Jonathan Chester is founder/President of Bitwage & a contributor on Forbes for all things bitcoin & blockchain related. Jonathan has been in the Bitcoin industry as an early adopter since 2013, running Bitwage, the most popular payroll & invoicing platform built on top of Bitcoin. Bitwage has over 20,000 users based in over 90 countries. Jonathan also runs Inwage, a blockchain consulting service that has built ICOs worth over $50MM and permissioned blockchain POCs for financial services companies. Jonathan has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, FinancialIT and consulted members of the European Parliament, regarding regulation of the blockchain industry, and dutch banks & regulators at the Amsterdam Institute of Finance. He has keynoted Orange’s biannual corporate summit and spoken at conferences such as Paris Fintech Forum, Viva Technology, Transact15 and Inside Bitcoins. Learn more at bitwage.com. Facebook: https://www.
Bitwage is the leading provider of crypto-based payroll, invoicing and benefits offerings. We have been in the industry since 2014 and have processed about $100MM in transactions. Our mission has been to bring workforce wage solutions into the modern digital era and we do this by offering cryptocurrency benefits and cross border salary disbursements.
In June 2020, we decided to partner with Circle to launch a suite of USDC solutions. Our first solution allows anyone in the world to receive a portion of their salary in USDC. Our second solution allows companies to fund their business operations in USDC.
In the first 15 days, users immediately took advantage of the solution, moving 10’s of thousands of dollars through the US, EU, UK, India, Brazil and Argentina. What exactly were these users doing? The majority of these users were leveraging our international invoicing solution, which enables employees and freelancers from around the world to invoice clients in the United States, European Union and United Kingdom with domestic USD, Euro and GBP accounts. After the funds were deposited in those accounts, they were converted into USDC and deposited to their designated wallets.
Given the uncertainty in the world, many people are looking to the US dollar as a safe haven against local volatile currencies. We are seeing freelancers turning to USDC to gain access to the speed and cost advantages of Bitcoin, but with the stability of the US dollar.
Through our USDC funding offering, we have on-boarded a company to enable cross-border intracompany settlement. This company is working with a cryptocurrency company to accept payments across Latin America. They then convert the funds into USDC and withdraw the funds to Bitwage. Bitwage then funds their bank accounts in different fiat currencies around the world, such as USD and Euro. While we initially intended to use Bitcoin to withdraw from the cryptocurrency company, the company only had the capability to choose a withdrawal amount in USD terms. This was incompatible with our system because we require a specific amount of BTC for funding the transaction and there was no way to control how much BTC would be withdrawn. Specifically, this was an issue with exchange rates, since there is no universal exchange rate for BTC. So instead, we used USDC, since there is no exchange rate volatility between us and the cryptocurrency provider.
Companies are increasingly looking to cryptocurrency to lower barriers associated with international commerce. Our USDC corporate solution allows companies to fund not just international intracompany settlement, but also payroll and invoices, where USDC is the source of funding and fiat is sent to the recipient for services rendered.
What does this mean for Bitwage & USDC?
While we are still very bullish on the case for Bitcoin, as it is the most secure form of censorship resistant digital money, today’s issues around volatility and exchange rates make it hard for mainstream audiences to conduct everyday business. USDC and Bitwage helps bridge the gaps within Bitcoin for newcomers to take advantage of blockchain for business purposes.
Freelancers have new stable options for managing their paychecks globally. Companies can manage their international operations by leveraging USDC as a medium of exchange and Bitwage as a processor for their fiat obligations. Marketplaces have easily available ways to pay international exporters of goods or services, such as freelancing, wherever they may be.