GMO Internet, a Japanese web hosting company, has announced its intent to pay part of its employees’ salaries using the digital currency Bitcoin.
The Tokyo-based firm, whose operations center on web-related ventures including online advertising, internet infrastructure and finance, will commence this supposed process from February 2018.
GMO says the option of receiving the salary in Bitcoin is voluntary. In a press statement outlining the initiative, the company stated that their intention to use Bitcoin in payroll was to help employees gather a better understanding of virtual currency.
This offer is open to all the company’s 4,000+ employees.
Anyone opting to be part of this new project will have the option of choosing how much of their monthly salary they can receive in Bitcoin.
The range is between 10,000 yen (approximately $88) minimum and 100,000 yen ($882) maximum.
GMO has even gone further and decided to offer incentives to the employees that hop in this new bandwagon, offering them a 10 percent bonus of the amount of Bitcoin amount they select.
Although the Japanese government, through its labor laws, stipulates that the payment of salaries should be in yen, GMO indicated that they were not going against the law with their new salary system.
This is because aside from the Bitcoin payment option being optional, it is an agreement between the employer and the employees, and is consequently deducted from their monthly paycheck.
This is not the first time GMO has made headlines with their apparent preference for cryptocurrencies.
In May this year, the company established an exclusive Bitcoin exchange called GMO-Z.com Coin that was rebranded later to GMO Coin.
Furthermore, in September the company announced it would be investing funds into a Bitcoin mining project.
This investment is set to commence in 2018 and would see them acquire the rights receive crypto coins as rewards for their hand in assisting the network to boost its security through facilitating transaction approvals.
Not Your Normal Salary
Looking at the current market prices for Bitcoin, this new scheme embraces not just a new thriving market, but a whole new technology.
This is unlike the typical companies now offering their staff investment and pension options as part of payroll.
The current trend sees Bitcoin working more as an investment rather than a conventional currency, as was witnessed by the dramatic splurge of its value from $900 to more than $16,000 within one year.
As such, many of the employees that choose to accept Bitcoins as an option of payment will end up socking them away as opposed to using them to purchase everyday items.
As a plus, this extra option encourages the idea of savings since the recipients (cryptocurrency holders) are independent of conventional savings accounts, several with stringent timeframes and access policies.
We can only wait and see how everything plays out, especially since all this is happening in a nation that has over the years taken a forward-approach towards the acceptance of virtual currency such as Bitcoin.