Indian employees will be able to get paid by foreign companies with bitcoin thanks to a deal between Bangalore-based Unocoin Technologies Private Limited and San Francisco payroll startup Bitwage Ltd.
The partnership will allow Indian freelancers and employees to receive their salaries and wages in bitcoin from employers in countries such as the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom, avoiding the use of fiat currency with their attendant high foreign transaction and forex conversion fees.
An example of the savings provided by Unocoin is that an Indian employee being paid $1,000 U.S. would receive a payment of 64,481 Indian rupees if paid through PayPal, or 65,660 INR if paid through Citibank, whereas by using Bitwage they would receive 70250 INR.
“The demand for Bitcoin in India is tremendous,” Unocoin cofounder and President Sunny Ray said in a statement. “Together with Unocoin, Bitwage is giving foreign employees in India an unprecedented arbitrage opportunity, so they can take home far more money from the same paycheck than ever before.”
To use Bitwage for payment in conjunction with Unocoin, users sign up to Bitwage and select INR as their preferred currency. Once registration is complete, a Unocoin account is automatically generated, allowing the user to receive their wages over Bitwage’s network into their Unocoin wallet, which can then be used to convert the bitcoin into INR.
The announcement follows a financial crisis in the country after the Indian government’s decision to demonetize the 500 and 1000 rupee notes, a move that has forced many to look at ways of bringing more financial transactions online.
“With the recent economic crisis in India, more and more people are turning towards Bitcoin,” Bitwage cofounder and President Jonathan Chester noted. “Unocoin is the bridge connecting the Indian community to the incredible benefits Bitcoin and blockchain technology have to offer.”
Bitwage comes into the deal as the preferred bitcoin payroll provider to a multitude of companies, including Google Inc., Facebook Inc., Yahoo Inc., General Electric Co., Comcast Corp., the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Nations Food & Agriculture Office.