Bitcoin the new virtual currency that made headlines after reaching more than a billion dollars in value almost overnight is now accepted by major staffing site Outbounders.com.
One of the keys to Bitcoin's success is that it must be more than something investors hoard, it needs to be spendable. Now with the acceptance of Bitcoin by Outbounders.com customers can spend Bitcoin to hire staff without having to first exchange them into their own currency and now for the first time, staff can choose to receive payment in Bitcoin. This means that potentially thousands of staff at Outbounders.com will be paid in Bitcoin and the nearly 1,000 employers on the site will have this option available.
Outbounders.com is similar to online staffing models like oDesk and Elance, but very niche in that they only offer outbound phone staff and technology. Customers are able to listen to recordings uploaded by applicants prior to hiring and in addition to time tracking and up to the minute screen shot monitoring, clients also get call reports. Customers pay Outbounders.com and Outbounders.com pays the staff.
"International payments are a problem when it comes to small transactions. First banks like Paypal take their cut of 3%. Then when we convert USD to other currencies we take another 2% - 3% hit. And sometimes they also incur a fee on their side to withdraw it. By accepting Bitcoin and paying in Bitcoin we can make much smaller payments, more frequently and save on the transaction fees on all sides. In the near future this will enable us to pay out staff on a DAILY basis, which of course staff will love; this is unheard of right now." Says Outbounders.com CEO, James Stinson.
Of course staff will still need to withdraw Bitcoin at a local Bitcoin exchange which sometimes demands as much as 5 or 10% in the exchange. But it won't always be like that, Stinson says. He's confident that in the near future as Bitcoin gets more traction, Bitcoin exchange costs will come down. "As Bitcoin gets used more broadly and more individually owned exchanges enter the marketplace to compete with each other, we could see exchange rates lower than whatt the banks currently charge." Says Stinson.
For now many staff might still prefer to be paid in their own currency, but in the not too distant future, instead of dialing for dollars, we might see many people dialing for Bitcoins.
Outbounders.com is not your traditional start-up. Founded in 2010 by its self-proclaimed Virtual CEO James Stinson after growing a physical call center in Manila since 2004, its team stretches from India, China, Philippines, US, and Costa Rica where Stinson resides half the year. Having no physical headquarters, most of the staffs work from home.