back to article Two websites you should show your boss if you want to be paid in Bitcoin

Bosses being nagged by savvy staff to write out paychecks in Bitcoins now have a choice of BTC-friendly payroll systems. Atlanta-based US biz BitPay is the latest firm to announce an online service for paying employees in the digital money: it unveiled its BTC payroll tech yesterday as a beta for employers and payroll …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Bit coin?

I still don't understand -- what is bit coin?

1
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit coin?

It's the financial equivalent of what torrents were to P2P.

1
1
Facepalm

Savvy?

Staff who want to be paid in bitcoin are savvy?

5
1
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Savvy?

The ones who were paid in them previously and made huge profits seem that way.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Savvy?

No doubt a lot of the transactions happening in bitcoins are illegally bypassing taxation so that is equivalent to a big profit even if bitcoin prices were fixed at a certain amount in local currency.

0
2
Silver badge

Re: The ones who were paid in them previously and made huge profits seem that way

Of course the ones who started this whole things were savvy - they are on the top of the pyramid !

Everyone knows that the higher you are in a scheme's hierarchy, the more rewards you reap.

Not knocking Bitcoin, but those who started it minted coins in way less time than it takes now, so sorry, but it does look like a pyramid scheme to me.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: The ones who were paid in them previously and made huge profits seem that way

The discussion here is about those who were *paid* previously, so I don't see what mining has to do with anything. The increase in value is nothing to do with pyramid schemes, but simple supply and demand.

"those who started it"

Surely anyone was free to do Bitcoin mining at any time they chose.

1
1
Holmes

Re: Savvy?

>Staff who want to be paid in bitcoin are savvy?

I certainly wouldn't hire anyone willing to take it as payment. Something about risk assessment abilities springs to mind, but I can't put a finger on it.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Alternatively...

the day after they are paid staff could use the funds in their bank accounts to buy bitcoins.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Alternatively...

"[Alternatively] the day after they are paid staff could use the funds in their bank accounts to buy bitcoins."

But, but, innovation!

3
1
Silver badge

Re: Alternatively...

I think there might be tax and/or regulatory advantages to doing it this way. Directly buying or selling bitcoins with cash seems to be the sticky point.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Alternatively...

The employer has to buy Bitcoins with cash, so what difference does it make?

0
0

Re: Alternatively...

But if they are paid in BitCoins by their customers, they don't need to buy any.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Alternatively...

Covered in the article: "It is an easier way to get Bitcoin than going through an exchange"

How true that is depends on which country you are in, and which exchange you want to use, but in many cases the general lack of exchanges means hassles with transferring money internationally in order to then buy.

0
0
Gold badge

Re: Alternatively...

Which leads to another problem. If you're going through this scheme to get your Bitcoins because it's such a hassle to buy them, then it's going to be equally difficult to sell them afterwards.

This isn't a problem if you're getting them to spend on stuff. But if you're getting them as an investment, which a lot of people who promote Bitcoin on forums are, then you've still got exactly the same problem. Only worse, becuase you've now got your money tied up in a volatile and high risk asset.

1
0
Bronze badge

Hmmm........

I could see this getting taxed in the UK as some sort of benefits in kind type of thing

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm........

Box C of the P11D, "Value of vouchers and payments made using credit cards or tokens".

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm........

Of course it'll be taxed, it's the exact same as being paid in any other shopping voucher, just harder to spend.

There's currently a media froth around BTC and doubtless the technology is clever, but ultimately it's buying a long number and it's currently in its tulip bulb stage of bubble. Companies know this, so bolt on 'because Bitcoin' services just to get a slice of the PR.

3
1
Bronze badge

Re: Hmmm........

I expect this would be treated exactly as if being paid in a foreign currency -

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/eim40033.htm

So no tax benefit for salary and any profit from such an investment in 'foreign currency' would appear to also be liable for either Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax.

One thing we can be sure of is that HMRC will want their slice of the pie and have the upper hand in getting it.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm........

There is no capital gains tax for profits made from actual foreign currency, and also no tax relief if you make a loss on foreign currency.

Bitcoin however is not a foreign currency, so it is subject to capital gains, and also VAT if you sell more than £79,000 of them, or them + anything else in a year.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

I am starting to get the feeling...

... that the future (a few decades from now) will see us using various forms of private, mostly electronic, currency for a majority of our transactions, with hard cash being relegated to the role that gold plays these days.

