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A Finnish developer outfit called SC5 has begun giving its employees the option of getting part of their salaries paid in Bitcoins, the peer-to-peer virtual currency. Technically this is not the first time this idea has been floated – the Internet Archive is planning to do the same starting in April – but it’s still a radical move at this early stage of the Bitcoin game.
From SC5’s blogpost:
“We are doing this just out of curiosity to try out new things. Bitcoin as such fits our vision of the world quite well. It allows for open source development, competition and innovation in the field of payments and Internet commerce. Based on cryptography, it is secure and deterministic as we require for digital services. As a comparison, credit cards rely on few enough physical cards getting stolen or copied and the centralized organizations covering fraud for billions of dollars each year.
“For currency conversion we use the daily exchange rate of the payday. The euro amount to be converted into Bitcoins is deducted from the net salary on the employee’s paycheck. Bitcoins are sent to the address provided by the employee.”
I’m not an economist, so I’m going to steer clear of commenting on the wisdom of opting to receive part of your pay in Bitcoins (there are also many excellent explanations about how the currency is algorithmically generated and controlled). That said, Bitcoin has been doing very well recently – so well that many suspect we’re experiencing a Bitcoin bubble.
SC5’s decision to experiment with Bitcoin-based salary payments is not entirely surprising. Last month a young developer by the name of Martti Malmi joined the company — Malmi, also known as Sirius, was one of the earliest developers involved in the Bitcoin project.