Sending and receiving payments in cryptocurrencies is commonplace. But people haven’t taken the plunge to get paid their monthly salaries in crypto, until now.
A company called NFT Investments claims to be the first in the world to pay the salaries and bonuses of its board members and management team entirely in crypto, specifically Ethereum.
If any company were going to do this it’s NFT Investments: as the name would suggest, they specialize in the identification, acquisition, investment, and development of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and are about as committed as it’s possible to be in the world of emerging digital assets. Despite having been around for a while, NFTs have broken through into the mainstream recently as a way for artists and the owners of digital creations of all kinds to receive value and protect their assets. Perhaps the biggest tipping point was the sale by digital artist Beeple of his work The First 5000 Days for $69 million at Christies.
For many of us, the inherent risk of the value of cryptocurrencies tanking completely would be too high. The value of Ethereum may well have risen by a staggering 1,458 per cent in 12 months, but there’s no guarantee that will endure or continue. The Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has warned that cryptocurrencies “have no intrinsic value” and, pulling no punches at a recent press conference, he said: “I’m sorry, I’m going to say this very bluntly again: buy them only if you’re prepared to lose all your money.”
But Jonathan Bixby, Executive Chairman of NFT Investments says, “I’m a firm believer in the long term value of crypto, so getting paid in Ethereum is something I’m excited about. This is true of the rest of the NFT Investments team. Paying both the salaries and bonuses of our Board and management team entirely in cryptocurrency is a natural progression for our company as our ethos and DNA is rooted in digital assets and currencies and their bright future.”
He acknowledges the volatility that is inherent to cryptocurrencies, but stands by their long-term potential and sees the popularity of crypto salaries increasing over time. “While in the short term the value of cryptocurrencies can rise and fall, as we have seen in recent months, our confidence is in the trajectory of crypto over the years to come. I am also pleased to be a part of the first company worldwide to achieve this milestone, though we expect others to follow suit as the broad trend of institutional adoption of Bitcoin and crypto is something that will continue. Confidence in the future of cryptocurrencies is now shared by many outside of the traditional crypto ecosystem and adoption will likely increase over time as blockchain continues to become better understood and more sustainable.”
Ethereum’s value as risen against major ‘fiat’ currencies over the last 12 months. Chart from ethereumprice.org.
For many people, there could be a question mark about how to convert their crypto salary into ‘fiat’ currencies, such as the Dollar, Pound or Euro, to pay for everyday expenses such as mortgages or the weekly shop. But Jonathan Bixby points to the growing ways you can spend crypto directly: “While the process of converting crypto to fiat currency is easier than ever before and has been made vastly more straightforward, what is more exciting is the increasing ability to use cryptocurrencies such as Ether and Bitcoin to make payments and purchase goods and services directly. We are seeing this across culture from retailers and businesses who are embracing it, as well as the popularity of digital wallets like BitPay that let users start spending crypto instantly, to the art world where there is an increasing integration of cryptocurrencies. Last month the celebrated auction house Sotheby’s accepted payment in cryptocurrency for the first time in a Banksy auction.”
Given that most people need a stable and predictable base income to pay the bills, it seems unlikely however that the crypto salary is going to replace fiat currency payments any time soon. But if your appetite for risk is high (and you’re not going to be out on the street if you lose your salary for a while), perhaps it’s time to book in some time with your boss to ask whether there could be a crypto payment option in your company too.