NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — More employees are choosing to be paid in bitcoin, according to Wagepoint, an online payroll software service serving U.S. and Canadian customers. CEO Shrad told CTV News that his firm began offering the cryptocurrency compensation option last November, and had low expectations of adoption. But 10 companies have signed up to offer bitcoin wages to their employees.
“When we started off, we didn’t even think we’ll get one,” he told CTV. “What’s interesting is that we’ve actually had customers come to us because of the (Bitcoin) integration, which we were not expecting at all.”
Rao says inquiries are coming from throughout North America, though the bitcoin payment option is not currently available in the U.S. Wagepoint serves hundreds of companies in paying over 4,000 employees.
In order to remain compliant with Canadian tax laws, Wagepoint withholds taxes in Canadian dollars and then converts all or part of net pay into bitcoin.
“Really, it’s (about) what you do with your personal income at that point,” he said. “If you bought a boat with it or invest in Bitcoin — I’m not sure that’s very different from each other.”
Bitpay, the popular bitcoin payment processor, recently announced a bitcoin payroll service that is in beta for employers in Georgia and South Carolina, and available to licensed payroll providers nationwide.
“Bitcoin has seen major fluctuations in value in its short life. Consequently, $100 worth of bitcoin on one paycheck will almost certainly be a different amount on later paychecks,” writes Andrew J. Masak, an associate for Atlanta-based lawfirm Seyfarth Shaw, in a firm blog post. “Therefore, any employer interested in paying employees Bitcoin should consider:
- Paying employees in traditional currency that is then converted to Bitcoin instantly;
- Paying employees a base rate that satisfies all state and federal minimum wage and overtime requirements and supplementing these wages with Bitcoins;
- If paying in Bitcoin, consider applying a wage differential for weeks in which an employee’s Bitcoin-dollar equivalent falls below the applicable minimum wage.”