Save time and money by getting paid in bitcoin

This walk-through covers how you can use bitcoin, as a contractor, to get paid faster and lower fees on both ends. bitcoin15

The intended audience is contractors and service providers who have clients overseas or who provide services internationally. It covers not only how to accept bitcoin (that bit is easy), but how you can show your client the easiest way to take advantage of the Bitcoin network as well.

Case Study
I contract out as a writer, and was asked to cover the Inside Bitcoins conference. They had the option of international wire, PayPal or bitcoin. I chose bitcoin. I sent them my invoice (we denominated in USD), they sent me my fee in bitcoin at the market rate, and I had the money in my CoinJar instantly. No $25.00 wire fee, no international transfer delays. I invoiced then had the money that day. Because I use CoinJar I was also able to spend it on dinner that night using my Swipe card.

Step 1 – Get a wallet

For this example I’m using CoinJar, but there are plenty of services that do the same thing. The key aspects are that you can convert bitcoin to cash, instantly, and the bitcoin to cash exchange rate is better than the foreign exchange rates (CoinJar is 1%, so no problem).

Set up a CoinJar

bitcoin58Step 2 – Show your client

This is the tricky part, because it may be a conceptual leap for them. But if they’re interested then walking them through it is pretty easy.

First explain the benefits:

  • 5% – 10% cost saving (perhaps offer a discount)
  • Instant settlement

If you like you can help them find an exchange, making sure it:

  • Is reputable
  • Allows them to hold a cash balance
  • Allows them to buy bitcoin and transfer out
  • Offers a competitive exchange rate

You can even send them this guide on using bitcoin to send money overseas.

Step 3 – make the transfer

Here the client simply needs to:bitcoin67

  1. Top up their exchange account with cash on their end
  2. Convert their local currency to the agreed bitcoin amount
  3. Transfer to your bitcoin address

Bonus points if they use a service like CoinJar, which offers hedged accounts, so they don’t need to worry about price fluctuations in between conversion and sending.

It really is that simple. Set up your wallet, help them set up theirs, store the money as dollars and just use bitcoin as the plumbing. You’ll save time and money, and learn something new.

Want to learn more? Read our guide about using bitcoin as a cash backup overseas.

We halved our buy fee!

To ensure our users get the best value with CoinJar, we have cut our buy fee in half! This means you can now buy and sell with a flat 1% fee.

This is a step in our journey to make bitcoin services simple, affordable and easy to use. The fee change is effective as of today.

Buy now

For more information about our fees visit our knowledge base or email our Support team

Using bitcoin as a cash backup when travelling

Even the smartest traveller can lose their cards or have them blocked or stolen. Traveller’s cheques are an option but they are hard to get and use, and the fees are massive.

In this blog, we’ll go through how you can use CoinJar (or any other bitcoin service) to stay connected with your money back home. With a little know-how you can use bitcoin to access your money as cash, in any local currency, wherever you go.

Why bitcoin?

illu__learndot-single-BTC

Bitcoin is a distributed payment network that allows you to transfer value instantly and globally, with low fees. For this tutorial, we’ve used CoinJar but you can apply this to any bitcoin service that offers currency conversion and a wallet.

Step 1 – Set up your CoinJar

Set up is free and instant, you can use a CoinJar to hold cash, bitcoin, or hedge against major currencies.

Open a CoinJar

Step 2 – Deposit Cash

We accept deposits via BPAY. BPAY deposits can take 1 – 3 business days so make sure you complete yours before you head off.

Step 3 – Access your cash

There are a few options for accessing the funds in your CoinJar abroad:

illu__account__external__bank-alternateFind a bitcoin ATM

How do bitcoin ATMs work?

  • The ATM checks the current exchange rate for bitcoin in the local currency.
  • It then creates a quote, based on this exchange rate.
  • It displays a  QR code that says how much to pay, and where to pay to.
  • Your CoinJar then converts your money to bitcoin for the quoted amount and sends.
  • That value gets transferred and converted to the local currency instantly.

