GMO Internet Group (GMO Group), a leader in Japanese IT services, announced December 12, 2017, that it plans to offer portions of salaries in bitcoin to its employees. Employees of GMO Internet Co., Ltd. (GMO Internet) will be the first to have access to this option in February, with plans to expand the program to include employees of all the other branches of GMO Group later.
Internet for Everyone
GMO Internet has close to 5,000 employees who will be given the option for a partial bitcoin payment. The minimum amount of the payment option is 10,000 yen ($88.10), and the maximum is 100,000 yen ($881). The Japanese employer will deduct the amount in digital currency from the employee’s traditional yen salary. Employees can sign up in February 2018 for a March payment in the cryptocurrency.
A company press release stated that GMO Group is running this program in “Order to further strengthen [its approaches] to the virtual currency.” It feels “It is important for employees to improve their virtual currency literacy by actively [using] virtual currency.”
GMO Group launched in 1995 and is now a leader in business IT services including domain registration, web hosting, and electronic security. The company also owns one of the largest Forex (foreign exchange) platform in the world: Z.com.
Its corporate slogan is, “Internet for Everyone.”
Jack of All Crypto Trades
This foray into crypto salaries is just one of many cryptocurrency ventures GMO Group has undertaken of late. In January 2017, it announced the launch of its wallet program, GMO Wallet Co., Ltd.
In April, Japan officially recognized the digital store of value as a legal currency. In May, GMO Group launched its exchange and trading platform. Then, in September, it shared its intentions to enter the Bitcoin mining business, with a plan to invest more than $3 million in this endeavor in the first half of 2018.
“We will operate a next-generation mining center utilizing renewable energy and cutting-edge semiconductor chips in Northern Europe,” a statement reveals. GMO Group also says it plans to open an internet bank in July 2018.
Offering partial payments in bitcoin fits into the company’s vision of becoming a leader in the realm of digital currency. The multi-billion dollar firm explained that “The GMO Internet Group will contribute to the development of virtual currencies in the world by promoting efforts related to virtual currency throughout the group.”
Individuals who’d also like to be paid in digital currency by their employer may want to look into BitPay’s payroll API (application programming interface), through which employees can choose to receive a percentage of their salary in Satoshi’s creation. Bitwage is another cryptocurrency payment service that allows employees to invoice an employer in the EU, UK or U.S. for payment “in almost any currency,” including bitcoin.