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Bitwage Review: Pay Your Workers With Bitcoin

Bitwage is a crypto-focused international payments company that helps connect employers with payment options that can work in any country around the world.

With Bitwage, employers are able to connect a bank account to the platform and then send out payments to employees or freelance works via a wide variety of methods from local currencies to crypto. The net result is that employers and employees are able to remove friction from the international payment process and keep more of the real value obtained from working with each other.

Additionally, those receiving payouts via Bitwage will find that they’re usually able to access their wages much more quickly than other, non-crypto payment options on the market. Launched in 2013, Bitwage is one of the longest-standing crypto companies operating in the space, coming to market at a time when the crypto market wasn’t much more than just bitcoin itself.

Bitwage Overview

Bitwage Logo


  • A service that lets businesses pay their employees with cryptocurrency
  • Advanced payroll services
  • Potentially cheaper international transaction fees for employees and employers
  • Bitwage can process transactions faster than traditional finance options


  • Workers can receive all or a portion of their wage in digital assets instead of a bank accounts

  • Great options for companies who need to pay international employees or freelancers

  • Used by workers at many top crypto and tech companies

  • Cheap international invoices

  • Bitcoin 401k program

  • There are no fees for workers receiving payments in BTC, BCH, or ETH


  • Adds a new payments middleman between employer and employee

  • Fees for stablecoin-based payouts are somewhat high

  • Must pay a monthly fee for premium support and same day wage processing

  • Stablecoin transfers on Ethereum currently add extra costs due to high gas costs

  • Fees sometimes hidden in bitcoin exchange rate

What is Bitwage?

Bitwage was originally launched as a way for anyone with a bank account to get paid directly via bitcoin instead of a bank transfer. The system worked by creating unique bank account details for each user who wished to get paid in bitcoin rather than fiat currency, and the user’s employer did not need to know anything about the Bitwage platform for the system to work.

These days, the platform has developed into a broader international payment solution that is mostly useful to remote workers and the companies who hire them. Bitwage is headquartered in San Francisco, but the company also has offices in Dublin and Amsterdam. The two main services made available by Bitwage today are payroll services for workers who would prefer to be paid in bitcoin without any input from their employers and international payroll services for companies that have faced issues when trying to make payouts to an international workforce.

Bitwage was originally founded by John Lindsay and Jonathan Chester, and it is currently used to process payments to workers at a variety of large tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Uber.

Is Bitwage Safe?

There is not much risk to worry about when it comes to using Bitwage because it is more of a payment processor than anything else. This means that the main point of the app is not to hold and store bitcoin or other crypto assets on behalf of its users. In other words, there isn’t a large honeypot of crypto for hackers or insiders to steal from Bitwage users.

That said, Bitwage takes security seriously when it comes to user accounts, as there are still some potential shenanigans a hacker could get into if they’re able to access a user’s account with all of their personal data. To protect against this, Bitwage recommends that its users enable some form of two-factor authentication to protect against situations where a hacker obtains a user’s password. There are three options for two-factor authentication on Bitwage: SMS, Bitwage Authenticator, or Google Authenticator. Although, any two-factor authentication app that is compatible with the TOTP 423 standard should work properly with Bitwage’s security settings.

How Much is Bitwage?

There are a variety of fee structures and subscriptions to look at when it comes to Bitwage, and they’re mostly separated in two categories between the companies that are making payments with the platform and the workers who are receiving those payments.

Bitwage Costs for Workers

Before getting into the specific payment fees that apply to workers on Bitwage, it’s important to point out that the main function of the platform, which is to enabled workers to get paid in crypto without any extra work needed on their employer’s end, is a completely free service. That said, the exact exchange rate for bitcoin or any other crypto used for payouts on Bitwage may differ from the exchange rate that is widely available on other platforms, which means fees are effectively sometimes hidden in this exchange rate.

For those who do not wish to be paid in BTC, BCH, or ETH, extra fees will apply. There is a 1% per bank deposit fee for local currency payouts, and a $1 additional flat fee is added for payouts denominated in Canadian dollars. There is an additional $10 flat fee also applied for payouts made via bank wires.

Workers who wish to receive payouts in a stablecoin will be hit with a 2% fee on the transfer in addition to a flat $15 fee if the stablecoin chosen is USD Coin (USDC) or a $5 flat fee if the stablecoin is DAI. Users who receive payouts in cUSD have no flat fee to worry about.

Of course, a lot of these additional fees can be either discounted or completely removed with a premium subscription. For workers, a premium subscription costs $15.99 per month. Some of the additional features that come with a premium worker account include premium customer support and same day wage processing.

