Decentralized Employment with Opolis
Panvala Observer Weekly Newsletter
This week we spoke with Joshua Lapidus of Opolis, a next-generation Employment Cooperative offering high-quality, affordable employment benefits and shared services.
Introducing Decentralized Employment
“Opolis is a digital employment cooperative,” Joshua Lapidus explained over the phone, calling in from Lisbon where he was attending NEARcon. As a steward of community and coalitions for Opolis, Joshua spends a significant amount of time attending events and speaking with people in person to show that Opolis is both legitimate and incredibly practical. “We help anyone who works independently,” he went on, “people in DAOs, Web3, creatives, artists—anyone who is working for 1099 income instead of W2 income—we help them access high quality employment benefits like healthcare, dental insurance, vision, retirement accounts, tax and compliance, withholding…” Given one of the largest obstacles to self-sovereign employment is figuring out these things on your own, Opolis presents an intriguing concept.
Opolis in Practice
How it works is when you become a member, Opolis will help you set up your own LLC and S Corp / C Corp to join their cooperative—you are then able to get a W2 from Opolis, giving you access to their payroll and benefits. Furthermore, as a member, you are also a partial owner thereby receiving additional earnings as a distribution / dividend when the cooperative is profitable. Right now, conditions for membership include US work authorization (you can be a citizen living anywhere in the world, have a green card, or have work authorization status) and you have to be employed by your own company. (Again, if you don’t have an LLC, Opolis will help you set it up for yourself relatively inexpensively). Finally, you must pay yourself at least minimum wage for the state or jurisdiction in which you are living—this is a requirement of the IRS, which states that if you are going to be a salaried employee of your own company you have to pay yourself an annual salary that reflects the minimum wage in your state. That’s it—US work authorization, self-sovereign employment, and minimum wage. Pretty amazing.
Opolis was founded by John Paller and Eddie Pastore, both of whom had been working in HR / staffing / employment for over 15 years. They had the idea for decentralized employment about 5 years ago, but it wasn’t until about a year and a half ago (right at the beginning of the pandemic) that Opolis launched. Today, Opolis has over 150 members, running over $500K of payroll twice a month. They are currently expanding their work into Canada, Puerto Rico, and Western Europe and are growing steadily with the hope of hitting $1million in payroll processing by the end of the year. Opolis also takes both fiat and crypto (stable coins) for invoice payments; when you are paid out you must take your minimum wage in USD, but any income beyond that can be paid out in a Wyre approved token!
Become a Member
You can learn more about Opolis by setting up a meeting with Joshua using this link to talk about whether Opolis is a good fit for you. Opolis would love to see new members from the Panvala League, and because Panvala is already a coalition member, Panvala will also benefit from referring new members! Every time payroll volume grows by $50K, 5 million $WORK tokens are minted, with 30% of these going into the pockets of members who have made new referrals. We are thrilled to have Opolis as part of the Panvala League and look forward to watching decentralized employment continue to grow!