In the economy that’s becoming increasingly digitised, receiving salaries and other types of wages (remittances, honorariums, fees, and others) in cryptocurrency is an obvious way to go. Be it Bitcoin or stablecoins, using crypto as a unit of account while retaining its properties of a speculative item presents opportunities unseen before. For example, receiving your salary in crypto essentially means that you are instantly investing your hard-earned tokens in the growing market with the option of cashing out anytime, instantly. In the case of TRASTRA, via a personal IBAN attached to the Visa-issued crypto debit card. This level of flexibility is something retail investors rarely get; LPs crave maturity because otherwise, they’re stuck for years with assets they no longer control. With salaries and bonuses paid in crypto – not so much, just ask MicroStrategy board members.
Of course, the whole thing can go the other way (something those same board members will eagerly stress these days), which begs the question. In fact, several questions. The intricacies of conversion between crypto and fiat being one of the most crucial points. The list of other things to consider includes the types of jobs ideal for receiving salaries in crypto, accounting and legal matters, taxes, and many others. And while I’ll be unable to solve all those issues for you (some of them simply have no solution as yet), the overarching point is that contrary to the mainstream opinion, getting paid in Bitcoin solves more problems than it creates. See for yourself.
The old way (the slow way) is not my way
You’ll be shocked to find out that the vast majority of businesses are still to this day stuck rummaging through stacks of paper with payroll departments struggling to pick up the trail. That’s right, many of us are still receiving wages in the mail (!) on paper (!) in the form of a ‘paycheque’ (it’s that square slip of cellulose that states in ink how much you earned over a given period… never mind, just google it). It still works today literally the same as before men on the Moon: paper invoices are forwarded around the office until they end up on the CEOs desk where he signs them by hand and on to the mailroom where an intern-envelope stuffer sends them on their way. Is licking envelopes involved? Who knows, but let’s hope we’re past that, at least.
By the time your payroll department receives an invoice from a contractor (a couple of days), their subcontractors are already done with the job, vendors have long delivered, and everybody is ready to get paid, which they can’t until the bills are processed by the payer and the bank (another week or so). Theoretically, the next-day pay service is available in almost every bank, but only 2% of payers use it: nobody wants to pay first and then have to chase clerical errors that regularly cost companies enormous amounts of money.
Ah, the “Intermediary”
In honesty, swiping your Visa through a terminal or paying for things on the Internet creates a solid illusion of the instantaneousness of the payment on the consumer level. And if you use your plastic on Amazon in the morning, and later that day, the coveted foot massager shows up at your door, you have every right to think that this is how things should be. But behemoths like Amazon can afford to send an item first and ask questions later. Your local eCommerce merchant can’t, so they have to wait for days for the money you owe them before shipping. This annoyance is one reason the likes of Amazon dominate the market without any hope for the little guy who can rely only on the good graces of his banker and how “instant” bank-to-bank transactions are set up (they’re not really instant, wink-wink).
An inter-banking payment network called ACH (Automated Clearing House) that dates back to the times of Nixon is at fault here, and its European younger brother (sister?), Pan-European automated clearing house, is no better. The problem is, both systems are so slow that they can’t log more real-time transactions than their physical limitations afford them. Besides, every second that the funds spend in the bank’s account earning interest is pure gold. The profits banks make simply holding cash for clients far exceed potential earnings if banks were to provide other services made possible by faster transactions. Needless to say, banks are not in the hurry to lock themselves out of easy money, but for an SME trying to survive in a highly competitive market segment like, say, consumer electronics, this delay may very well eventually lead to giving up the entire position to Amazon, Allegro, Cdiscount or some other giant.
Enough with the sad stuff
As I mentioned before, I don’t mean to imply (or state outright) that getting paid in Bitcoin or any other crypto will solve all problems with payroll. However, holding a Visa-issued crypto salary card like TRASTRA will give you substantial headway in many respects that will amount to a better experience with finances overall.
For starters (and this is a big one), paying you with crypto means that your employer, in fact, invests on your behalf, but whether to hodl crypto if you feel the token is on the rise or exchange it to fiat right then and there is your decision alone. Although, consider that in the runup to the Coinbase direct listing, Bitcoin had hit the record $64,600 in just two weeks. Imagine if you’d have been paid in Bitcoin for the month of March and decided to hold off on exchanging it for a couple of weeks…
Another cause for joy is the complete absence of paperwork. I know no digital nomad or crypto trader or any other member of the TRASTRA user demographic who gets excited about invoices. With a mobile app like TRASTRA and a card in your pocket, the process is as seamless as checking your Facebook status. There’s nobody to interrogate you about the source of your crypto (TRASTRA supports six major ones) as long as you don’t exchange more than 10,000 €’s worth at a time. No dirty looks from the bank teller or long lines at the window when you’re exchanging your crypto to EUR via your TRASTRA Card and spending it anywhere in the world Visa is accepted – just stick within the wallet’s daily transaction limit of 8,000 € and you’ll never hear from anybody, ever.
One other advantage of getting paid in Bitcoin is kind of an eccentric one, but it comes from my experience on both sides – as a freelance mobile payment systems developer and later as a fintech entrepreneur who has about 30 people in his employ now. Believe me, it works: if your employer agrees to pay you with crypto, you have every right to ask for more money. I’ll explain.
The high-note finale
Getting paid in crypto is an exotic contract by all means. Even with BitWage and some other services being there for years already, it’s still perceived as a novel way of dealing with payroll, cash flow, and other corporate finance issues. And even though the risk factor is minuscule (especially if you decide to exchange as soon as you receive your crypto), it still can be part of your negotiations with a potential employer. Also, chances are, if you both are talking about getting paid in Bitcoin, the task you are charged to fulfil is also an exotic one and the skills that you possess apparently are not the kind one finds at temp agencies. These are two trump cards that, if played deftly, may very well bring you a substantial raise. And if Jeremy Allaire, Circle CEO, is right, all of the above will inevitably lead to “…people experiencing personal payments the same manner they do with email and text, and consumers are going to start saying, ‘Why can’t my company pay me this way?’ It’s going to be a consumer-led phenomenon!”