top of page

Danielle Varela

 Founder & CEO 

  • LinkedIn

Cryptocurrency in total compensation: utopia or "must"?

Flexible compensation for modern companies and employees who are now allergic to all kinds of compromises, a difficult balancing act that companies have to go through - ideas that used to be fiction - now seem to be possible when it comes to compensation. '' You name it, we've got it'' seems to be the new motto in this area. As the war for talent rages on, some companies are thinking it's time to incorporate crypto currencies into their compensation and rewards programs. For those who see bitcoin as an investment opportunity, studies show that it has been the world's most profitable asset over the past decade, rising 9,710,233% from late 2010 to early 2021. Plus, with the unflappable support of millennials, Generation Z as well as many high-profile workers, such as some top athletes and some politicians such as NYC Mayor Eric Adams and UK PM Rishi Sunak, we can predict that cryptos are here to stay. Even if the volatile fluctuations of its price continue to leave us perplexed. If we talk mostly about the investment aspect of crypto-currencies or their technological foundation, a trend that is becoming more and more real is the inclusion of crypto-currencies in compensation and bonus systems.

What are cryptocurrency benefits? Crypto benefits, also known as cryptocurrency-based benefits, use digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin as a form of employee compensation. These benefits differ from traditional forms of employee compensation because transactions involving digital currencies are maintained and recorded using blockchain technology, creating a decentralized and secure ledger of transactions. They are not regulated by banks or governments. Cryptos offer a level of flexibility and autonomy not typically found in traditional forms of compensation, and are not subject to inflation. While still largely untapped today, crypto perks have the potential to fundamentally transform the way companies compensate and retain staff. While cryptocurrencies could once be considered frivolous, today they play a legitimate role in business. The arrival of assets on blockchain technology has opened up an entirely new field of possibilities for professionals in the world of compensation and benefits. This gives them a series of never-before-seen options that were previously impossible to achieve.

Implementing crypto as employee benefits As more and more companies explore the use of crypto-currency benefits, it's important to understand the practicalities of implementing them. This step into the new can be intimidating and complicated for some employers and for others it can put a damper on their enthusiasm. Employers may be exposed to legal risks if wages and hours do not comply with current legislation, as well as other regulations such as those set forth by federal securities laws. Understanding the legal and regulatory landscape, choosing the right crypto currency and crypto currency tools, and effectively communicating the benefits to employees should keep employers ahead of the curve by protecting against these potential pitfalls when implementing this process . If you are considering using crypto-currencies to motivate your employees make sure to: 1. Understanding the legal and regulatory framework: an imperative When a company decides to integrate crypto-currency benefits into the workplace, the first step is to understand the tax implications that may arise from the structure used. Tax systems have yet to develop comprehensive guidelines. Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on any changes or modifications, as the rules and regulations governing crypto-currency benefits are constantly evolving. The involvement of external stakeholders such as legal and tax experts is highly recommended in order to ensure that you are in compliance with the relevant laws in your state or country, which impose additional restrictions on their pay practices. The rules and regulations governing crypto-currency benefits are constantly changing. Therefore, to venture into this mode of compensation it is imperative that companies understand all legal guidelines regarding the use of crypto-currencies, such as those established by the IRS on the taxation of virtual currencies in the US or the Canadian crypto-currency regulatory body the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). Employers should be aware that the legal classification of crypto-currencies is ambiguous. It may involve regulatory regimes beyond the employment law context, such as securities laws. A solid understanding of the legal and regulatory environment is also necessary to ensure you are in compliance with money laundering requirements. 2. Choosing the right cryptocurrency for employees: an obligation To choose the right crypto currency for your business, make sure to do your due diligence. Never forget to thoroughly research any third party to ensure that you are in compliance with anti-money laundering rules. Therefore, during the selection process, the following points should not be overlooked: Market acceptance: Take the time to review the currencies offered, the exchange you plan to use, and the provider or broker you will appoint to handle the administrative aspects (such as a retirement provider). It is important to choose a crypto currency that is popular and has a large market share. The value of the benefits will be more stable and employees will be able to use them easily. Stability and Security: The security of the chosen crypto-currency and the employee benefits program should be a top priority. Stability and security should be thoroughly analyzed. This includes the technology behind the project, the team behind it, and the likelihood of adoption. Legal and regulatory issues: make sure the crypto currency you choose complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the country where your business is based. For example, whether it is allowed to be offered as an employee benefit and what the tax treatment will be (both from the employer's perspective and your employees'). Also be sure to clarify the risks to employees who opt for this type of compensation and update your contract. Volatility: The value of crypto can change dramatically and abruptly. When making your choice, it is important to consider the long-term stability in mind. Given the volatility of crypto currencies, an employee's base salary must therefore always comply with national minimum wage legislation. Until regulation is forthcoming, it is therefore best to initially limit crypto benefits to a bonus system or a controlled portion of salary. Integration with existing systems: Integrating crypto-currency benefits into existing systems, such as payroll and benefits administration, can be challenging. To determine if the benefits can be integrated and managed, review your payroll and CRM systems first. Ease of use: It's important to choose a crypto that is easy for employees to use and understand. This will increase employee engagement and adoption of the benefits program. 3. Communicate and educate employees: A responsibility Employees may not be familiar with crypto-currencies and blockchain technology. So to ensure they are aware of the benefits and how to take advantage of it communication becomes crucial. An important step, then in introducing crypto into the total compensation plan to ensure employee engagement and acceptance of the program by employees. Use language that is clear and simple for employees to understand while explaining the pros and cons of crypto compared to other tools (such as employee stock plans or other incentive benefits) available to employees. Help employees see the value of the program, emphasizing benefits such as flexibility, autonomy and inflation protection. Throughout the process, employees need to feel heard and reassured, so providing employee assistance is paramount. Conclusion Crypto currencies as part of the overall reward system can be attractive to both employers and employees, especially for new generations. The approach can position organizations as innovative and offer an interesting avenue to differentiate themselves in the labor market. Additionally, many remote workers are knowledge workers, which means they are probably not living paycheck to paycheck and are happy to invest some of their salary in crypto-currencies. But the question remains: are crypto currencies in total compensation a must or a utopia? The answer to this question will ultimately depend on how successful they are within the global economic community and will likely be decided by time. At this point, it is clear that crypto are more than a trend. It is a well-established and growing resource that businesses may not want to ignore for long.


Gahnic - '' The remote way '' | Services & Consulting

Montreal - Quebec - Ontario - elsewhere in Canada & North America

Home | Services | Contact | About | Blog

bottom of page