I am making no judgement about this, other than to say that if I were a Cyberpunk science fiction writer, I would be using this as a plot device in my stories.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: I am starting to get the feeling...

I guess you've missed out on all the ones that talk about "cryptocurrency" or the pre-Cyberpunk Sci Fi that talks about "credits".

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I am starting to get the feeling...

> I guess you've missed out on all the ones that talk about "cryptocurrency" or the pre-Cyberpunk Sci Fi that talks about "credits".

You guess correctly.

You can probably also guess that my science fiction reading does not stretch beyond Douglas Adams (and of those, I enjoyed Dirk Gently the most).

0
0
Gold badge

Sign me up!!

YES! I want to have my salary paid via an un-regulated startup, using software that's still in beta, in a different 'currency' whose value sometimes fluctuates by more than 10% in a single day.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

6
1
Silver badge

Re: Sign me up!!

Does your workplace issue share-incentives?

The software "in beta"? Sorry, we're talking about a Google "beta" at best. And nobody says you have to use the official client. That's just nonsense to even bring up, based on the version number.

The only part you get sort-of-right is "unregulated". But then it turned out that even with regulation, even your Christmas hamper wasn't a safe bet either.

Personally, I bought some Bitcoin about six months ago, just as a test. They are cashable now, today, for five times the value I paid. They haven't dipped below 4-times the value from what I can see. If you're that way inclined, I'd rather spent £25 a month on Bitcoin than be in the work lottery syndicate, for example. And if I were able to easily buy them, I probably would put some money on them every month - like I do my Steam account, my National Lottery account, etc.

Nobody's forcing you, but I'd actually rather have that than any kind of "gym membership"-style incentive.

2
0

Re: Sign me up!!

>> I'd rather spent £25 a month on Bitcoin than be in the work lottery syndicate

An excellent analogy.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Sign me up!!

Whenever I read about bitcoins I think "tulips all over again". Maybe I'm too old to understand these newfangled gizmos and doodads.

1
2
Joke

Re: Sign me up!!

If you remember Tulip mania, you must be really, really old ;)

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Sign me up!!

As clearly explained in the article, you can choose whatever proportion you like, so it's not about being paid entirely in Bitcoin.

What's the worst that can go wrong? Er, you lose your investment. No different to any other kind of investment. I find it odd the hostility that some people seem to give it - do you view all high risk investments the same way? Putting all one's money into a high risk investment is risky, but a sensible investment strategy is to put one's savings into a range of investments of varying risk.

2
0
Gold badge

Re: Sign me up!!

Is Bitcoin a high risk investment or a currency?

Now I'm pretty sure I've seen you argue in the past that it's a currency. And I've explained why it isn't. It could be one in future, though I doubt it myself. But at the moment it's a very high risk investment with high returns. That's what annoys people. The claims that it's some new utopian future of currency, when it's not. At best it's currently a highly speculative investment with tentative signs of a future as a global internet currency. At worst it's a pyramid scheme (even if that wasn't deliberate).

It's too speculative to be the sort of investment that should be linked to payroll, in my opinion. This time last year, Bitcoin was collapsing from $120 to $20 over the span of 2 days. It's spent the last couple of months fluctuating between $500 and $1200.

I've no problem with people talking about it. But it would help if they understood just how volatile it is. And the massive risk to its chances of becoming a currency caused by the designed-in deflation.

1
0

Re: Sign me up!!

Think of it as a *protocol* (like SMTP but for money) rather than a currency, and you'll get further in understanding the impacts.

Also, BitCoin is but one Cryptocurrency. Whatever happens to it is irrelevant - the question is, what use will cryptocurrencies have in general?

3
0

Re: Sign me up!!

You don't want your salary paid in an unregulated start up currency.

So you're OK with a currency where unelected people simply print more and more, thereby diluting the value of the money in your pocket every time they do this.

These people, and the enormous power this gives them, will be the biggest obstacle to free market money.

I'm an optimist. I think the real market will win.... eventually, but it will be a murderous fight.

1
0
Gold badge

Re: Sign me up!!

Think of it as a *protocol* (like SMTP but for money) rather than a currency, and you'll get further in understanding the impacts.

I'm not really sure that means anything. Plus, I'm disputing that Bitcoin (or any other crypto-currency) even is money. Either now, or in the immediate future.

Money is a means of exchange. Which means you need a decent number of people who'll accept it, before it can become stable. And it's hard to persuade people to use it, until it does become stable. It's certainly not an insurmountable hurdle, but will be a long struggle.

