With cryptocurrency values to continuing to skyrocket, at least one company is going to try to give its employees an incentive to invest in Bitcoin by offering it as a salary option.
Japanese internet company GMO Internet Group will be rolling out the system in February 2018, according to a report from Coindesk. Employees will have the option to choose a portion of their monthly salary, ranging from 10,000 yen ( around $89) to 100,000 yen (or $888), to be paid to them in Bitcoin.
GMO will also throw in a 10% bonus, as an incentive to encourage more investment, and the entire process will use GMO’s own cryptocurrency referred to as “GMO coin.”
The move makes sense for GMO. The company is already in the Bitcoin business and is launching an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018.
But just as important are the concerns about the growing cryptocurrency bubble and what that could mean for these employees if or when that bubble bursts. While the proposed amounts seem relatively small, they add up over a year, especially the higher limits.
Given what we know and, more importantly, don’t know about Bitcoin, would you be willing to bank anywhere from $1,000 to some $10,500 on cryptocurrency that few, if any, really truly understand?
With all the attention cryptocurrency has received, some are starting to see it more and more as a legitimate form of currency and, like the seller of this Miami condo, are trying to use it exclusively for transactions.
Others, like the online gaming platform Steam, are more incredulous and rolling back their decision to accept Bitcoin given the volatility of the marketplace.
Of course, maybe this will all pan out for GMO and others around the world hoping that cryptocurrency stabilizes enough to become a relatively widespread, legitimate form of accepted currency.
But that’s a big maybe, especially if you’re a low-level employee and your own money’s at stake. For now, viewing the investment opportunity with a dose of skepticism probably isn’t a bad thing at all.