Operating a small business with Bitcoin just got a bit easier. Online billing service Hiveagehas announced its integration with Bitcoin wallet and exchange Coinbase, allowing its 45,000-plus small business and freelance clients around the world to invoice and accept payments in bitcoin.
“Bitcoin is quickly becoming a useful way of transferring value, and it’s been highly demanded over the past few months by our users,” says Hiveage founder and CEO, Lankitha Wimalarathna.
The company started receiving requests to add bitcoin support in June 2014, citing high transaction fees charged by other payment methods as the main reason.
“Many of the customers who wrote to us were already accepting payments in bitcoin,” said Prabhath Sirisena, co-founder and creative director of Hiveage. “Our new integration with Coinbase allows them accept direct bitcoin payments on their digital invoices sent via Hiveage. This makes it easier for them to keep track of their business finances, regardless of the currency.”
Hiveage offers clients the ability to send invoices and estimates, accept payments online, track time and expenses, manage teams and view detailed reports. While invoicing is a free service, other features are offered at an additional cost.
Connecting a Coinbase account and adding bitcoin as a payment and invoicing option will cost users $1.95 per month.
With clients in more than 140 countries worldwide already, Hiveage is planning a major push into the EU market, beginning with the Netherlands and Germany. Adding new payment services options, including bitcoin, is an important part of their global expansion strategy.
“Coinbase has a very strong position in the U.S., and they’re actively expanding in Europe,” said Sirisena. “This aligns well with our plans, too: The majority of our customers are from the U.S., but this year we’re focusing on making Hiveage an attractive option for the European market, where 20 percent of our customers come from.”
The company decided to focus on Amsterdam as a starting point after attending the Uprise Startup Festival in March. Amsterdam is also known to be a hub of Bitcoin activity, boasting an activemeet-up community and Embassy. It was also the host of the Bitcoin 2014 conference last May, and will host Bitcoinference 2015 this May.
“There’s no shortage of great startups looking to share their experiences,” said Sirisena. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how people react to us and learning how we can make their billing workflows easier.”