As Japan becomes more accepting as cryptocurrencies as a means of exchange, a Japanese company is offering its employees the option to receive some of their pay in crypto.
The company, GMO Internet Group, said it introduced the option last month, and it will gradually be extended to all of the company's 4,000 full-time employees.
Those opting in can select what portion of their monthly salary will be received in bitcoin, between a minimum of 10,000 yen (around $88) and a maximum of 100,000 yen ($882), Fortune said.
The company is even incentivizing its employees to choose the bitcoin option by offering to tack on a bonus of 10% to whatever portion of their salary is being paid in crypto.
While Japanese labor laws require paying salaries in yen, GMO claims it's not breaking any laws since the optional bitcoin payment would be based on mutual consent and deducted from an employee’s monthly paycheck.
GMO registers domain names and offers web hosting and other services. It also launched an exchange in May, GMO-Z.com Coin, which was later rebranded as GMO Coin. In September, GMO announced it would invest $3 million to mine bitcoin beginning in early 2018.
The firm says it believes cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will evolve into "universal currencies" available to anyone globally, leading to a "new borderless economic zone."
Earlier this week, Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller compared bitcoin to a "contagion" with rapid price fluctuations reflecting the "intensity of the epidemic". He said this despite Fed officials' insistence that the crypto market isn't large enough to have an impact on the broader financial system.
According to Japanese bitcoin monitoring site Jpbitcoin.com, yen-denominated bitcoin trading reached a record 4.51 million bitcoins last year - or nearly half of the volume on the world's major exchanges.