Another Crypto Milestone: Japanese Company Offers To Pay Employees In Bitcoin

Less than a year after Japan legalized bitcoin as legal tender, part of the country’s effort pioneering effort to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for incorporating - and regulating - digital currencies, one Japanese company is offering employees the option to be paid in bitcoin.

Because what employee wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to see their weekly paycheck fluctuate by 30% or more. Though given the digital currency’s staggering appreciation so far this year, we imagine most of the company’s workers will instead see it as an opportunity to lock in a raise every week.

The company, Internet service provider GMO Internet, plans to offer workers up to 100,000 yen (about $890) per month in the digital currency, according to Russia Today.

"Employees can receive salaries in bitcoin if they want to. We hope to improve our own literacy of virtual currency by actually using it," company spokeswoman Harumi Ishii said.

The company said the offer would be available to nearly 4,000 of its domestically-based employees. As a further enticement, the workers will reportedly get an extra 10% of their salary if they choose to receive it in digital currency.

This detail certainly piqued our interest. Bitcoin is, of course, tremendously volatile. But for the past 18 months, that trend has been mostly one-directional (which isn’t to say there haven’t been many significant downturns).

While the company has depicted itself as a bitcoin evangelizer, offering employees a 10% bonus - a significant sum spread across 4,000 employers - seems suspiciously generous.

The company said it’s interested in promoting bitcoin after joining a trading and exchange business in May and is planning to launch a new cryptocurrency mining operation next year.

“We will operate a next-generation mining center utilizing renewable energy and cutting-edge semiconductor chips in Northern Europe,” a representative for GMO said, according to Russia Today.

The firm, which is headquartered in Tokyo, operates over 60 companies in 10 countries. Given the group’s size and financial power, the bitcoin salary initiative may potentially boost the mainstream adoption of similar practices worldwide.

While many skeptics argued that bitcoin would never work as a currency (indeed, transactions can sometimes take hours to clear). Segwit 2x, the bitcoin software hard fork that was intended to relieve some of the strain on the bitcoin network, was proposed specifically to remedy this problem.

Earlier this week, we highlighted a listing on real-estate site where the owner of a Miami condo specified that he would only accept payment for the property in bitcoin. Redfin said it was the first time it has observed such a demand on its platform, though twitter users quickly pointed out other examples dating back to 2013.

Given the digital currency’s performance this year, bitcoin has firmly broken into the mainstream. And with the Cboe having launched its new bitcoin futures products, firms like GMO will find it easier to hedge their positions. CME Group will launch a suite of similar products next week.

Indeed, two years ago, the notion that a mainstream company would offer employees the option to be paid in bitcoin was almost unthinkable.

But barring a major crash, we imagine this trend will continue.


J S Bach God Emperor Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:21 Permalink

Great idea!  So when this week's bitcoin price is $15,000... that's wonderful!  But, when the workers receive their bitcoin a week later, it may be $6,000.  What a ridiculous way to run a business.  The wild fluctuations in the bitcoin price make it unmanageable from any sane economic perspective.  Stability is what's needed... not  crazy speculative leaps and plummets.

In reply to by God Emperor

Eager Beaver J S Bach Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:44 Permalink

That's not how it works. Your salary is expressed in fiat, say $150K USD / year, but you're paid in whatever the equivalent is in Bitcoin on payday. Japan isn't the first place to offer this, some tech companies have been doing this for years, but go right ahead and entertain your delusions, don't let reality bother you. All these horrible tulip shitcoins in the wallet just keep going up in value, while your 401K, IRA, 1.5% savings account, or even your increasingly worthless Gold & Silver are plumeting in value, on an inflation adjusted basis, aren't they? Would you rather be paid in Bitcoin, or Gold for the last 5 years?

In reply to by J S Bach

J S Bach Eager Beaver Sat, 12/16/2017 - 09:06 Permalink

EB... Try this thought experiment. If you earned $20 in 1917, knowing what you know has transpired with our money over a hundred years... would you rather have had that paid in one ounce of gold or a $20 bank note?The reason people own gold or silver is to retain their purchasing power over time.  No one knows how this wild bitcoin roller-coaster experiment is going to turn out.  But, we DO KNOW that gold and silver will maintain their purchasing power - unless, of course, the lessons of 5,000 years of monetary history are now passe and worthless.

