In July 2022, digital asset firm Bakkt published the results of a survey on gig workers and crypto. The firm found that 38% of the freelancers who responded were open to receiving full payment for services in crypto, and 50% were willing to receive partial payment in crypto. Further, 20% of respondents have already received crypto payments for services.
Today’s gig workers are highly likely to be tech-savvy, so it’s not surprising that many are already familiar and comfortable with crypto. As more full- and part-time workers learn about crypto’s ease of use and profitability potential, the push for receiving some or all salary payments in crypto may begin to quickly grow. In a competitive marketplace, companies should at least be willing to research the idea of paying workers in crypto. Below, 11 members of Cointelegraph Innovation Circle share important things companies should know about paying their workers with crypto.
Workers will need to know what they’re liable for
Business owners should definitely accommodate and embrace new methods of payment and champion products made within the industry. However, with the gig workforce in crypto being so global and regulations so nascent, they should specify to employees what they’re ultimately liable for and what the company cannot control, including taxes owed, trading laws, volatility in the market, etc. – Yaoqi Jia, AltLayer
The whole team will be learning the ropes together
Sometimes changes are adopted, and sometimes they’re pushed. In our crypto-native organization, a portion of our base salary and all performance bonuses are paid in crypto. The fact that we all have to test and learn continuously about the consequences of that strategy is making the entire team more savvy and skilled. – Carlos Gomez, Belobaba Crypto Fund
Crypto payments can be an attractive perk for younger workers
For business owners and employers, this means being flexible to meet the needs and wants of employees. It’s also an opportunity to attract younger workers and show that you’re an innovative company. Because if you aren’t adapting to and accommodating employees’ preferences, another employer will! – Jae Yang, Tacen
You should thoroughly review the laws in your jurisdiction
It could be a creative way to attract talent, but I think it’s important to understand wage and tax laws in your jurisdiction around paying workers in crypto. Also, given crypto’s volatility, the last thing a business needs is to have staff on an emotional rollercoaster, given fluctuations in value. Short story: Understanding and using crypto is key, but it has to be done in an informed way. – Shafin Tejani, Victory Square Technologies
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The exchange application process is lengthy
If you’re thinking about paying gig workers in crypto, make sure you start the exchange application process as soon as possible. Your business can only purchase crypto once it’s gone through the onboarding process. As a small-business owner who’s experienced this firsthand, the process can take more than a month. Don’t get caught with your pants down; your contractors will venture elsewhere. – Chris Groshong, CoinStructive, Inc.
Paying in crypto can deepen your potential talent pool
In the short term, the trend will force employers to integrate crypto into their operations sooner than they may have planned, which some might see as a setback. Companies will have to ensure that they meet regulations to avoid future penalties. In the long run, though, adopting crypto will make compensation plans more efficient and allow companies to hire from a wider pool of professionals. – Sheraz Ahmed, STORM Partners
Crypto can make international payments easier
One of the best use cases for crypto is international payments, especially on a small scale. The growing gig workforce is an ideal clientele for this. It can be a competitive advantage for employers as long as they follow best practices for handling cryptocurrency. – Irina Litchfield, Rizon Labs
Direct deposit into crypto wallets can save workers time and fees
As crypto becomes more mainstream, it makes sense for people to have their salaries deposited directly into their crypto wallets. When opting to get paid for their work in crypto, the new global workforce of gig workers would not have to worry about the exchange rates and high fees charged by traditional banks or the payment processing fees levied by services like PayPal taking a big bite out of their paycheck. – Ayelet Noff, SlicedBrand
It might be best to wait until further regulations are settled
Right now, it might mean a headache until governments across the globe get their regulatory houses in order. Many countries treat Bitcoin more like a stock than a currency, and paying employees in assets rather than dollars and euros isn’t always ideal. But fear not; regulation is coming. – Motti Peer, ReBlonde LTD
Some infrastructure investment will be required
The trend of gig workers preferring payments in crypto is rising, and businesses need to be prepared to accommodate it. They must be open to paying workers in crypto and be willing to invest in the infrastructure needed to make crypto payments possible. In the long run, accommodating the preferences of gig workers will make it easier to attract and retain top talent in the gig economy. – Carmelia Ray, Kindly
It’s best to first talk with a lawyer who’s knowledgeable about crypto
To retain the best gig worker talent, it’s important for you as a business owner to be able to accommodate their wants. Given the growing demand, business owners and employers shouldn’t ignore this. I would advise them to talk with a crypto lawyer to understand the easiest way to pay gig workers in crypto. – Tim Haldorsson, Lunar Strategy
This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.
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