Paying salaries in Bitcoin
Japanese internet service provider GMO Internet Group is looking to introduce a new payment option for their employees. It will allow employees to receive a proportion of their salaries in bitcoin, the cryptocurrency which is now worth four times as much as an ounce of gold.
Bitcoin has been attracting people across the world with many eager to latch onto the soaring prices in the last year. Currently valued at around $17,000 per bitcoin, Bitcoin has risen by over 1,500% since the beginning of the year, making it one of the most intensely debated investments in the modern day.
GMO Internet Group, which consists of more than 60 companies, is only adopting this practice to one of the companies, GMO Internet Co. Ltd in March 2018 but will be rolling it out to 4,000 other employees in other companies within the group in the future. Despite concerns of volatility shared by many analysts, GMO remains confident that bitcoin will eventually become part of the ‘economic currencies’.
The group is heavily involved in the bitcoin trading and mining services, which means the company will directly benefit from how well the bitcoin performs. A spokeswoman from the company said: “We hope to improve our own literacy of virtual currency by actually using it”.
According to Mainichi Japan, the law states that all companies must pay employees in recognised currencies such as the yen. The GMO Internet Group believes that the new system would conform to Japanese law as any agreement between the company and the employee would be consensual and the amount deducted from their salary and used towards bitcoin would be entirely up to the employee.
Bitcoin is growing in popularity all over Japan with many large retailers now accepting the virtual currency as a form of payment. However, critics remain cautious of the bitcoin and believe that it is a bubble that is simply spiralling out of control and will eventually crash.
GMO’s move to introduce the bitcoin could have the potential to boost its employee’s earnings and bring many benefit for the business itself but as the bitcoin continues its rollercoaster ride, how will the company react to the massive fluctuations in value?