GMO Internet to Pay 4,000 Employees Using Bitcoin

A Japanese company has taken the bold step of opting to pay their employees using Bitcoin. GMO Internet is a firm dealing in web-related matters. These include finance, advertising, and internet infrastructure. In an effort to get more familiar with cryptocurrency, they’re trialling its use as a payment method in a professional setting.

Employees at GMO Internet can opt to have up to 100,000 yen of their salary paid in Bitcoin every month. This is equivalent to around $900. The rest of their rate will be topped up with traditional currency. It’s also not compulsory, and workers at GMO Internet can still elect to be paid their entire paycheck in yen.

Harumi Ishii , a spokesperson for GMO internet told the UK’s The Guardian newspaper:

Employees can receive salaries by Bitcoin if they want to… We hope to improve our own literacy of virtual currency by actually using it.

Ishii estimated that around 4,000 workers at GMO Internet would be entitled to receive Bitcoin payments. RT News report that employees would even receive a bonus for receiving cryptocurrency. Workers can expect an additional 10% on top of their usual payment.

Outside of a few jobs in the fintech industry, this represents one of the first examples of a large company offering to pay all their employees in cryptocurrency. Back in 2014, a Canadian startup called WagePoint offered a service in which they offered clients the option to pay their employees using cryptocurrency. At the time, they estimated that they paid around $75,000 annually in Bitcoin. This is minuscule compare to the maximum $3.6 million a month which GMO Internet would pay out should every one of their employees opt for crypto payments. However, judging by the WagePoint’s website, the service has since been discontinued.

It won’t be the first dealings the GMO Internet have had with Bitcoin. They started a trading and exchange business back in May of this year. They are also planning on launching their own mining farm next month. Therefore, it makes perfect economic sense for them to pay their staff using the currency which they have obtained for much less than the market rate thanks to their mining operation. Rather than go through the effort of exchanging their freshly mined BTC for yen and then sending that out to employees, they can pay them directly with the cryptocurrency.

It’s hardly surprising that a Japanese company have been the first to trial paying employees in cryptocurrency. This year, the government there declared Bitcoin and other digital currencies legal tender. If GMO Internet’s pilot is successful, it seems likely that others will follow suit soon.

 

 

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BitPay has partnered with global payment solutions company Ingenico to introduce Bitcoin payments into traditional point-of-sale (POS) devices.

The one-of-its-kind payment solution, launched during a blockchain event this Monday, has been developed by BitPay and installed on Ingenico’s private terminal ICT250. According to the companies’ joint press release, the said integration will make it possible for customers to pay with Bitcoin instantly on a global scale.

The Bitcoin-enabled POS device allows merchants to generate a QR code by entering a fiat sale price. This code can then be scanned by customers’ Bitcoin wallet app, following which the transaction is concluded. Like always, the BitPay terminal instantly converts Bitcoin into target-fiat currency to protect merchants from volatility.

Speaking about the partnership, Tony Gallippi, the executive chairman of BitPay, said in a statement:

“We are excited to partner with Ingenico Group, one of the leading payment processors in both physical and online commerce. This integration will help us expand bitcoin payments to thousands of retail payment terminals worldwide.”

Miguel Angel Hernandez, Managing Director of Ingenico Iberia, also expressed how adding a disruptive payment technology such as Bitcoin would assist their company provide a more safer and secure transaction service. He said in a statement:

“Participating in such an important project has allowed Ingenico Group to demonstrate its leadership in the payment space and bring a safe and secure payment method like virtual currency to the end user.”

Earlier this year, Ingenico has launched a similar service in Europe upon partnering with Paymium, a payment application app.

Ingenico has been contacted for comments. This article will be updated accordingly.

Anthem Vault has announced the acquisition of Amagi Metals. Amagi Metals is a Bitcoin-to-bullion precious metal dealer and with this deal the company is hoping to gain more ground in this growing market.

Anthem Blanchard, founder and CEO of Anthem Vault also outlined that “our goal is to provide the precious metals community with a trusted way to accumulate gold and silver.”

He further explained the goal of the company by saying that “when customers find their gold and silver stacks too precious to be held in their own home, we can take on the storage and security at Anthem Vault. Amagi Metals ships quality silver and gold straight to the customer. These may include special years of Gold Eagles and Morgan Dollars as well as popular silver bullion; There is something for everyone.

