An East Belfast coffee business is changing the way that it pays its staff by offering them their wages in Bitcoin.
Root & Branch Coffee, which is based at the Portview Trade Centre has asked its staff if they would like to receive part of their wages in the crypto-currency, believing that it will provide them with a bit more financial security in later life.
Speaking to Belfast Live, managing director Simon Johnston said everyone working at the business agreed to get their pay in Bitcoin with it being completely voluntary for everyone involved.
He said that he has been investing in Bitcoin for a number of years and believes that it offers more security for people financially in times of high inflation.
Simon said: “We gave our staff the option of taking some of their wages in Bitcoin in the hopes of giving them some protection against rising inflation, which means their money will go further in the future.
“Everyone at the business has decided to take part and they will now receive part of their earnings in Bitcoin. A portion of their wages will still be in sterling so that they are able to pay their bills and rent.
“We are currently seeing high levels of inflation which shows no signs of improving meaning our team’s wages and savings will not go as far as they once did. But by paying them a portion of their wages in Bitcoin they will be able to have money set aside that historically, has experienced compound growth of 160% over 13 years.
“Prior to doing this we spoke with all of our staff about our thinking behind this and after having a few days to go over it, everyone asked to have their wages in Bitcoin.”
Simon said that Bitcoin has shown over the past ten years that it is different to other crypto-currencies and it is more secure than others that are available.
He says this has been shown by countries such as El Salvador who have made it a national currency, with other countries also looking to do the same in the future.
He also said that Root & Branch being able to pay their farmers in Bitcoin is better for the farmers as they don’t lose money in FX fees and many farmers in the developing world don’t have access to bank accounts, but with a mobile phone and cell phone signal, this is all they need.
Simon continued: “Over the past 10 years Bitcoin has shown that it is able to stand the test of time and is an asset that is becoming more established every year. There are now sovereign nations and publicly traded companies making it a national currency which shows that it is more than magic internet money.
“Bitcoin is an instrument of economic empowerment and as inflation will be something that will continue to impact people’s wages moving forward, it is one way of protecting your savings and making sure they are not devalued over time.”
Simon now divides his time between his coffee business and bitcoin education. He recently launched NIBitcoin.com which hosts monthly meet-ups at the Ormeau Baths for both the curious and those who’ve been involved in his space for some time.
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