It’s a great way to allow quick payments with having to use credit cards and it’s also an amazing way of attracting tech-savvy clients. These are just two very well-known reasons that startups have, today, to adopt Bitcoin at the beginning of their lives. But there’s also the part that the customers might not know: companies are also starting to use cryptocurrency to pay salaries and prizes.
In 2012, the Finnish software company SC5 became the first company paying their employees with the decentralized currency. But they were just the first ones! “Paying salaries as Bitcoin was such an experiment with no other concrete objective than learning about Bitcoin through practice. We have managed to make such a dull thing as ‘paying salaries’ more interesting and exciting”, explains the says the lead architect of SC5, Lauri Svan.
Cryptocurrency is not only a good way to improve the act of paying a salary, it’s also a way of attracting talent. “Recruiting out here is a war and getting talented people attracted to your company is hard. You have to do everything you can to try to win. We wanted something that showed we are a forward-thinking, risk-taking, fun company and we thought it was Bitcoin”, says the co-founder of Darby Smart, Nicole Shariat Farb.
Sure, everybody knows about the risks and some companies claim they couldn’t do it, mostly due to the volatility. “I believe it is way too early to be compensating employees with the digital currency”, assures the founder of the online financial-advice platform BIDaWIZ. “Simply stated, it’s irresponsible for any employer to do so from a risk-reward perspective”, Ryan Himmel adds.
But there are still some brave people out there. “As a technology company, our staff is well aware of the risks of purely digital currency, and we know the stories about people losing their Bitcoin storages. Luckily, we have had no such incidents this far”, says Lauri Svan. According to the lead architect of SC5, “volatility has probably been part of the juice in using Bitcoin”.