A Japanese internet service provider (ISP) is reportedly readying to pay employees in bitcoin.
According to news from Bitcoin Magazine on Thursday (Dec. 14), GMO Internet Group, which provides internet services for consumers and businesses, is introducing an option for employees to receive part of their salary in bitcoin. The publication noted that while cyrptocurrency companies have been using bitcoin for payroll for some time, the move by GMO Internet Group suggests mainstream, traditional companies are starting to follow suit.
The move may not be surprising to everyone, however, considering GMO’s recent launch of a bitcoin mining business earlier this year.
“We will operate a next-generation mining center utilizing renewable energy and cutting-edge semiconductor chips in Northern Europe,” the company stated in September. A few months earlier, the company launched a cryptocurrency exchange, which was later rebranded as GMO Coin. That exchange provides cryptocurrency foreign exchange (FX) and cryptocurrency trading, reports said.
GMO’s decision to offer bitcoin payments for employee payroll is part of the company’s overall strategy to promote adoption of the cryptocurrency. The service will initially be available only to employees at GMO Internet Co. Ltd., but the firm has plans to expand the offering to employees at other companies under the GMO name across Japan.
The publication also noted that GMO is confident that its decision to offer partial wages in bitcoin is legal under Japanese law, which requires employees to be paid in a recognized currency. The company said that because its service is optional and consensual, and because employees can choose how much they want taken out of each paycheck to purchase bitcoin, its offering won’t run afoul of legislation.
While companies explore paying their employees in bitcoin, there have also been FinTechs popping up to help those businesses do so.
Bitwage, for instance, is a company that provides payroll solutions for businesses to issue wages in bitcoin. Earlier this year, the company said it would be partnering with Mexico-based Bitso, another bitcoin payroll service, to expand operations.