Readers may already be familiar with Bitwage, the San Francisco-based company that lets people receive part of their earnings in bitcoins. It works pretty simply. The user delegates a portion of each paycheck to the Bitwage account, and in return he is credited with bitcoins to any wallet he chooses.
Bitwage COO Jonathan Chester spoke to CCN and told us that there are three kinds of customers looking to use Bitwage at the moment. There are the ones who are just looking to build steadily up Bitcoin, long-term holders. There are those who are looking to take the funds and use them in the short-term, and there are those who are looking to trade with the funds.
One, there are people that just want an easier way to receive their bitcoins, and they don’t like having to deal with signing up to the exchanges, they don’t like having to wait four days for their bitcoins to come. We’re able actually to send payments into your wallet next day, after your direct deposits. […] You can do from one dollar to your whole paycheck, and we have people doing the whole range. Typically we see more than a dollar.
The company now has three main offerings. The most important one, probably, is that they’ll send the funds to whatever Bitcoin address is specified. Also to that end, they’ve got a Xapo prepaid debit card the owner can use just like a regular debit card. One drawback to Xapo is that the cards cannot be currently shipped to the US, although they can apparently be used here.
Faster, Easier Way to Get Bitcoin?
In any case, the company has today launched a partnership with Bitreserve to offer “Cloud Savings,” essentially a way of retaining your value and possible profit via Bitreserve. Bitreserve is the brainchild of Halsey Minor, who founded CNET in the 1990s and believes very strongly in cryptocurrency. The way that the new cloud savings product will work is that the user delegates how much in bitcoins he would like to preserve. This is then held against other assets, and when the user goes to cash out, he gets the amount he expects. There are competing services that achieve much of the same goals as Bitreserve, such as Coinapult. Bitreserve has set itself apart, however, by offering various assets such as gold and oil as assets for the user to invest his funds in.
Chester says that Bitwage is all about helping people get bitcoins who might find it difficult or too time-consuming otherwise. Regular working people, that is, who haven’t the time to figure out how to use an exchange or buy bitcoins, necessarily. Chester admits that they might get a slightly better rate if they were to go that route, but in the end, the savings wouldn’t match the time that Bitwage saves its customers.
It’s a faster process. It’s an easier process. You don’t have to go every single time to buy your bitcoins, you just get a little bit, over time, just dollar cost averaging in the easiest way possible.
By partnering with various Bitcoin finance companies, Chester and his colleagues hope to entrench Bitwage in the Bitcoin economy. Be sure to listen to CCN’s exclusive interview with Jonathan Chester, COO of Bitwage, on Friday in episode eleven of the CCN Podcast.
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