Today, we have an interview with the founder of Bitwage, a company that aims to pay workers with bitcoin that in turn pay bitwage through wire transfers. The instructions are fairly straight-forward. Bitwage will send you a bank number, you tell your employer to wire transfer your paycheck to said bank number and voila, bitwage will then pay you in bitcoins.
Also read: Inside Bitcoins San Diego: Digital Currency Institute’s Steven Michaels Speaks
What are the benefits to using Bitwage to receive your payroll?
“It costs 8% on average to send funds from one country to another, it often takes up to 5 business days for the funds to arrive, and in the meantime, no one knows where the funds are. Bitwage is building the future of international payments and we are starting with one of the most important pillars of todays society. The representation of your time & creativity. Your wage. Instead of payments moving through a series of 6, 7 or even 8 intermediaries, with each financial institution taking a fee, delaying the transaction, and increasing the risk of your funds getting lost, we move your funds internationally through the blockchain.
The blockchain is a new, revolutionary technology that has opportunity to change the entire financial industry like the internet did with the telecommunication and publishing industries. With just the click of a button, funds can be sent instantly anywhere around the world, nearly for free. No intermediaries at all, so you always know where your funds are. The problem with the blockchain is how to get local currencies onto and off of this new payment rail. Bitwage takes this amazing technology and allows you to have all the same benefits of the blockchain, while allowing you to send and receive the currencies you use in your everyday life through our bank to bank, cloud savings and debit card solutions.”
Which countries prevent the use of Bitwage?
“It all has to do with the funds flow. The case of argentina is a great one. Because of the way their current system works, it costs between 30% and 40% of a payment to send the payment to Argentina. This mainly has to do with the difference between an official exchange rate and the actual exchange rate. All transfers of money from USD to ARP originating outside of the country must go through the state at some point and must be converted at the official exchange rate. However, Bitcoins are not considered money according to the Argentine government. This means that you can pay someone in bitcoin and then they can later “bring” that bitcoin from the US to Argentina and then convert locally at the local exchange rate.
So, in this instance, it is not legal for us to send payments directly as USD to ARP with bitcoin as the rails, but it is legal for us to pay the employees in Bitcoin and for us to make it easy and convenient for them to convert at the local exchange rate. We currently have freelancers doing this in conjunction with our cloud savings solution, which allows you to hold your funds in the value of 20 different currencies and precious metals, including USD and Gold, and then paying out bitcoins into ARP from this account as needed.”
How is Bitwage trying to revolutionize the current payment system?
“Imagine, being able to pay your employees in Philippines, Russia and Argentina as cheap and easy as sending a text message and later that day the Philippine employee comes home with the soccer jersey his son always wanted, purchased with the extra funds he received. At Bitwage, we are seeking to build a system that provides an alternative to the current banking systems and payment rails. It is all about connecting people to financial freedom. Not only does our system provide the most seamless and automated way of bringing the 2.5bn unbanked aroundthe world into the digital financial systems, we are providing employers, employees and freelancers all around the world the ability to remove themselves from the grasps of the slow, costly and inefficient international foreign exchange oligopoly.”
What lies ahead in the future of Bitwage?
“We are the only company specialized in payroll payments leveraging bitcoin. This means we have more privacy features, the ability to pay out in local currency, the ability to hold your funds in cloud accounts in the value of 20 different currencies and precious metals, debit cards, a seamless mass payment system, the ability to receive wages and benefits without your employer signing up, and the best bitcoin payroll api.”
Bitcoin’s role in our society has been in upward movement since its creation. Consumer use, rather than price, is the most important when considering Bitcoin’s viability in the real world. Bitwage is proving that Bitcoin can have an important role in our lives, giving us the ability to revolutionize the ways we receive payments for our labor. Jonathan has a great idea in mind, and he speaks from the heart. Definitely, a speech to attend at Inside Bitcoins San Diego.
Will you attend Inside Bitcoins San Diego? Are you willing to receive work payroll in bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Rackspace Developers, Bitwage