Open Node Allows Employee BTC Payments
The fact that there would even be demand for such a service suggests that perhaps bitcoin is indeed drawing closer to mainstream territory. Traditionally, paychecks are provided in fiat currency, whether it be USD, yen, or euro payments, but to give people what they’ve earned from their jobs in crypto is bound to make bitcoin and its altcoin cousins more legitimate granted the service can make an impact.
The service is called Bitcoin Payouts, and while money will be given to employees in fiat form, they have the option of withdrawing that money in BTC. The company is also offering tax and legal compliance expertise to employees who opt to withdraw their money in crypto. At the time of writing, the service is only available for on-chain payments, but it will soon be available on bitcoin’s Lightning Network.
Ryan Flowers – the marketing lead for Open Node – says that at press time, the companies showing the most interest in the service are those involved in the adult and gaming industries. In a recent interview, he explained:
With Open Node’s Bitcoin Payout solution, businesses will be able to offer fully automated payouts in real-time with the option to either schedule or initiate mass payouts or allow recipients to draw down funds at the click of a button. Our inspiration for creating the feature came from the pain points that come with global payout methods.
Flowers further stated that the addition of the Bitcoin Payout feature arrived not through executives’ own decisions or ideas, but rather because many Open Node customers expressed a demand for it. Perhaps bitcoin is becoming more popular after all. Flowers says:
Several of our current users were asking for this feature, and multiple prospective users had inquired about this feature being added to our platform, and we always listen to feedback from our users and potential customers, so we knew it was time to add the feature to our product.
While not exactly alike, the move is arguably comparable to a recent step taken by Venezuela’s government. President Nicolas Maduro implemented legislation that would require all employees to be paid in the country’s new national digital currency known as the Petro, which has been the subject of controversy since it first arrived in early 2018.
We’ve Seen This Before
The country’s national fiat currency – the bolivar – has been subject to inflation and several other financial issues over the years, thereby stemming Maduro’s push for a national digital currency. In Venezuela, however, the popularity of the Petro has seemingly failed to catch on.
New Zealand also began permitting employee payments in bitcoin in late 2019.