A Japanese company has recently offered to pay a portion of their employees’ salary in bitcoin.
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As bitcoin continues to balloon in value, many have expressed concern about whether this rapid increase will continue. The valuation of the currency has been extremely volatile, dipping low and spiking high throughout its history. In an effort to offer more flexible payment options to their employees that want to take advantage of this (hopefully continual) climb, Japanese web hosting company GMO Internet has given employees the option to take a portion of their salary in bitcoin.
The shift is entirely optional, allowing those risk-averse to continue being paid as they had been previously. For those who would like to risk a portion of their income with the potential for a seriously impressive return, however, there is now the option for employees to receive between 1000 yen ($88) and 100000 yen ($890) of their paychecks using bitcoin. In an effort to address the volatility of the currency, the company will also offer a 10% bonus to help assuage concerns about the risk associated with accepting the new form of payment.
The rollout starts in February and will be available to a select amount of employees to start, but will soon be offered to the entirety of the company’s more than 4000 employees.
The option to pay a portion of the salary in bitcoin doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as GMO Internet launched a bitcoin trading and exchange business back in May. There are also plans to open a bitcoin mining business to their roster starting in January. With how much of their business is starting to revolve around the cryptocurrency and the industry behind it, it’s no wonder that the company has taken steps to offer bitcoin as a form of compensation.
The Future of Bitcoin
In an interview with The Guardian, a company spokeswoman said that GMO Internet “hope[s] to improve [their] own literacy of virtual currency by actually using it.”
If GMO Internet is truly looking to break into the bitcoin industry, it seems that the plan to utilize it in their own payment structure is a solid move towards better understanding the way in which the cryptocurrency works. With bitcoin starting the year off at around $1000 and expected to end at a higher than $20000 valuation, it’s clear that a solid grasp of the way bitcoin operates is a necessity if the Japanese web company is to commit significant resources to building out their operations.
CNBC reports that some analysts estimate an eventual bitcoin value as high as $400000. If that turns out to be true, GMO Internet and their enterprising employees could stand to make a killing off of opting to receive a portion of their salary in bitcoin.
While the future of bitcoin is far from a sure thing, the fact that legitimate business are buying and selling using cryptocurrencies is a sign that this form of investment will stick around in one way or another. Whether bitcoin is the future of investing or a bubble waiting to burst remains to be seen, but companies like GMO Internet are starting to see the appeal of this rapidly growing industry — and their adoption may stand to push the value even higher. If businesses continue to offer a salary in bitcoin, we may very well see the valuation continue to soar higher and higher.