El Salvador could start paying workers in Bitcoin

Bitcoin banners adorn a restaurant at El Zonte Beach in Chiltiupan, El Salvador, on Tuesday. Jose Cabezas / Reuters

The move follows its approval of crypto as an official currency. If successful, it could spearhead a global shift in how we think about money.

Last week, El Salvador became the first nation in the world to approve cryptocurrency as an official currency. It also announced that the country will award legal citizenship to those who invest in at least three Bitcoin – a move that looks to the future as the world sits in an ever-growing cryptocurrency chokehold.

Now, according to the country’s Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Ronaldo Castro, El Salvador’s government is said to be discussing the possibility of companies paying employees in Bitcoin.

Paying workers in Bitcoin isn’t an entirely new concept. In February this year, Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, proposed paying municipal workers and collecting taxes in Bitcoin, in a bid to expand and promote cryptocurrency, according to Bloomberg.

Later on, in May, Fred Schebesta, millennial millionaire founder of comparison website Finder, predicted that Australian workers could be getting paid in cryptocurrency in the next two years. He also said that his company’s staff have been asking for the option, with it taking a year to come into fruition from an accounting, payroll and legal perspective,” News​.com​.au reported. Its 350 employees have the chance to take up 25 per cent of their salary in Bitcoin.”

It’s worth noting that El Salvador enacted the Law of Monetary Integration in 2001, leading to the eventual replacing of the Salvadoran colón with the US dollar, but payments could still be made using either. These days, the colón is rarely used in the nation and it isn’t totally clear if El Salvador’s Bitcoin push will expand on existing laws or replace them altogether. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele’s draft of the law shows that tax contributions can be paid in Bitcoin”, meanwhile for accounting purposes the USD will be used as a reference currency.”

Best to hold onto your dollars for now, folks.

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