The company feels that clubbing Anthem Vault‘s high-security storage options with Amagi Metals’ crypto-friendly business model, will help it in providing their clientele with a one-stop shop for all precious metal requirements.

Meanwhile, it has been decided that AmagiMetals.com will continue to host all Bitcoin payments and will continue to sell gold and silver.

In case of queries or doubts, the consumers have been requested to contact by either calling 1-855-4-AVAULT or by emailing consumer [email protected]

Amagi Metals is a global precious metals dealer with its base in Denver and it claims to focus on quality gold and silver bullion, Anthem Vault, on the other hand, claims to provide world-class and fully insured storage for the precious metals.

Anthem Vault is a Las Vegas-based company, founded in 2011, and it also says that it strives to offer renowned gold and silver bars globally recognized by LMBA-approved refiners.

Earlier, Anthem Vault was in the news when it had come to light that it was planning to launch a gold-backed crypto-coin, the HayekCoin in May this year.

This year, the Moniker Art Fair returns to east London’s iconic Old Truman Brewery for its sixth year, having firmly established itself as London’s premiere event for contemporary art rooted in urban culture.

This year’s edition, Moniker Art Fair has teamed up with global art, music and technology collective Fork The Banks, in an exciting venture to become the world’s first international art fair to accept Bitcoin payments.

Specialising in urban culture and its related genres, Moniker Art Fair will showcase approximately 20 national and international contemporary art galleries.

Frankie Shea, Director of Moniker Projects, comments:

“Over the last 6 years, Moniker Art Fair has helped forge a direct, unpretentious approach to appreciating and collecting art from a new generation of contemporary artists. With ‘Renaissance is Now’, our goal is not only to produce a visually stunning installation but to introduce Bitcoin and its benefits to the wider public”.

Moniker Art Fair

The fair will showcase the work of legendary Bristol stencil artist Nick Walker in a Moniker Projects curated immersive setting. MYA Gallery will be hosting the first UK solo show with the highly collectable French street artist Bom.k. A Star Wars inspired collection of works by Ryan Callanan and original works by French artist WK Interact will also be exhibited. Secondary market works from Banksy to Peter Blake to Takashi Murakami will also feature at the fair.

This year’s affordable limited edition prints, brought to you by JAM editions, will include Sheffield’s finest artist, illustrator and hip-hop musician Kid Acne, NYC-based artist and leading figure in the popular ‘doodle’ art style, Jon Burgerman and Ben Eine.Art_Fair_article_cover_NewsBTC

All food and drink at Moniker will be overseen by Assemble London, the latest venture from Street Feast founder Dominic Cools-Lartigue. In recent years, he has helped revolutionise the way people eat out in London with venues like Dalston Yard, Hawker House and Dinerama.

Moniker Art Fair returns for its sixth year, on October 15–18 now accepting bitcoin. The Fair will be held at the Old Truman Brewery, having firmly established itself as London’s premiere event for contemporary art with its roots embedded in urban culture.

For more information, you can visit the Moniker Art Fair Homepage.

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If you and I are ready to settle our trade in Bitcoin, this technological marvel is here to stay.

But even a nobel award winning — and stubbornly ideological — economist like Paul Krugman has to be explained this very simple fact. The poster child of traditional finance system has once again tried his very best to besmirch Bitcoin, while repeating the age-old rhetorics related to the digital currency’s longevity as a value-holding asset.

The comments come during a show, ironically called “The Genius of Economics”, where Mr. Krugman is asked about his views on the disruptive digital currencies “such as Bitcoin” and how they refute the idea of government-backed currencies. With a few public laughs that come after this question is asked, the economist begins with saying that “Bitcoin is not looking too good”, a statement that takes everything — that is said afterwards — to the south.

“Money is a pretty amazing thing,” he stammers and states. “Why does a piece of green paper with a dead president on it have value? Ultimately, it’s because other people believe it has value, and [it] circulates. However, there is an anchor for dollar bills which is not gold. It is the fact that you can use it to pay taxes.”

“And then you have someone try creating Bitcoin which has nothing in the end. It’s a purely self-fulfilling prophecy; it is purely levitating on itself, which is not impossible but is kinda unlikely. And I have to say that Bitcoin really looks like a bubble in multiple senses. Its a technically sweet solution to a problem, but it is not clear that the problem is one that has much economical relevance.”

Krugman goes on rubbishing Bitcoin by indicating it as an inessential payment solution, saying that the world already has platforms like credit cards and their monetary system currently already has billion dollars of “ones and zeros” for doing the same thing Bitcoin does.