To note

  • This is still a new technology, don’t build all your travel plans around bitcoin just yet, we recommend this as a powerful option, and a good back up in case of emergencies.
  • You don’t even have to buy bitcoin, you just have to have a CoinJar (or similar service) with money in the account.

illu__account__aeroplaneOur users already use CoinJar to stay connected to their money, wherever they are. Read the about how one of our customers used CoinJar to access her Australian dollars in Japan when her cards were cancelled on a business trip. 

Stuck? Get help.

Next: Learn how to use bitcoin for remittance.

The return of monetary politics

In March, the UK government formally announced plans to welcome and regulate digital currency activity in the UK. The promise of research funding, police training, and pragmatic regulation are welcome first steps, but to what end? The focus in this area tends to fall on questions of innovation, competition, crime, and jobs, but there may be something much broader at stake, namely the question of deciding what the money of tomorrow will look like.

Money at its core is a claim on resources, though we rarely see it in those terms. A pound coin or a twenty-pound note comes infused with notions of power, tradition, identity, and stability, and in the process its core function gets buried. Credit cards and bank accounts go some distance in stripping money back down to its bare functionality, but in a manner that complements rather than replaces existing ideas around money.

Community-issued digital currencies such as bitcoin are less accommodating, not least by their being ‘not backed by anything’. Each bitcoin is a numerical balance in a public ledger and nothing more: no gold reserve, no government pledge, no material referent of any kind, money flattened into a database.

The 2009 launch of bitcoin — an anonymous act of guerilla semiosis from one of the Internet’s darker corners — resulted in two interesting and opposing challenges to the imagination within its community of users. The first was that bitcoin itself was mystified, its digital tokens elevated with metaphors of gold, coinage, and mining, a public ledger praised as the biggest networking innovation since the Internet, and a compelling origin story with an enigmatic lead character. But in the process, for a substantial community of geeks and enthusiasts, ‘money’ more generally was de-mystified. The premise is simple: if money is just a database designed to manage claims on resources, surely there must be a smarter way to run that database? Suddenly every parameter is adjustable. That was not the case with precious metal or paper, the physicality of those forms of money making it easier to leave them unquestioned — this purple piece of paper is worth £20 the same way this pint of milk is worth 50p, nothing about either of these things prompts us to question the nature of value or ownership, it feels natural for something physical.

“…if money is just a database designed to manage claims on resources, surely there must be a smarter way to run that database?”

Once we are talking about tokens in a database the game changes entirely, because everything can be questioned. Consider the political tug-of-war that is the carbon credit system: How many carbon credits should we create? Who should get newly created credits? Should we let them expire? Or accumulate interest? Or maybe erode over time instead? Can a thing own a carbon credit? Once we make something materially fluid it becomes politically fluid as well.

Since Bretton Woods we have had a relatively rigid monetary order built on the US dollar as a global reserve currency, initially backed by gold, and later backed by little more than inertia. Over the last few decades the monetary space has largely been depoliticised — central banks have become largely autonomous, and governments have been stripped of their rights to influence money issuance or interest rates. Most of these changes were welcome, monetary policy remains arbitrary but at least decision making passed from election-focused politicians to a cadre of reassuringly boring technocrats.

The financial crisis prised the clamshell of monetary politics back open. There are two ways to increase the money supply: get banks to lend more (thus creating debt-based money) or issue new monetary tokens (aka ‘printing money’). As interest rates hit zero and post-crisis economies yearned for monetary stimulus, central banks found themselves contorting to do what was always presumed to be illegal — arbitrarily printing more money.

While the revival of central bank activism addresses the panicked and practical question — how can we stimulate the economy right now — the digital currency space has been gestating in the background, a political meditation on more fundamental questions around money, albeit now framed as a grand database that records our collective claims on resources.

When creating a claim on resources, who should initially get that claim? The monetarist consensus dictated that nobody had an unearned right to claim resources, and money created via the lending process should be sufficient. While largely successful, this also led to the systemically unstable link between money supply and debt levels. That bedrock of debt was a key ingredient in the financial crisis, and the quantitative easing which followed has left monetary consensus in tatters.

