There has often been talk about paying employees in cryptocurrency, and now Bitwage is making that an easier option for employers, and added ethereum (ETH) to its payroll options.
The startup has been providing direct deposits of bitcoin since 2014, and serves over 30,000 workers. In short, employees, freelancers and independent contractors can receive the fees due to them, whether from clients or employers, in cryptocurrency.
According to Coindesk, “The company has experimented with the ethereum ecosystem since 2017, including launching the consulting services firm Inwage, which built several projects on the second-largest blockchain.”
A company representative told CoinDesk that adding ETH to Bitwage’s payroll options, “took a lot of behind the scenes work… because the whole system was optimized for BTC.”
When Bitwage was founded five years ago, CEO Johnathan Chester realised that merchants were already accepting bitcoin, but that there was no way for employees to get paid in it as well. He said, “Our goal was to close the financial loop,” and now the company currently processes $2.5 million per month for contractors and full-time employees.
Bitwage provides two payment services, direct deposit — in which employees have part of their salaries sent to the company to be exchanged for crypto automatically through dollar cost averaging — as well as team wages. In the latter, Bitwage provides company-wide payroll services. It reports that Team wage contracts are primarily used by companies that want to pay hundreds of contract employees in locations around the world with just one payment.
Several blue-chip companies have employees that use Bitwage to automatically convert their cash salaries into crypto including Amazon, Google, and Apple. Additionally, many gig workers for Uber, Caviar, and Doordash utilize the services, according to the representative.
Square offers a similar service, but the employee has to manually swap their wages for bitcoin.