In a world where cash is king, where does a digital currency rank?

Highly enough for San Francisco-based Expensify to support it, apparently. The firm removes the paperwork from employee expense tracking by using a smartphone app to scan for pertinent information from a receipt and automatically create a report. It also allows for expenses to be matched with a credit card and submitted online for reimbursement. But what if a Canadian company is on the hook to reimburse a worker in the U.S. or Mexico?

Previously, Expensify only supported direct deposit and U.S.-based Paypal payments for reimbursement. Now it’s adding Bitcoin to the mix as a way to solve the problem of paying back international employees. It’s another vote of legitimacy for this open source digital currency that is not attached to the welfare of any nation state.

Known as a peer-to-peer currency, the Bitcoin economy is growing on an organized inflationary model that allows anyone to produce the currency using spare CPU cycles. If you’re wondering if you can get rich by simply running an extra application in the background, the answer is unfortunately no. Bitcoins are rewarded to computers that solve an encryption problem, and for every problem that gets solved, the next is just a bit harder to crack. The economy is at the stage now where geeks are setting up rigs specifically designed for farm Bitcoins day and night.

The appeal of a currency that is peer-to-peer, leaves no trace of expenditure, and can cross international borders without any conversion penalties is appealing in the context of a globalized market and international Web services. Bitcoins can be sold on an open market to be converted to cash, and are being accepted by online vendors for digital and real goods and services.

But it’s not without risk. The currency has hardly been stable, with a 30 day low of $29.35 and high of $79.72 for one Bitcoin. Bitcoins have also been targeted by hackers for theft.

It’ll be interesting to see how many of Expensify’s 200,000 companies and 1.4 million users adopt the currency. Would you accept Bitcoins as reimbursement for your expense reports? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.

 

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  • Oliverakane@gmail.com

    This pleases me greatly. The ecosystem is growing so fast.

  • Jean-Claude Morin

    I would take Bitcoin anytime!

  • http://profiles.google.com/snow.paul paul snow

    I would ABSOLUTELY take Bitcoin! Why not? Everyone keeps going on about Bitcoin being unstable, but with prices constantly rising, the dollar is unstable! And as it stands, Bitcoin is much more likely to be worth MORE tomorrow than today. That is instability I can live with!

    Now if only we could get our banks to do the exchanges for us, we would be absolutely set!

  • ReactOSisCool

    “Bitcoins are rewarded to computers that solve an encryption problem”. No encryption is used in Bitcoin, you got it wrong. Check the Bitcoin faq on “How does the proof-of-work system help secure Bitcoin?”

    • http://itbusiness.ca/ Brian Jackson

      I suppose it would have been more accurate to say the Bitcoin is awarded to a computer that delivers the correct block in response to a cryptographic algorithm.

      • ReactOSisCool

        Yeah, and the fees that people pay for their transactions that get included in that block are added to the award. Thanks, feels good you are willing to spend time to learn more details, thanks for replying.

  • Thorkil Værge

    Yes. As long as they are undervalued as I believe they still are compared to their potential.