As a result, more heterodox solutions are rising to prominence. Neo-metallists (gold bugs) take the atavistic view that value is still something we dig out of the ground, while neo-chartalists (such as Positive Money) argue that money should be issued directly by an arm of the state. Both have seen a post-crisis resurgence. Meanwhile the bitcoin protocol awards newly created units of money to those who support its payment infrastructure, while other digital currencies have experimented with awarding newly created units to community members, a sponsoring organisation, renewable energy producers, or even forestry projects.

Token allocation is not the only big question posed by virtual currency schemes: should a new money system be managed by a central authority or a dispersed community? The former promises efficiency, the latter resilience and transparency. Is money a public good, infrastructure, or a competitive service? Should transactions be free? Or reversible? And what kinds of messages or programmatic functions should we allow people to latch on to their money?

But the greatest debate around digital money hinges on its relationship to identity and access, how do we find the balance between transparency and privacy? We can imagine two extremes — a perfectly anonymous digital cash system (still a largely theoretical proposition) — or a hyper-transparent social currency where all transactions, participants, and infrastructure are in the public domain. The challenge, as with all the other big questions, is finding where in the spectrum in between we want to land.

This article was originally posted on www.respublica.org.uk on 25 March 2015.

The best bitcoin I’ve ever spent

I’ve bought a lot of stuff with bitcoin. Coffee, groceries, clothes… all very necessary but also quite ordinary. Last week, I signed up for a membership at Hubud, a co-working space in Bali and I paid for it with bitcoin. It was honestly the best bitcoin purchase I’ve ever made.

Why? The membership was priced in $USD, but since I was paying with bitcoin, I didn’t need to bother with the conversion fees. It was also instant, so my spot was confirmed immediately, instead of having to wait 3 days for my money to go through. It was also just awesome using bitcoin in an international transfer, because it worked so smoothly.

But the real reason was because I was just so productive at Hubud. Remote work is something I’ve never done before, so I was a little skeptical of how much work I’d get done, but it was worth it. I’m no digital nomad, and I was only there for a week but the change of scenery is refreshing from the big city life.

Several others from the CoinJar Team have visited Hubud before and here’s our top 8 reasons why you should too.

Bamboo is commonly used in Bali for its strength and sustainability as a building material. It’s a nice touch.
  1. No shoes
    Before you even step into the co-working space, you’re invited to leave your shoes at the door. Even though this may make you a little uncomfortable at first, it does lend to the comfortable, warm and welcoming vibe Hubud has.
  2. Better for your health
    Bali is hot and humid, and Hubud is an open-air working space. If you’re accustomed to climate controlled offices, prepare to sweat and embrace the natural fresh air. It’s a good reset for the body. And when you just can’t hack it, there’s an air-conditioned room.
  3. Convenience food
    There is a healthy organic cafe in Hubud with a salad bar, juices, smoothies, desserts and coffee. When it’s right next to you and so well-priced, healthy food choices are that much easier to make. Bali is known for its raw vegan and natural food offerings, and the cafe is Hubud is no exception. I highly recommend the two litre bottle of watermelon and lime juice and the coconut bliss balls.
  4. Insane global networking
    The people in Hubud are truly one of a kind. From Silicon Valley to Berlin, the members are all passionate professionals working on interesting projects. There are freelancers, entrepreneurs, career-shifters, startup owners, creative professionals, NGO workers, writers… It’s a networking haven, without the pretentiousness and awkward moments.
  5. The vibe
    Bali is a spiritual place, whether you’re at a tourist attraction, in a shop or at a co-working space. The vibe is calm, peaceful and other-worldly. It takes about a day or two to adjust to it, but it is seriously relaxing and quiet. And the view’s not too bad either.
  6. Visit monkeys during your lunch break
    I am not kidding, I didn’t believe it myself. Hubud is right next to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, a big hit with tourists. If anyone pesters you about going overseas to work remote, you can tell them you’re going to Bali to hang out with a bunch of monkeys.
  7. Perspective
    It’s travel, work and play all in one trip. Enough said.
  8. Hubud accepts bitcoin
    And it makes a lot of sense for them. In fact, during my visit, I met several business owners in Bali who were looking into accepting bitcoin. When I asked Hubud’s co-founders Peter and Steve about why they accept bitcoin, their answer makes it very clear why.

