For most people in the developed world, having a bank account is a given. Many of us have had bank accounts since we were teenagers saving up for our first car. But it is becoming more and more desirable to reduce dependency on a bank account, or even eliminate it altogether. Whether your concern is privacy, accessibility, cost, or security of funds, there are enough problems with bank accounts to justify ditching yours.
For those of us with jobs, income, and wealth to store, bank accounts seem like a necessary evil, but what if you could keep your current job, or even receive government benefits such as unemployment, directly into your crypto wallet? If you currently get paid in fiat to your bank account, and then use that to buy crypto on an exchange, you are likely aware of how inefficient and time-consuming that process can be. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could completely automate it while at the same time cutting the bank out of the process?
Yes, it’s possible.
I’m going to show you a way to get paid in crypto from your regular employer, whether you are an hourly or salaried W-2 employee or 1099 contractor, and you won’t even have to explain anything about crypto to them.
You’ll still need a government-issued ID for verification (there’s no way around that, unless working ‘under the table’), but that’s it. You’ll be able to select whether to receive your paycheck as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or Ethereum, and if desired, split it between your crypto wallet and a traditional bank account (but I found that it’s actually far easier and faster to take the whole thing as crypto. You can convert a portion to fiat as necessary).
For this tutorial, I’ll be using Bitcoin Cash because it’s the most versatile and useful of the available choices.
Let’s get started! (Full disclosure: Affiliate links ahead)
Step 1 – Download a wallet
I recommend a non-custodial wallet such as Electron Cash or the Bitcoin.com wallet, so that you can take direct control of your paycheck as soon as it becomes available. These wallets support advanced privacy features so even though you’ll go through a KYC process it is easy to use CashShuffle to automatically shuffle your new coins as soon as they arrive in your wallet. Alternatively, you can use a custodial wallet provider like Coinbase or Uphold to quickly convert your new crypto to fiat or other altcoins. Uphold also offers a debit card which you can link to your Bitcoin Cash wallet and spend it directly with instant conversions done at the point-of-sale.
Whichever method you choose, simply copy your Bitcoin Cash receiving address to use in the next step.
Step 2 – Sign up with BitWage
BitWage is a payroll service which facilitates conversion of wages and salaries into cryptocurrency. Once you register and go through their verification process, you will be able to set your crypto payout address (from the previous step) and add your employer information. BitWage will then generate an ACH Direct Deposit form with a personal routing and account number which you can print out and give to your employer’s payroll department just like you normally would. On your next payday, BitWage will take receipt of the ACH deposit and automatically convert it to your chosen cryptocurrency at the market’s exchange rate. Viola!
Step 3 – Enjoy getting paid in crypto
For me, the great thing about getting paid through BitWage was the mindset shift of knowing that my paycheck is immediately safe in my own custody. There is no need to visit a bank to withdraw cash, no risk of unexpected bills causing an overdraft fee, and it’s super easy and fast to convert any portion back to fiat if and when I need it. I also found that it was faster to convert my Bitcoin Cash paycheck to fiat than to wait for a traditional direct deposit to clear my bank account.
But most of the time, conversion is not even necessary. What is nice about Bitcoin Cash is that the sky is the limit when it comes to your choices of where and how to spend it. You can easily make purchases on Amazon with Bitcoin Cash using Purse.io, or find merchants who accept Bitcoin Cash directly with the Bitcoin Cash Map, BitPay Directory or Coinmap. Alternatively, you can convert a portion of your Bitcoin Cash to fiat currency using Local.Bitcoin.com. But my favorite method is printing gift paper wallets to hand to friends, neighbors, wait staff, or pretty much anyone to introduce them to Bitcoin Cash.
Whatever you decide to do with it, your paycheck is now fully in your control, not in a bank.