More and more people are being paid in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin; the flexibility and low fees required are often ideal for both employers and employees. Cryptocurrencies are particularly appropriate for paying freelancers, as the simplicity of transferring money internationally can give businesses access to talented individuals, regardless of their location. The people who take their full wage in bitcoins will most often be employed within the industry but such individuals don’t seem to find this arrangement problematic; on the contrary many find it an easy, practical way to receive their wages. Here’s five reasons why you should consider taking your wage packet in a cryptocurrency.
##No Geographical Restrictions
Payment services have failed to keep up with the globalisation of industry, with more and more people making their living in the online world. The truly global nature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies make it incredibly easy to send money to anyone in the world. In a world that must prepare for drastic changes to work life due to rapidly increasing automation, freelance work is likely to become more and more common. Bitcoin could provide an easy and cheap way to pay a global, digital workforce.
##Flexible, Secure & Perfectly Suited to e-commerce
More and more of our daily transactions occur online, from food shopping to paying bills. Bitcoin is very well suited for all online transactions and individuals who are paid in Bitcoin are often some of the truest ambassadors for the currency moving forward. For an employee paid in bitcoins, the desire to spend those bitcoins on everyday transactions can be an important incentive to push them to persuade businesses to accept Bitcoin. Often times business owners are more than willing to accept the alternative currency with a little encouragement and the growing number of comprehensive Bitcoin services for merchants can make the process very simple for them.
##Online & Optimised for the digital world
The cryptographic nature of Bitcoin is a result of building a currency to tackle specific problems, as noted in Satoshi Nakamotos original paper. The protocol was designed to be secure against double-spending and the malicious altering of transaction records. This makes for a ‘local currency’ that is perfectly suited for online use, be it moving large amounts of money internationally or ‘tipping’ a favourite content creator on sites like YouTube. Being paid with bitcoins can be easy and relatively hassle-free; many people paid with Bitcoin will maintain a reserve of the cryptocurrency, but regularly exchange a portion to their local currency to pay for bills, rent and any other essentials which often can’t be paid for with Bitcoin.
##Potential for growth
Despite being known as a volatile asset the Bitcoin price has been relatively stable of late. Hopes are high for significant growth into the future; the large amounts of venture capital funding of Bitcoin and block chain technology will surely lead to further, sustainable growth! Of course, losses are always possible and the Bitcoin price could potentially drop to zero, for this reason those being paid in Bitcoin will usually exchange some of their wage packet for a more stable, traditional currency.
##Exciting, innovative industry
The cryptocurrency community is incredibly welcoming and being paid in Bitcoin will make you part of a vibrant culture of innovative individuals and organisations. Bitcoin is very community focussed; the core developer teams collaborate with programmers around the world to push the currency forward and individuals around the world involved with the cryptocurrency are often impassioned ambassadors, helping to encourage their friends, family and colleagues to get involved. New systems are being developed such as BitShares, a decentralised smart contracting platform, to enable crypto-based solutions focussed on transparency and financial empowerment. Despite this there are a few setbacks to be aware of. For example taxes and such can be complex when being paid in Bitcoin; normally freelancers tend to keep note of the Bitcoin exchange rate each time they’re paid and keep note of the dollar/euro/sterling value of their wage such that it can be declared on their tax return. Profits made through increases in the Bitcoin price relative to a local currency will usually be subject to Capital Gains Tax. This can be a little extra hassle, but employers will save money on fees to payroll companies and payment service providers. Ultimately, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are fast becoming a very real option for paying and receiving wages; the early adopters who already take a wage in Bitcoin are functioning as glowing examples of the benefits that can be gained, both by employees themselves and their employers.