“Our members operate and work transnationally and any way that they can pay for things easily and with low/no fees is huge for them and therefore us! One of our members, Gary, started the Bitcoin movement in Bali and we host Bitcoin Filter meet-up every Tuesday at Hubud.”

The need for bitcoin is most prevalent to me when I travel. The fees I pay for my traditional banking cards are exorbitant and I wish I didn’t have to rely on something that’s failed me so many times before. Especially for an island like Bali that attracts thousands of tourists a month, bitcoin just makes sense. Use cases like Hubud are prime examples of how powerful a global currency with instant and practically free transactions can be.

Still don’t get it? Read more on how bitcoin will change the unbanked economies, paying with bitcoin and accepting bitcoin as a business.

The outdoor seating area faces rice paddies


Article by Zhoe Low— Communications Strategist at CoinJar. Tweet her @zhoelow

Photos by Carol Da Riva available here under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Introducing CoinJar Touch for Android

Today, we launched our long-awaited mobile application for Android – CoinJar Touch. The native app mirrors the CoinJar web platform and lets you manage your CoinJar on-the-go, wherever you are.

CoinJar Touch is designed to be your everyday bitcoin payments app, convenient for instant payments to others and quicker transfers between your accounts.

Download CoinJar Touch for Android

 

account-list  Transfer


Features:

• Pay instantly to CoinJar usernames, Bitcoin addresses and scanned QR codes.
• Request payments from anyone via email.
• Store funds without volatility in Hedged Accounts (GBP, EUR, USD and AUD)
• Transfer between bitcoin and cash with low fees.
• Withdraw funds to supported bank accounts¹.
• Secure your CoinJar with a passcode and Data Wipe.
• View your balances with AUD, GBP, BTC, EUR and USD as a value reference currency.
• Get push notifications for deposits, payment requests and confirmations.
¹ Currently available to Australian customers only.

Install CoinJar Touch for Android

Need help? Take a look at our Support Knowledge Base article for CoinJar Touch.

For any more information about CoinJar services, please contact our in-house support team. We’d also like to hear your thoughts and feedback on our products and features on Twitter. For promotions, offers, product launches and more, subscribe to CoinJar’s monthly newsletter.

Now every Australian business accepts bitcoin

Today we’re pleased to announce the general release of CoinJar Swipe, Australia’s first bitcoin debit card. With Swipe, you can spend your bitcoin anywhere that accepts EFTPOS and withdraw your bitcoin as cash at any ATM in Australia.

CoinJar Swipe is convenient, easy to use, and built so you can use your bitcoin to pay for the everyday things, like your morning coffee and the bills. If you live in Australia and have a verified identity, sign in and order your first bitcoin debit card.

Order CoinJar Swipe

Artboard 2 FFFDFA

  • To order, there is a one time fee of $29.
  • To be eligible for CoinJar Swipe, you must be a verified CoinJar user.
    Not verified? Visit our identity verification portal.
  • Once ordered, your card will be delivered within 7-10 business days.
  • For more detailed information visit support.

Last year in September, we invited 100 members of our early access program, CoinJar DNA, to beta-test Swipe. It was well-received and using the beta-test feedback, our team was able to refine and improve Swipe for you today.