In reply to by Eager Beaver

Antifaschistische J S Bach Sat, 12/16/2017 - 07:56 Permalink

First, thanks again for another bitcoin advertisement article Tyler...I think Max Kaiser is writing these articles.Second, I guarandamntee you, IF this company actually exists, ALL they are doing, is...A)  taking your otherwise fixed Yen paycheck, buying a fraction of a bitcoin, and giving it to you.They will NOT tell you,B) your new salary will be 1/2 a bitcoin per month.  B represents truly paying you in bitcoins...A represents a smoke and mirror marketing scheme to get a stupid japanese kid to work for them for below market wages.

In reply to by J S Bach

Endgame Napoleon J S Bach Sat, 12/16/2017 - 08:21 Permalink

In this country, we have TONS of employees, often part-time emploees, who drive wages down by their willingness to accept low pay. They do it because they do not need to work; unearned income from spouses or government pays their major household bills.

They could easily accept Bitcoin for pay, not so much the moms whose rent and groceries are paid by taxpayers for sex and reproduction out of wedlock, with a $6,444 child tax credit each April, but many of the married moms could, the ones taking the low-wage jobs in nicer, safer areas of town and leaving work all the time for kids, just like the frequently absentee single moms who dominate the big call centers and the back offices in less posh areas of town.

The married moms are often just working for more keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ and vacation money, as are some of the elderly workers, with SS retirement checks that cover their rent and groceries.

Given the fact that employers across many large industries and small businesses prefer these workers with unearned income that makes it easy to accept low pay, with whole buildings full of almost no worker who is not a childbearing-age mom with unearned income from a spouse, an ex spouse or welfare and child-tax-credit welfare, I’d say plenty of the married ones would accept a form of payment that could jump up, but that they could not spend immediately, assuming they understood what it was.

They are not in the same situation as the single, childless workers, the noncustodial parents and the single parents with grown children who must cover rent that takes more than half of their earned-only income and all other bills on their pay alone. But except for a few managers who are mostly back-watching parents, employers do not hire / retain many workers who need to cover all household bills on the pay. They hire mostly people whose groceries and rent are covered by womb productivity.

As far as the Bitcoin bonuses are concerned, what it the difference between that and a promised bonus that, when you meet the numbers, month after month, becomes contingent upon deliveries arriving all within the same month or some other aspect that is out of the salesperson’s control?

What about the phantom bonus targets that, when you meet the number, suddenly shift to a higher target, and you notice that all of the people busting their cans to meet the numbers are fired for the pettiest of trivialities, while innumerable, non-quota-meeting moms, taking huge stretches of time off beyond their allocated PTO and multiple pregnancy leaves, are the ones the frequently absentee manager keeps, while also keeping the bonuses of the churned quota meeters.

S/he uses the hard workers and the productive workers—as opposed to the womb-productive absentee workers—to keep the numbers up and then churns them, mercilessly, without UC to cover rent between low-wage jobs. S/he pockets a larger bonus that way.

This is the norm among “nice” family people in workplaces, not the exception. They are always doing it for their kids, so any cutthroat and unprofessional thing is acceptable. In such situations, it seems like the Bitcoin bonus is a safer bet, something that might make hard work pay again.

In reply to by J S Bach

Blue Dog J S Bach Sat, 12/16/2017 - 10:53 Permalink

Sure, Bitcoin fluctuates but it's not going to $6,000 any time soon. It went from $17k to $14k briefly. In the last 24 hours it's up over $1,000. It should hit $19k on Coinbase within the hour.I'd gladly take my 401k amount as Bitcoin.And no, I don't care that Bitcoin isn't an effective currency. It's an awesome store of value. I could take it out $1,000 at a time and pay that $30 fee if that's what it really is.All the haters here could have jumped in a month ago, doubled their money, and gotten out again. You could still do it now.