Bitcoin Community Reacts

The Bitcoin community has criticized Mr. Krugman for distributing groundless propaganda against the digital currency. As many believe, including us, the celebrated economist is too immersed in his own narcissistic thoughts that makes him blind enough to see Bitcoin as something more than a value holding asset.

For instance, his opinion on the digital currency being an inessential payment solution literally evokes laughs. He fails to realize that whether Bitcoin is a reliable store of value or not, most people do not hold it for too long. The payments are easy to make, and are also backed by the real time exchange infrastructures, like BitPay, that protect merchants from Bitcoin’s price volatility.

Meanwhile, Krugman’s opinion on treating taxes as the anchor to prove value further evokes ‘rofl’ — a slightly animalistic version of laughter. He wants to imply that if a government will start accepting Bitcoin as a means of tax payments, then only it will be termed ‘legitimate’. By the same logic, Gold is illegitimate as well.

Krugman never speaks of the growing Bitcoin industry. He never cares to mention blockchain and its adoption by some of the world’s leading financial institutions, and even governments.

The last time I checked, it only took a day for me to receive my cross border payment, thanks to Bitcoin. Why should I believe that the digital currency “is not doing good”?

The chief executive of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) recently expressed his opinions on the disruptive payment technologies like Bitcoin.

Victor Dodig, who was attending the launch of their new mobile payment application Suretap in Toronto, said during a Q&A round that CIBC does not feel threatened by the challenges Bitcoin and similar peer-to-peer technologies pose to its business; instead, the bank is closely studying them in the interests of its own benefits.

Dodig meanwhile rubbished the theories that favors new payment platforms over traditional banking sectors, especially when it comes to abducting the latter’s market share. “Will clients move in droves to these new technology platforms to do their lending,” he asked himself and stated:

“I don’t think so. It won’t happen that quickly.”

Inevitable Competition

As Dodig noted new p2p payment startups as less-severe threats to CIBC, he never shied away from accepting peer-to-peer lending platforms as serious competitors. The disruptive lending platforms, as noted by many, has eased down one’s attempts to secure loans — without the need to go through banks. Dodig believed that such kind of competition would certainly force bankers to chop down their fees.

CIBC logo Bitcoin

Recently, a US-based loan financing service, called OnDeck, made an entry into the Canadian markets and is reportedly attracting adequate attention for its easy small and medium loan services. The NY startup has literally saved people from getting involved in mind-boggling documentations, weeks of waiting and — none the least — facing rejections.

Dodig’s comments simply pointed finger at such startups whose innovation could seriously damage the banking sector. He however reminded people of tendentious regulatory frameworks that have given such startups a “competitive advantage” over banks.

“The regulation is still evolving as to whether they’re securities companies,” said Dodig.

He, in the end, recalled their long-standing relationships with the customers which, as he believed, is enough for them to continue without being threatened by a rather unknown sector like Bitcoin.

But for how long?

In order to encourage torrent seeding on its platform, a BitTorrent client called JoyStream is venturing into rewarding its users with bitcoin. For now, it is on alpha release for a limited time for users who have signed up on the Bitcoin Testnet.

The company was founded by Dr. Bedeho Mender who sought to improve the levels of bandwidth contribution and the lack of incentives for content providers known as seeders in the original BitTorrent client. Micropayments to torrent seeders could be made using bitcoin.

Bitcoin Payments for Torrents

This will require leechers or those who download torrents to pay seeders or those who host in bitcoin. With that, seeders can be able to charge higher fees for premium or high-quality content.

“I think the seeding market is very close to a perfectly competitive market, which means that seeders will compete the price down to the marginal cost of supplying the content, which is quite low,” Mender said. “Getting to that sort of situation does, however, take some time, and in the initial stages the first seeders will be able to charge somewhat monopolistic prices. This is temporary, and will give people an incentive to go through the trouble of preparing content and creating torrent files. It is hard to come up with an exact number, but I think the very low monthly prices of VPNs could be taken as an indication of how cheap bandwidth really is.”

With these incentives, leechers might also have the option to pick faster download speeds and pay additional costs to those seeders who support that. This could increase activity in the network and lead to more downloads for the platform.

“The alpha release will be on Testnet, where everyone can try it out without risking any of their bitcoins, after that the goal is to get to a stable and secure version running on Mainnet with real bitcoins,” Mender added.