Remember the banks can do a lot of damage to any schemes like this, by charging less for their existing services. In 2001 I could transfer money more cheaply from my UK bank account to my Belgian one (including currency transaction costs), than from my Belgian account to a German or French one. This despite the fact that Belgium, Germany and France were all in the Euro. You can already get credit cards that give the market exchange rates, without any commission or loading - and no extra fees for foreign transactions. The banks will charge the fees that the market (and regulators) allow. They can cut them at the flick of a switch.

Now I admit there will always be a market for untraceable transactions. Add that to the market for cheap international payments to order online - and you have a valuable and growing marketplace. Take away the customers seeking value though, which the banks can do if threatened, and you're left with a much smaller market, that may struggle to achieve critical mass. And is going to be tarred with the the accusation that it's full of criminals, druggies and money launderers.

Therefore I'm not betting on Bitcoin. Plus while unregulated can be an advantage, it also means unprotected and no hope of bail-outs.

1
1
Gold badge

Re: Sign me up!!

You don't want your salary paid in an unregulated start up currency.

So you're OK with a currency where unelected people simply print more and more, thereby diluting the value of the money in your pocket every time they do this.

Yes.

If the dollar economy collapses, then Bitcoins are as fucked as everything else. The world economy will grind to a halt, many governments will collapse, there'll be no bail-outs, my savings will be destroyed in whatever form I've made them (gold may be slightly less disastrous than anything else), and life will become rather difficult for a while. The same for sterling, but on a smaller global scale. As a British resident the effect will be equally horrific for me though.

As to central banks being un-elected, that's pretty much irrelevant. Congress just had an approval hearing for the head of the Fed. They had quite a big input, as Yellen was preferred over Larry Summers - who basically pulled out of the race, even though Obama probably wanted him, because he wouldn't get through the hearings.

Or we can look to Japan, where the new government just told their Central Bank to do as it was bloody well told. It whimpered a bit, for all of 2 months, then the governer resigned, and was replaced with the Prime Minister's choice. Hence Abenomics - not Kurodanomics... The European Central Bank mostly wants to do QE, but doesn't dare because the German government won't let it.

Central bank independence is a tightrope. Mostly the idea is to stop the politicians from lowereing interest rates just before elections, to get some cheap feel-good popularity. That mostly works. When the shit hits the fan, the Central Bankers come into line. Hence the ECB have allowed the inflation rate to drop below 1%, miss the target and risk deflation, because they're more scared of the German government than they are of the others.

Talking of deflation, that's what money printing was for. It doesn't look to have been a disaster. The current asset bublle and uncertainty over the taper is preferable to the deflation that not printing money would have caused. Deflation would have led to defaults on a massive scale. So it looks to have been a price wroth paying.

Plus QE isn't printing money. At least not technically. The fiction is that it can be later un-wound. My suspicion is it'll get slowly, and guiltily, written-off. But it's a trick that can be pulled off once every 50 years or so. Probably with relatively little damage to the economy.

Anyway, the Central bankers aren't really the problem. It's the politicians. Governments ran up all the debt, and they set the inflation targets. The Japanese got 20 years of deflation becasue they were unwilling to allow the knackered companies from the 1990s recession to fail. They got stability, at the price of stagnation. The Eurozone's problems are also mostly political. The ECB have dodged and weaved, ducked and dived and managed to keep consent with everyone, just about. While doing just enough to stop the Euro collapsing, and giving the politicians time to get their act together. Mario Draghi is a genius in my opinion. I think the Euro will still fail, because Italy will have to partially default or leave in the next 3 years. But that won't be the ECB's fault. And when it comes to the abyss (for the 3rd time), the Northern solvent countries may agree to a solution that's actually workable.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Sign me up!!

"Is Bitcoin a high risk investment or a currency?"

Yes.

It's a high-risk investment in a pseudo-currency. But that very much depends on what definition of currency you use, of course.

But I'm yet to actually discover a way in which investing in Bitcoin is any worse than what people are encouraged to do in terms of investing in specific companies, currencies, stocks, products, or futures when they start to delve into it.

Blinkered hatred for Bitcoin is fine. Maybe it's not a panacea. But quite what people have against it, especially when those same people won't touch the thing themselves, I haven't worked out. Are you warning *us* against it, trying to convince yourself, or just trying to make sure that your investment in it isn't watered down or discovered by others by spreading FUD?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums