In this episode, we interview the founder and Chief Operating Officer of Bitwage.co, Jonathan Chester, across the miles from his home in Sunnyvale, California. His company, Bitwage, is a startup Silicon Valley company that will change the way Filipino freelancers — and maybe in the future, even employees — accept payments from their clients or employers.
I myself had used Bitwage and was amazed at the speed of which I received my money, a matter of one day from my U.S. client to my Philippine bank account. Amazing! The good thing also was that I was not charged for transferring my money to my bank account because the service is still in beta as of this writing. However, according to Jonathan, once Bitwage has officially launched, the transfer fees will then be implemented, but will still be way lower than traditional remittance services like Western Union, Money Gram and even PayPal.
That’s not all, freelancers without a bank account (or the “unbanked”) can still get their cash from local remittance services like LBC, 2Go, G-Cash and Cebuana Lhuillier, or pay their bills via Bitwage’s local e-wallet service partner, Coins.ph. Here is a screenshot of my Bitwage.co dashboard:
Further, we also discuss the digital currency phenomenon, Bitcoin, and the Blockchain concept, and how Bitwage uses it to power its remittance facility. Here are the key takeways from the show.
- What it’s like inside the Facebook headquarters.
- How he and his friend, John Lindsay, CEO of Bitwage, started Bitwage.co.
- Why he left a high paying job in Oracle to focus on Bitwage and how was it like working for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
- What they discovered about the frustration of freelancers when it comes to accepting payments.
- Why people shouldn’t be afraid to fail.
- What made him passionate about bitcoins despite being skeptical about it at first.
- An explanation of the Bitcoin system and the Blockchain technology in layman’s terms.
- The public and private ledger analogy for bitcoins.
- What a bitcoin miner is.
- Why they chose to initially target Philippine freelancers.
- How Bitwage leverages the bitcoin blockchain system.
- Why freelancers should choose Bitwage over other remittance services.
- Is Bitwage secure?
- What’s next for Bitwage.co.
- Larry Ellison
- TED Talk on Bitcoin
- Bitcoin – watch the simple video explanation here. Thanks to Christine Aguilar of coins.ph for :
- The Blockchain – the public ledger. You can see it moving real time!
- John Lindsay – CEO of Bitwage.co
“Our first local currency corridor that we’ve built for freelancers is from U.S. to Philippines — meaning that US dollars come in and Philippine Pesos go out in the other side. ”
“I was so passionate about Bitwage. I was convinced that what we were doing was going to make people’s lives better. And that what we were doing was going to bring a lot of value – to freelancers, employers, employees.”
“Create your own success, whatever you believe your own success is.”
“The real answer to how currency has value is that people believe that it has value.”
“The reason why bitcoin has value is because people believe and trust that the mathematics behind bitcoin and behind the blockchain are not going to fail and believe that they provide more efficiency than other systems out there.”
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