BitPay, virtual currency payment processor, has announced a beta trial for its new Bitcoin Payroll API. The API allows employers to offer a portion of employee pay in bitcoin.Targeted at employers and payroll service providers, the API allows employees to opt-in to receive a payroll deduction in bitcoin on a recurring basis.
Tony Gallippi, BitPay co-founder and CEO, commented:
“For the longest time the hard question was ‘How do I buy bitcoin?'...Now the answer is easy: ‘Ask your employer.'”
BitPay now sits as the world's largest virtual payment processor. Serving over 20,000 merchants, BitPay continues to add 1,000 new merchants each week. The Payroll API could boost BitPay customer numbers further as more and more consumer facing companies (e.g. Zynga, Privatefly.com, etc.) have started accepting bitcoin payments. The trend has certainly taken hold at BitPay itself, as 100% of company employees have opted to receive some portion of their paychecks in bitcoin form.
Public documentation is not currently available for the Payroll API. Those interested in learning more during the beta trial can reach out to the BitPay team through the API site. At a high level, the API works in three general steps: 1) employees opt-in for a set bitcoin amount for each paycheck 2) employers aggregate the requests and fund BitPay before the pay date 3) BitPay validates requests and sends payments.
Virtual currency continues to stir the waters of monetary policy. With BitPay's latest API, bitcoin has moved beyond a niche payment method to individual companies. Now, employees can directly request bitcoin payment as a portion of each paycheck. With more bitcoin supply in consumer pockets, the demand to use the virtual currency should soon follow. Since the customer is always right, except more bitcoin merchants to follow.