There are many ways to make use of bitcoin – from profiting from its price fluctuations to using it as a means of fund transfer or remittance. However, the cryptocurrency still hasn’t become a main mode of payment or medium of settlement among most merchants and establishments. Can it really achieve mainstream adoption?

One major issue is that the price volatility of the currency makes it a less acceptable store of value, which then makes it a challenge to conduct transactions using bitcoin. Over the past year, price has plummeted significantly, making a unit of bitcoin have a much lower purchasing power compared to a few years back.

Bitcoin as Store of Value

If bitcoin can’t maintain its value, then many are worried that it could become worthless later on and not useful in any kind of transaction at all. “For bitcoin to become money,” says Noah Smith, “it has to figure out how to massively reduce the volatility of bitcoin prices of goods and services.”

Scanning the long-term charts of bitcoin reveals that volatility has declined in the past months as well. This has led to more stable trading conditions, with price slowly falling compared to the sharp drops seen in the past.

Industry experts say that this has been a result of a growing market and bitcoin ecosystem, which is good for the cryptocurrency. Further developments in the field could lead to even more price stability, which could keep prices stable enough to hold bitcoin for much longer without worrying about losing its value.

Of course there could be market factors that could usher in an increase in volatility once more, such as the introduction of ETFs and CFDs that could allow investors to trade bitcoin. Speculative trading could push prices around and lead to volatile price swings again.

Just as old technologies give way to newer ones, so must be the case for the financial industry. According to bitcoin advocate Barry Silbert, payment services like Western Union and MoneyGram could soon see their demise as the digital currency industry grows.

This phenomenon has been witnessed in the music industry, which saw the closure of Tower Records, and the photography world, wherein the shift to digital format led to the bankruptcy of film company Kodak. Silbert predicts that it will also be a “slow death” for traditional payment companies, as mainstream acceptance of bitcoin grows.

Bitcoin and the Modern World

“You should be able to move money and value instantaneously and it should basically be free,” Silbert said in the Inside Bitcoins conference in New York City. He predicts that startups focusing on developing payment methods using the cryptocurrency or leveraging the use of blockchain technology might be able to make it ahead in the game.

A few months back, comedian and British talk show host Russell Brand even went on to suggest that bitcoin might be a crucial part of the modern financial revolution. Without getting ahead of himself though, Silbert noted that there are still necessary factors to consider before bitcoin becomes widely accepted.

Silbert mentioned that existing payment companies still have the chance to expand their services to prepare for a probable shift to bitcoin transactions, as these are generally more appealing to both merchants and consumers due to their low costs.

For now, he says that the main use of bitcoin is as a speculative investment but he went on to say that a few companies are focusing more on the payment aspect. He also highlighted ChangeTip, which is allowing users to give tips to their favorite bands or musicians on SoundCloud, and Coinbase.

One of the newer developments in the bitcoin industry is the introduction of bitcoin debit cards, which aims to revolutionize day-to-day transactions. It functions as a typical debit card with an amount already stored and payments can be made by deducting from the balance.

Several companies such as BitPlastic and Xapo offer bitcoin debit cards, which allow clients to convert bitcoin to cash and withdraw from terminals. It also allows the owner to accept bitcoin payments using the QR code on the card.

BitPlastic vs. Xapo

Reviewing these two companies offering bitcoin debit cards shows that this kind of payment does offer a lot of convenience. With this kind of debit card, one can withdraw funds anonymously and securely, with the blockchain ledger keeping track of transactions. This requires no ID check and can be easily integrated with an existing bitcoin wallet.

how does Bitcoin debit card work newbstc

BitPlastic offers a bitcoin to Paypal exchange, which it claims to be an almost instantaneous transfer of funds. Xapo did have a few problems during the launch of its debit card but the online access to the bitcoin portal and Xapo wallet did make things convenient for its customers.

BitPlastic also has an affiliates program, which could allow its current clients to earn as much as 30% of the fees collected from referrals. Bitcoin shopping carts can be easily set up, as online sellers could include a button for its buyers to pay with bitcoins online with a few clicks of a button.

Of course usage fees apply, with BitPlastic charging a 5% conversion fee from Bitcoin to send cash to the debit card card. The ATM usage fee is minimal at about $1.50 per transaction. Meanwhile, Xapo had a bit of a rut in extra fees during its launch, as consumers complained about additional costs associated with the plastic card printing itself.