their private keys and thus their funds.

Braintrust’s unique feature is its decentralized nature, which contrasts with the centralized model of traditional freelance platforms. It offers ownership and control to its community members through the BTRST token. This model aligns the interests of freelancers and clients, promoting a fair and transparent ecosystem for both parties. This approach is a significant shift from the extractive models of conventional freelance platforms.

New BTRST tokens are not continuously created, Braintrust has a fixed supply of 250 million tokens. Launched on September 1, 2020, on the Ethereum mainnet using the ERC-20 standard, the BTRST token is used for network governance and as an incentive mechanism. It rewards community members for building and maintaining the decentralized network, inviting and vetting talent, and referring clients. The fixed supply means the number of tokens in circulation will never exceed 250 million.

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