t3rn is a modular interoperability layer that was designed to enable frictionless, trust-free and reversible cross-chain smart contract execution across different blockchains. Their product is based on the belief that the future will be multi-chain and that one of crypto’s biggest use cases, crypto, should never be limited to one blockchain.

t3rn operates as a fully remote company with team members based globally from Brazil to the United Kingdom to Nigeria that currently consists of about 20 contractors with over 25 having worked with them overall. Naturally, the obstacles arose which involved identifying a payroll and compliance solution that was capable of crossing international borders and handling multi-currency routing.

Lourdes Tandayag is the Head of Operations at t3rn. She is responsible for the oversight of day-to-day operational functions within the business which includes much of the company’s invisible work such as finance, HR & recruitment, payroll operations, onboarding and compliance.

The Challenge: Peace of mind with compliant crypto payroll

Prior to Rise, t3rn paid their contractors in a combination of both cryptocurrencies and fiat, pending circumstances. This created payment issues as the country that their original legal entity was based in made creating bank accounts highly difficult. Uncertainty about elements such as KYC/AML also proved problematic during the company’s early days. Lourdes Tandayag said, “We felt quite exposed as a result of having to manually undertake the KYC aspects and it was proving too time consuming for our small team at the time.”

Their major bottlenecks were twofold. One was not having a means to seamlessly route between crypto and fiat due to their starting treasury being held in crypto (specifically USDC stablecoins), and then needing to pay global contractors in their respective fiat currencies. The other was them not having access to efficient and automated compliance and payouts for their teams which would become more of a problem as their team started to scale.

As the Chief Strategic Officer Jacob Kowalewski described the situation:

“Before, we were liquidating our treasury’s USDC via a platform called Zonda into fiat. This essentially acted as a single point of failure, operationally speaking, for our project. If Zonda suddenly became inaccessible then we would not be able to pay our workers.”

Repeatedly carrying out the process of manual currency conversion and payouts for all team members while ensuring complete compliance for their individual countries was becoming increasingly burdensome and was costing an unsustainable number of hours monthly.

The Solution: Straightforward payment options resulting in increased flexibility

Realising the predicament they were in, Lourdes and her team sought to find a solution to the above issues and this is where Rise stood out as the top contender. This was thanks to Rise eliminating the need for t3rn to rely on a third party exchange. With Rise, t3rn could handle the process of onboarding contractors, streamlining compliance, routing fiat to crypto and automating payroll in a ‘one stop shop solution’.

Overall, t3rn’s Head of Ops has been most impressed with the straightforwardness of the platform, stating, “I find the most value in your simple but powerful scheduled payments function.” Lourdes proceeded to note that other platforms they had tried prior to Rise shared a similar function, but that her team would still be required to go and approve the payments individually, which would still end up eating a lot of time.

The t3rn team were also highly appreciative of the fact that they could use Rise to pay extra expenses that contractors incurred whilst working due to the nature of their jobs. Rise’s friendliness to startup crypto companies was well noted: 

“It was amazing not having to pay for gas fees ourselves or dealing with the unpredictability they come with. The two month free trial is also amazing as it gives smaller projects like us enough time to go through a couple of pay cycles to feel things out and not feel so locked in.”

The Outcome: An allround happier and more efficient company

Having been users of Rise payroll for a while now, Tandayag reports that “The majority of the team are cashing out in fiat but remain thrilled knowing they always have the option to go straight to crypto.”

With the time and effort saved on payroll related matters, t3rn estimates that in each monthly pay cycle as well as the time it takes to onboard new contractors into their payroll, the company saves close to 10-15 hours each month. This enables t3rn to focus on scaling their operations with the dedicated support that the Rise team brings. As depicted by Tandayag:

“Hugo (Rise CEO) is super hands-on. The Rise team never lets you down in that regard. I can’t recommend them enough!”