In reply to by J S Bach

Laowei Gweilo Bondosaurus Rex Sat, 12/16/2017 - 01:01 Permalink

cuz either1. the owner either is a major HODLer, he's not taking any loss on paying them in BTC (buy BTC and pay employees in BTC both instantly at spot price BTC/Yen), and any added inefficiency from this is majorly offset by BTC continue on a bull market -- which he would hope this news contriutes to.this is pretty standard ... almost every HODLer I know shills it... to friends, on Reddit, in comments, using it any chance they get to buy stuff, in stocks,etc .... because every single small thing you do to promote/support it could be seen as helping your investment.2. or it's just marketing. like the guy selling his condo in BTC. cuz sites like ZH will pick up the news and give your expontential marketing traffic at almost no operational cost.3. a combination of either, both, and just the genuine fact... maybe the guy just likes cryptos :O i mean, same reason the only soda I stock at my business is ginger beer lol I like it and want to introduce people to it =p nothing nefarious, just genuine passion that maybe he just like cryptos like I like ginger beer ;p

In reply to by Bondosaurus Rex

Bro of the Sor… Solosides Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:54 Permalink

the miners are intentionally slowing everything down and increasing fees. it's an attack by Jihan Wu to try to promote Bcash. They're getting desperate because one of the biggest exchanges, coinbase, is going to give its users access to their bcash on January 1st, which will lead to a huge liquidation of bcash and a big price dump. the reality is that lightning network will be out soon and the bulk of transactions will be done instantaneously for almost nothing off chain. i know it's fun to be skeptical. i first heard about BTC in 2011 and didn't buy until 2015. you can still get in, just get a little exposure, $1000. this is going to completely change the world, and in many ways it already has. get yourself some financial freedom. 

In reply to by Solosides

quadraspleen Solosides Sat, 12/16/2017 - 05:47 Permalink

Bullshit. I moved two coins this week. It cost me less than a tenner each. Costs me more (more than twice as much to do what they were doing, in fact) to use my bank.and this: "While many skeptics argued that bitcoin would never work as a currency (indeed, transactions can sometimes take hours to clear)."Also bullshit. When i pay my staff using BACS it takes three days. It took me less than two hours each to move those coinsFUD nonsense

In reply to by Solosides

DC Beastie Boy Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:31 Permalink

My grandpa called and he wants his BTC back from 2009.

All the cool kids moved to Bitshares BTS, decentralized Exchange, 100,000 tx/sec, been long since a penny.


Davidduke2000 Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:36 Permalink

Within 2 years Japan will see more than 300,000 suicides. as most people are buying their own government bonds and their stock market, now bitcoin, once all 3 collapse, the suicide rate will hit a record.

StillSilence Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:06 Permalink

Wait so bitcoin has been discussed, approved, implemented and is already operational in japan as legal tender?

Yea that does seem pretty anti(centralbanking)establishment then.

Son of Captain Nemo Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:19 Permalink

Yen for BTC... / $$$ for BTC... / Euro for BTC...

You're all in debt at peak and trough equivalent of the "Marianas Trench" and "Mt. Everest", with the transfer from digital wallet to fiat being WORTHLESS to WORTHLESS!...

The only way you'll ever make BTC worth something is backing it with PHZ PM... Or figuring out a way to get the ONLY 3 economies that matter to store their respective currencies in "Western" digital wallet!...

And that AIN'T HAPPENIN!!!

Tom Green Swedish Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:59 Permalink

Idea to destory bitcoin. Banks make most of their money lending out money not on transaction fees. When was the last time you had a transaction fee on your checking account. Therefore we need a bitcoin lender bank. I pay the bitcoin back at 13 percent a year that I borrow. If bitcoin goes up 1000 percent then I just made money by borrowing money, if it goes down I just pay it off in dollars. Here is the calculation shitheads.Borrow 1 bitcoin for 17,000.Sell half, keep halfI have 8500 in bitcoin and 8500 in cash.Bitcoin goes up another 100 percent in the next 3 years - (Im being conservative) I just paid back my loan doing nothing and still have 7500 in cash.Bitcoin goes down 50 percent in 3 years. I just paid back my loan doing nothing again.So now we have a planet full of compounding interest masters, who will accept nothing but 1000 percent gains each year for doing nothing, trading (gambling) in speculative crap like a rigged casino with craps tables that hit black 90 percent of the time. with worthless games called VXX puts and "BTC". Making money the old fashioned way.  What a shithouse. Next thing you know everybody has 70 billion dollars like Warren Buffet and a burger costs $400.