Bitwage Enables Companies to Pay Salaries in Ether

Crypto startup Bitwage, which helps employers pay salaries in digital currency, has included ether in the payroll option.

Revealed Monday, companies that wish to provide tax and HR-compliant ether benefits to employees may sign up to do so.

Since 2014, the firm has been providing direct Bitcoin deposits and serves more than 30,000 workers. Independent contractors, employees, and freelancers can get from their employers or clients any portion of their fiat obligations due to them in digital currency.

The firm has been experimenting with the Ethereum ecosystem over the last couple of years, including introducing consulting services company Inwage, which established various projects on the blockchain. It includes the Moria ICO that generated $50 million and a pilot project for an insurance firm utilizing Ethereum for audit trail capabilities.

Per a company representative, adding ether to the primary offering of Bitwage “took a lot of behind the scenes work… because the whole system was optimized for BTC. It’s just a matter of now having gotten the infrastructure to add it.”

When the startup was established five years ago, CEO Johnathan Chester learned that although merchants accept Bitcoin, there was no way for workers to get paid in it.

In a statement, Chester said they aim “to close the financial loop.” The firm presently processes $2.5 million in monthly volume for full-time employees and contractors.

Bitwage offers two payment services—team wages, in which it provides companywide payroll services, and direct deposit where part of employees’ salaries are sent to the firm to be exchanged for cryptocurrency via dollar cost averaging. The representative said team wage contracts are mainly offered for firms that may want to pay numerous contract employees spread worldwide with only one payment.

Square provides a similar service in which an employee’s direct deposit is sent to the payments platform, but they need to swap it for Bitcoin manually.

Many blue-chip companies have employees who utilize Bitwage to automatically convert their cash salaries into digital currency, including Apple, Amazon, and Google. Several gig workers for Doordash, Uber, and Caviar also use the services.

Bitwage customers may have up to two payments distributions per pay period in cryptocurrency or fiat as a non-premium client, or three for premium.

The firm raised approximately $1 million in funding from investors BPI France, Candela Reach Capital, and Draper Associates.