Bitcoin salary: Employees choose crypto paychecks amid economic instability

Bitcoin salary: Employees choose crypto paychecks amid economic instability

June 29, 2023

Political and economic tensions around the world are making some people more willing to receive their pay in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), according to executives in the human resources industry.

The share of salaries taken in cryptocurrencies and stablecoins has been on the rise over the past few years. This trend is driven not only by prominent athletes and politicians taking their pay in crypto, but also by ordinary people who want to hedge against all kinds of instability, according to goLance co-founder and CEO Michael Brooks.

Several factors have triggered a surge in crypto salaries, including increasing acceptance as a legitimate payment method, growing education and new technological developments, Brooks said in an interview with Cointelegraph.

The economic conditions in various parts of the world have also influenced the surge in crypto payments, he said, adding:

“Some regions experiencing political instability, hyperinflation or restrictive financial systems have seen an uptick in cryptocurrency usage as an alternative means of conducting transactions.”

In 2021, goLance made less than 5% of its payouts in crypto, which grew to almost 10% in 2022 and is expected to hit 17% in 2023, Brooks said. “Of the goLance freelancers that choose to be paid in crypto, an average of 17.5% of payments is in crypto and 82.5% in fiat,” the exec noted.

Dan Westgarth, chief operating officer at human resources and payroll platform Deel, said that many employees worldwide have started taking their wages in crypto in response to the political and economic instability that has fueled sharp fluctuations in local fiat currencies, making stablecoins like USD Coin (USDC) more attractive:

“We see that countries facing more political and currency turbulence continue to use crypto, particularly withdrawals in USDC to combat volatility.”

He said that the Caribbean presents a use case for crypto salaries due to its dated banking systems, where extensive waiting periods, payment delays and banking withdrawal fees could be avoided with crypto. 

Related: LATAM crypto holders flock to Bitget following Binance, Coinbase suit

Among the regions Deel supports for crypto payroll, Latin America has the largest share of withdrawals, accounting for 54% of crypto withdrawals on the platform between January and May of 2023.

Crypto salaries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for 38% during the same period. The Asia-Pacific and non-aligned movement countries collectively accounted for less than 10% of all crypto withdrawals, Westgarth noted.

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