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Japanese firm says it will pay part of salaries in Bitcoin

25 Comments
By Justin Tallis

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Can I get Litecoin instead.

Bitcoin is old news

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yes. Just swap your bitcoin for litecoin, or any other coin you want.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But people say that Bitcoin isn't a currency.

The Japanese government doesn't agree of course.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's only a matter of time, but most people will never realize it until it's too late.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Doom! Doom! The end is nigh! Save yourselves!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

when the Mt Gox scandal happened in 2009, all the officials were blaming this non regulated currency not created by any government and wanted to get rid of it, which was my understanding. I think they were starting to get afraid it strongly concurrences the actual currency, but also because it was use for underground transactions.

Now they did regulate it to also start to get part of the cake. No blame anymore

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Headline and first paragraph are a bit misleading since they are only offering —the choice— of having part of one’s salary paid in bitcoin. Remains to be seen whether any employees actually select that option.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Now they did regulate it 

We need to be clear, no one can regulate bitcoin as a result of its decentralization. What is being regulated are the exchanges that allow the average person to buy and/or sell bitcoin. It's impossible to regulate bitcoin itself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

scam and rip off you should not work for that company. bitcoin is a total scam

0 ( +1 / -1 )

scam and rip off you should not work for that company.

Or, they could work for that country and just take their salary in yen. Or did you not read the article?

bitcoin is a total scam

Ahh, another person who literally has no clue how it works, calling it a scam.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have no clue about bitcoin. But my friends have made a shed load of money and I'm sitting here watching it happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd like to know how they plan to mine Bitcoins in Japan... the cost of electricity is prohibitively expensive. In order to do it profitably they would need to set up their own PV System... with batteries to power the computers during the non daylight hours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only thing is that there aren't really enough places to go and spend it......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One would wonder whether that is Legal ?

My thoughts:

BitCoin is a Virtual Commodity, so you may as well pay your Employees with an in-game Virtual Item.

As it's perceived value goes up and down so rapidly you may not in-fact be paying your Employee's 100,000 JPY - so that would sort of make any Tax Return or Filing made by the the Employee or Company a bit problematic, and surely then, the Tax Office would want a closer look.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a misleading headline. It should read "Japanese firm says it will pay salaries entirely in Japanese yen, but will then exchange up to ¥100,000 into Bitcoin on their behalf at the spot rate on any given day.. but only if they want"

It would have been news if they and the employee had signed an employment contract committing themselves to paying 10 Bitcoins regardless of the exchange rate. Obviously that will not happen because Bitcoin's instability means that it is impossible to sign long term contracts with.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Would be more interesting if the company weren't involved in bitcoins itself.

Sounds like they are using employees for clients, kinda like asking employees to invest in company stock/shares.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One would wonder whether that is Legal ?

Why wouldn't it be? The Japanese government recognizes it as a currency.

My thoughts:

BitCoin is a Virtual Commodity

Your thoughts are wrong - the Japanese government has said it's a currency.

Would be more interesting if the company weren't involved in bitcoins itself.

Sounds like they are using employees for clients, kinda like asking employees to invest in company stock/shares.

What do you mean by 'involved' in, and how could it be like asking employees to invest in company stocks, when no one owns or regulates bitcoin?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GMO is a bitcoin exchange and will soon start mining Bitcoins, that type of work involvement as per the article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone else find it ironic that the compensation, even if delivered in Bitcoin, is pegged to an actual currency?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not really. My company receives an equivalent in yen of foreign currencies from clients all the time. We quote them in foreign currencies and they pay us that value in yen at the time they make payment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We quote them in foreign currencies and they pay us that value in yen at the time they make payment.

But that's not what is happening here. Not even close. The employment contracts are set in Japanese yen, and the employer pays in Jaoanese yen as per the employment contract. Only then does GMO offer the option of converting it to Bitcoin on their behalf (at a less than competitive rate one assumes).

Btw, why doesn't your company invoice in Bitcoin? Of course, you would be crazy to do so because you could never be even remotely certain that you would get the equivalent value of the goods or services you are selling. Face it, bit coin has only one job: to be a currency, but it fails miserably at it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"If the employee want."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But that's not what is happening here. Not even close. The employment contracts are set in Japanese yen, and the employer pays in Jaoanese yen as per the employment contract

Yeah, same thing. We have a client, I quote him an hourly rate in US$. At the end of the month, we invoice him in US$ for the amount he owes, and he pays me in yen at the current rate of the $/¥ exchange rate. Exact same thing.

Example given / my situation:

Contract in ¥ / contract in $

Payment in bitcoin at ¥/bitcoin rate / payment in yen at $/¥ rate

Btw, why doesn't your company invoice in Bitcoin? Of course, you would be crazy to do so because you could never be even remotely certain that you would get the equivalent value of the goods or services you are selling

That's right. It has not stabilized enough to do so. Give it a few more years and I'll be much more likely to do so. At the moment, I don't think it's worth the risk.

Face it, bit coin has only one job: to be a currency, but it fails miserably at it.

Bitcoin has zero job at all. It's a currency that people can use in any manner they like, and people are doing that right now.

Your comment is like saying 'cash has one job - and since you cannot easily store a million dollars in your closet securely, it fails at that job'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Strangerland

It's not the same for two reasons. First, because the currency of your contract is denominated in USD, your customer can insist on enforcing the contract and paying in USD, right? (even though he offers to pay the yen equivalent for convenience). This exposes you to currency risk if the value of the dollar drops. Second, because you live in Japan you must pay taxes in Japanese yen. This means that if your customer insists on paying in USD and the value has fallen, you will have to crystallise some of your USD losses by exchanging them into yen to settle your tax bill by the end of the year (assuming you've made a profit and you haven't earned enough yen elsewhere).

Contrast that with the GMO employees. The contracts are denominated in yen, the paymemt is in yen, they are paying taxes in yen here in Japan. The bitcoin exchange is voluntary. There is absolutely no currency risk at all. This is why I say the situation is completely different.

It has not stabilized enough to do so. Give it a few more years and I'll be much more likely to do so.

I think this is just wishful thinking. But we shall see.

It's a currency that people can use in any manner they like

A currency, by its very nature, is supposed to circulate as a medium of exchange. If it is serving another purpose, it is not really a currency.

Your comment is like saying 'cash has one job - and since you cannot easily store a million dollars in your closet securely, it fails at that job'.

Not to split hairs but a million dollars in cash will actually fit comfortably into a small rolling suitcase, assuming it's in $100 bills. So it will definitely fit securely into the back bottom drawer of your closet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First, because the currency of your contract is denominated in USD, your customer can insist on enforcing the contract and paying in USD, right? (even though he offers to pay the yen equivalent for convenience)

No, payment is specified to be made by the client, in yen, to our Japanese account at the current rate.

Just like in this story, if an employee chooses that option.

This exposes you to currency risk if the value of the dollar drops.

It does, and has. It goes the other way as well though - in 2014 (I think) the yen suddenly dropped significantly a month or two after I signed a contract, at which point we were suddenly getting about 500,000 yen/month more than when we signed the contract. I consider fluctuation when signing the contracts.

Contrast that with the GMO employees. The contracts are denominated in yen, the paymemt is in yen

From this story, it appears the payment of 100,000 yen is in bitcoin. I don’t see that the employee ever receives that yen. Just the equivalent in bitcoin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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