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Blockchain & Bitcoin conference Prague: Jonathan Chester, Founder/President at Bitwage




Q/ Tell us about yourself and motivations in bitcoin and blockchain space?

I first heard about bitcoin in the middle of 2013 while working at Oracle.  I became incredibly fascinated by both it’s potential efficiency and social economic effects.   After spending about of month going down the bitcoin rabbit hole, I emerged quite obsessed.  I connected with a co-worker at Oracle and we looked at how we could add value to the ecosystem.  We realized no one was offering a solution that enabled bitcoin payroll solutions, so we decided to be the first ones.  Now we offer solutions that help workers all around the world receive wages from companies in the EU, US and UK, with or without the company signing up.

Q/ What do you expect to see at blockchain & Bitcoin conference prague?

This will be my first bitcoin conference in the EU, so I am excited to learn more about the EU bitcoin ecosystem.

Q/ What type of services exist or can we expect in the future?”

Services that support the ICO community and analyze blockchain payments for a variety of reasons.

Q/ How do you compare Private blockchain versus Decentralized Blockchain?

Private blockchain hypothetically may create efficiencies over replicated centralized databases between entities.  Public blockchains currently exist and provide the value of being decentralized, hard to coerce and permissionless.  This makes it easier to build innovative applications on top of a public blockchain and provides alternative stores of value for people living in countries whose governments have mismanaged the local currency and financial system.

Q/ What are the details around the most important project you’re working on currently?

I run a company called Bitwage.  It is the most popular payroll & invoicing solution built on top of bitcoin.  We allow anyone to receive any percentage of their wages in bitcoin from EU, US and UK employers without the employers signing up.  We have performed about $20m in transactions, have over 11k users and have raised funds from Draper Associates, BPIFrance, Orange Silicon Valley (through Orange Fab) and others.  We just released a new solution that allows us to provide individual IBANs for all users receiving wages from EU employers paying with Euros.

Q/ How does the competition compare?

We are the leading solution for workers who want to receive their wages in bitcoin.  We have three different types of users:

1)  Investors – People who want an easy way to dollar/euro cost average their bitcoin investment to reduce exposure to volatility risk.  Our solution is the easiest solution since once you set it up, it works like clockwork.  We also offer same-next day transactions with no limits.

2)  International workers – Workers receiving money in developing countries from developed countries often lose a lot of time and money with funds move through the traditional banking systems.  By leveraging bitcoin, we are able to offer faster, cheaper payments without requiring the company to sign up.  This is done by providing workers with collections accounts in the US, EU and UK.

3) Unbanked – Users who either want to remove themselves from the banking systems or are currently not a part of the banking systems have a way to receive a direct deposit into Bitcoin.


Q/ The market has many players, what differentiates you?

We provide workers with collections accounts in the EU, US and UK, which allows them to receive their wages in Bitcoin from any company.

Q/ could you tell us more about your achievements in this?

We have performed about $20m in transactions, have over 11k users and have raised funds from Draper Associates, BPI France, Orange Silicon Valley (through Orange Fab) and others.

Q/ could you tell us more about where you see Blockchain technology in the future?

The use case of bitcoin as a commodity will continue to expand into countries all around the world in unstable financial regimes.  This will increase the value of bitcoin and ultimately create more price stability as more players and users enter the market.  This will then create a strong base for additional applications to be built on top of the blockchain that can handle high volume and velocity transactions at similar levels to financial enterprises, such as Visa & Mastercard.

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