[This is basically a personal perspective/ rant about Rein.
Short version: I LIKE IT]
My first experience with Rein was in mid to late October 2016. I was starting out into freelancing, and was looking for an alternative to Upwork. Given their exorbitant fees, absolute disaster of customer support, and the now well known race to the bottom economy.
I found Rein by searching for freelance markets that would operate on Bitcoin. Amongst others also found Taskhive, And several smaller markets both on the onion network, and In the open Internet.
Soon after, I had the absolute pleasure of working with David Sterry on some market research for Rein. The work was fairly simple, but time-consuming, and demanding in pinpointing the target audience.
But that is a story for another time.
Insanely rapid development?
When it was first using Rein It was in version, I believe, 0.2. Its setup was a little bit messy. I had to create a bitcoin wallet, which I did not have before. I had to download Rein, figure out how to install it (at the time I was using Debian Linux). Set it up for Tor. Add my Bitcoin public and private keys. Synchronize to the servers manually, and only then was I able to actually use Rein.
The interface was simple enough. You chose a job from a simple list, filled in a description – your cover letter, and hit “send”.
If you got it, before beginning work, you had to manually check the escrow and mediator Bitcoin addresses, and make sure that they were funded.
Then, once the job was completed, I had to fill out a small text field with the deliverables, and send that over as well. Once the deliverables were accepted, I had to go over to coinb.in, And manually sign the transaction to get the money into my wallet.
All of this was admittedly a bit of a chore. But nowadays, with version 0.3.1 coming out soon, this has changed.
Insanely rapid development!
Rein provides you with a personal Bitcoin wallet which you can use to get paid. It is generated on the basis of a BIP 32 passphrase. Then you fill out your contact information, and you are ready to go.
As of March 12, 2017, we’re still waiting for an update that will make the private keys to the wallet easily accessible.
This does not mean that they are inaccessible. Simply, the end user should not have to manually dig in a database, in order to access their money.
Once the update comes out, Rein will truly be a complete solution to freelancing for Bitcoins.
Of course, there is a significant number of improvements that can be made, and that will come in time.
The future is now
As for right now, Rein is completely usable, and nearly flawless at what it does. If you feel comfortable with very minor technical work, such as digging in a database.
As with all things Bitcoin, you should take appropriate precautions. Encrypt all the rain configuration files and database file.
I hear that local security upgrades are coming, which is great, as it will complement the network security that already exists.
I last used Rein About five days ago. I was surprised to find that all files and documents shared over the Rein network were being individually signed with my private keys. Apparently this ensures authenticity, and effectively protects all members of the network.
Another thing that I like about Rein is the direction in which they are heading with the rating system. The network is going to work on a web of trust/reputation system. Coupled with weighted ratings, this will create a safe environment for business. The impact of external disruptors such as trolls will be marginalized.
Weighted ratings mean that newcomers will not have the same amount of “Trust power” as people have already done a few jobs over Rein.
Having talked to David, I’m very certain that Rein’s commitment to transparency and freedom will yield massive returns in due time.
If you would like to check out Rein, head to: www.reinproject.org