Amongst cryptocurrency companies, payroll systems vary as to how they decide to pay their staff but frequently employees are offered to opt into systems where they can select their pay preferences and decide on a traditional paycheck to Bitcoin ratio.
Bitpay and Coinbase
Atlanta-based Bitpay handles a payroll for 52 employees, but it’s generally only the smaller percentage of younger workers who choose to be paid totally in Bitcoin. These younger employees with limited family commitments are often happy to invest their earnings across a number of other cryptocurrencies. For these employees, the financial banking crash of 2008 remains a stark warning of what can happen when banks get it wrong. They prefer to handle their own financial destiny.
Forty percent of Coinbase employees receive a percentage of their pay in Bitcoin and many have traditional investment strategies in addition to an allocation to cryptocurrencies. An interesting incentive programme gives new employees cryptocurrency to experiment with. These funds can either be invested or even sent to family members or friends.
Bitpay’s Jeremie Beaudry, the company’s financial services legal counsel, suggests that being invested in cryptocurrency can make one a “better researcher and educator”. If this is the case, then the Coinbase bonus scheme for new staff has some merit. However, Coinbase, like many other companies do have a strict trading policy. Also, many cryptocurrency online news sources have disclosure rules regarding personal crypto investments held by their employees which may limit their writers’ scope and coverage of news.
External companies which handle payment of employee salaries under contract is by no means a new concept but online companies such as California-based Bitwage, operating since 2014, offers a premium account which enables users to receive salary payments in up to 25 different currencies including Bitcoin. Workers also can receive part of their pay in Bitcoin, even if this option is not offered by their employer.