Costa Ricans are disregarding banks in the Central American country and increasingly employees are turning to Bitcoin for paychecks.
According to a report in the Costa Rica News, the popularity of cryptocurrency is on the rise, with ATMs readily available and more businesses now accepting Bitcoin, despite the government’s declaration that digital currencies are outside of Costa Rica’s banking system and therefore not an official currency.
In apparent contrast to the bank’s stance on cryptocurrency, it is legal In Costa Rica to be paid in goods as well as fiat. This loophole includes digital currencies, providing that the country’s minimum wage laws are not breached in such transactions. This has apparently resulted in more people opting for some of their earnings to be paid in digital currency.
Costa Rica, which is almost completely powered by renewable energy resources, has taken to crypto mining with great enthusiasm, leading to a very pro crypto stance around the country with regards to fintech.
The cryptocurrency PURA, originating out of the Costa Rican market last year is one such development on the space suggesting on its website that PURA is the “digital money movement for the common good”.
Another startup coin reaching prominence in the tiny country this year is the Ecolon, as the name implies, aimed at sustainability. The coin was created through the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica and through 36 collection centers throughout the country, the coin offers a solution to waste collection.
Recyclable materials such as glass bottles, cartons, aluminum cans, tetra paks, and plastic are now turned into virtual money through the initiative and are sponsored by several early adopting companies from around the country.
On the payment system for workers, lawyer Rolando Perlaza from Nassar Abogados, an important Central American law firm, suggested that the trend “could take hold in the country” adding:
“This type of payment would in no way replace traditional or liquid cash. It would rather become an incentive for the workers, who could decide if they accept these currencies as payment for their services.”
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