Here’s what our beta-testers thought of Swipe:

“With Swipe, I can now use Bitcoin to buy just about anything. The other day, I went out to the local Woolies and bought my lunch with bitcoin. Really, at the end of the day, I want to do everything that I already do with other currency, plus more with Bitcoin.”
Prashan Paramanathan, CEO, Chuffed.org

“I do like the fact that I can load my BTC onto the card and access the money immediately, as opposed to waiting for the obligatory 2 banking days to receive funds in my bank account. The process was pretty straightforward, receiving the card, activating it, loading money onto it, using the card to buy groceries.  All very easy. It’s definitely a step in the right direction to make Bitcoin more accessible for the masses.”
Daniel, DNA member

“Seeing it used in such a mundane context made it feel so real, and I started feeling really excited about the possibilities in this space.” 
Anthony, DNA member

“My favourite moment of using Swipe would be the time I ordered a meal and had my bank keycard fail. It would’ve been awkward had my Swipe not come to save the day.”
Gerard, DNA member

We look forward to hearing what you think of CoinJar Swipe. Share your feedback with us on Twitter or send us a support request.

Card FFFDFA

Order CoinJar Swipe

For more information, including the Product Disclosure Statement and the fee schedule for this product, visit our Support Knowledge Base article.

Introducing Hedged Accounts

Today, we’re excited to launch CoinJar’s newest feature for the everyday bitcoin user, Hedged Accounts. Hedged Accounts protect you from fluctuations in the bitcoin price by pegging your bitcoin to AUD, GBP, EUR or USD. They are available to be added to your CoinJar now.

Open a Hedged Account

 

150209-Hedged-Accounts-Overview-ForBlog

Hedged Accounts are great for people who want to start out with bitcoin for practical purposes but don’t want to manage it actively or worry about price volatility.
– Asher Tan, CEO

This new feature is particularly useful for businesses or charities that accept bitcoin as they can make business plans and budget without worrying about its volatility. Hedging their bitcoin gives them the assurance that their funds are stable, without having to transfer it to cash.

How Hedged Accounts work

A CoinJar Hedged Account allows you to hold a variable amount of bitcoins that have a fixed value in terms of an alternative currency (GBP, AUD, EUR, USD). This protects your bitcoin from price fluctuations.

CoinJar Hedged Accounts Infographic - AUD-2

 Need help? Read the Frequently Asked Questions article on our CoinJar Support Knowledge Base.

Introducing CoinJar Touch for iOS

Today, our team is excited to launch our redesigned mobile application for iOS – CoinJar Touch. CoinJar Touch is an everyday bitcoin payments app that lets you manage your CoinJar on-the-go, wherever you are. The app will be familiar to you as it mirrors CoinJar’s simple and easy to use web platform.

Using CoinJar Touch, you’ll be able to make instant payments to others and quicker transfers between your accounts. We built this because we believe you should have control over your money, wherever you are.

Download CoinJar Touch for iOS

   accounts page_with_frametransfer page_with_frame

Features:
• Pay instantly to CoinJar usernames, Bitcoin addresses and scanned QR codes.
• Request payments from anyone via email.
• Transfer between bitcoin and cash with low fees.
• Withdraw funds to supported bank accounts¹.
• Secure your CoinJar with a passcode, Touch ID and Data Wipe.
• Sign up or sign in with 1Password integration.
• Store your bitcoin with AUD or GBP as a value reference currency.
• Get push notifications for deposits, payment requests and confirmations.
¹ Currently available to Australian customers only.

Install CoinJar Touch in the App Store

“We’ll be launching CoinJar Touch for Android shortly as well. Mobile is important for mainstream Bitcoin adoption because it’s accessible and reflective of the global trends. Mobile penetration has exceeded desktop computing and this is especially true in developing economies. Just like everything else CoinJar builds, CoinJar Touch is tailored to international markets.”
– Asher Tan, CEO

“We’re not only competing with other payment companies, but the physical wallet. Even with the extra benefits, like paying contacts and sending payment requests, paying via bitcoin must be fast, reliable and as easy to understand as paying with a card.”
– Cade Diehm, Creative Director

Need help? Take a look at our Support Knowledge Base article for CoinJar Touch.

For any more information about CoinJar services, please contact our in-house support team. We’d also like to hear your thoughts and feedback on our products and features on Twitter. For promotions, offers, product launches and more, subscribe to CoinJar’s monthly newsletter.