Bitwage Costs for Companies

There are also free services that are available to companies who are looking to use Bitwage for paying their employees and contractors. Namely, there are no fees for companies to worry about when payrolls are funded via bank wires or ACH credit transfers. For ACH debit transfers, there is a 0.50% fee on funding payroll payments on top of a flat $0.50 fee. When a credit card is used to fund payroll payouts, the company is charged a 3.5% fee plus a $0.30 flat fee.

Companies can also access premium features by paying $7.99 per employee per month. This basically enables premium accounts for all of the employees and contractors who operate under the greater umbrella of the company making all of the payouts.

For companies offering Bitwage’s Bitcoin 401k accounts, users can expect to pay a 1.5% fee per trade.

What are the Best Features of Bitwage?

Perhaps the best feature of Bitwage is the basic functionality that it started with nearly a decade ago, which is the ability for workers to get paid in bitcoin without any changes needed on their employer’s end. This is still the base use case of Bitwage after all these years, and it’s something that is enabled for free without the need for a premium subscription. Of course, users should always keep an eye on the actual exchange rate that is quoted to them, as additional fees can sometimes be hidden in those rates.

On the employer side, the best feature of Bitwage is that it enables companies to send payouts to any person in the entire world by combining traditional payment rails with additional crypto-based options. With Bitwage, employers do not need to worry about whether their freelance contractors have bank accounts, and their employees can even receive payments in dollar-backed stablecoins.

Although it’s a relatively new feature, the Bitcoin 401k program offered by Bitwage is rather unique. Bitwage can help any company set up a Bitcoin 401k plan for their employees. Notably, this 401k plan is not limited to bitcoin, and employees are able to access traditional investments as well. Perhaps most notably, the Bitcoin 401k plan includes a dollar-cost-average (DCA) system, which allows those who opt-into the plan to avoid some of the extreme price swings that are found with bitcoin over the short term.

Potential Dealbreakers

One of the main points of cryptocurrency is that it removes middlemen from the equation when making any sort of payment or money transfer online. From this perspective, it’s easy to see why some people may decide that Bitwage is simply reintroducing more middlemen who were originally supposed to be made irrelevant by this new financial technology. For those who are pretty familiar with how cryptocurrencies work and do not need a bit of hand holding, the added fees on things like stablecoin-based payouts may be a turn off. Obviously, employers and employees who both understand how to use crypto wallets do not gain much from adding Bitwage as a middleman in between them.

Another potential dealbreaker with Bitwage is that same day processing is only available to premium users who are willing to pay for that feature. Those who want to be able to send or receive payouts more quickly may decide to convert between a bank account and cryptocurrency on their own in order to speed up the payout process without having to pay for a premium subscription.

One final issue that could turn off some potential Bitwage users is that the company will sometimes hide fees in the bitcoin exchange rate that they display to their users. Even if these fees hidden in the spread between buy and sell orders are rather small, there is a strong contingent of crypto users who simply do not like it when companies try to hide fees from users in this manner.

Bitwage Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there is an official Bitwage app that is available for workers who use Android and Apple devices. On the company side, there is currently only an app available for Apple devices. The official Bitwage app is not much different from the website, but one of the main features of the app is that you can use it as your two-factor authentication app for your Bitwage account.

If you are a worker who wants to receive some or all of your income in bitcoin instead of it being sent to a bank account, then you will be happy to know that there are no fees involved with this process. That said, it’s important to keep an eye on the bitcoin exchange rate that is quoted to you when you use the Bitwage platform, as a bad exchange rate (from the user’s perspective) is one of the ways many companies try to hide fees associated with their crypto services.

Yes, people living in Canada are able to use Bitwage. The only real difference to worry about when it comes to using Bitwage in Canada as opposed to other countries is that local currency distributions denominated in Canadian dollars come with an extra $1 flat fee. However, it should be noted that this fee is waived for premium users.

There are a variety of alternative ways to get the same sort of functionality that Bitwage provides, but not many other crypto apps are focused on the same, exact international payments niche as this crypto company. For example, a Cash App user could decide to use the bank account information tied to their Cash App account to receive payments from their employer. The user would then have to go into the Cash App and manually trade each payment from their employer to bitcoin for a fee. Other apps, such as Uphold, allow the user to receive bitcoin-denominated payments as U.S. dollars (or vice versa). Another app to watch in this area is Strike, as they’re also building a global payments solution that combines aspects of both the traditional financial system and innovative protocols built on top of Bitcoin like the Lightning Network.

Bitwage Premium is a useful option for heavy users of Bitwage. It enables new features, such as premium customer support and more payment options, in addition to removing some or all of the fees associated with certain types of services in the app. Most users who make heavy use of Bitwage on a monthly basis will find that signing up for a premium account is worth the monthly fee.

Bitwage Jobs was a job marketplace for the platform’s users; however, this aspect of Bitwage is no longer active.

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