Crypto Startup Bitwage Now Allows Employers To Pay Salaries In Ether
Crypto payments startup Bitwage, which helps employers pay their staff using cryptocurrency, has announced it now provides for the use of ether (ETH) on its payroll option.
The startup announced the move on Monday, allowing companies that would like to provide tax and HR-compliant benefits in ether to extend similar benefits to their employees.
Bitwage has allowed users to make direct bitcoin (BTC) deposits since 2014 and provides its services to more than 30,000 workers.
With this platform, any worker, freelancer or independent contractor is eligible to receive any percentage of their fiat payments from their employers or clients, which are settled in crypto.
The company began experimenting with the ethereum ecosystem in 2017, launching a number of projects on the blockchain that included Inwage. The Inwage is a consulting services firm that the payments provider used to build a number of projects on Ethereum.
Among these projects is Moria, an initial coin offering (ICO) project that raised $50 million. There is also a pilot project designed for a leading insurance company, which leverages the ethereum platform to provide for audit trail capabilities.
Nonetheless, integrating ether onto the main Bitwage platform needed “a lot of behind the scenes work.” According to a company spokesperson, this is because the entire Bitwage infrastructure “was optimized for BTC.”
But now it appears the company just got the infrastructure it needed to be added to make it possible to add ether.
Bitwage launched its services five years ago, but company CEO Johnathan Chester noticed something. At the time, although merchants already accepted bitcoin, it was practically not possible for employers to pay their workers in the cryptocurrency.
Chester noted in a statement that the company’s objective was “to close the financial loop.”
Currently, Bitwage processes over $2.5 million in monthly payments made to full-time employees as well as contractors. The company offers access to two payment services- direct deposit and team wages.
In the former, employees allow their employers to send a portion of their salaries to Bitwage, which then automatically exchanges the fiat with crypto via dollar cost averaging.
Under the team wages service, companies get access to Bitwage’s companywide payroll services that involve wage contracts. according to a Bitwage representative, wage contracts are tailored for companies and other large employers who wish to pay a huge number of contract employees located all over the world through one payment only.
Although the crypto platform makes a spread for the exchanges, its basic service doesn’t charge any fee. However, the company offers a premium version that provides faster payments, with subscribers paying $15.99 per month.
Payments provider Square also offers similar services, with direct deposit from an employee going onto its payments platform. However, unlike with Bitwage, Square requires that an employee manually swaps their fiat deposits for bitcoin.
Coinbase, on the other hand, allows users to make automatic monthly purchases of cryptocurrencies directly from a customer’s bank account.
A growing number of employees from several blue-chip companies are said to utilize the Bitwage platform to automatically convert cash salaries into cryptocurrency. These companies include e-commerce giant Amazon, Alphabet’s Google, and major phone maker Apple.
In addition, several gig workers attached to ride-sharing company Uber, and Caviar, as well as Doordash, reportedly use Bitwage services.
Bitwage clients have access to pay period distributions of up to three payments done in either fiat or crypto. Non-premium users have up to two distributions while premium users get access to three.
So far, the firm has received financial backing of close to $1 million from investors like Draper Associates, BPI France, and Candela Reach Capital.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.