What is Cryptocurrency Payroll

Crypto payroll involves utilizing cryptocurrencies to pay employee wages.

While Bitcoin remains a favored choice, other options include Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Solana (SOL), and Cardano (ADA). With the evolving crypto landscape, new coins may emerge as viable alternatives to traditional currencies.

Advantages of Getting Paid in Bitcoin

Getting paid in Bitcoin is appealing to workers and global companies due to its near-instant transfers and minimal fees. Benefits include:


Transactions settle almost instantly, unlike traditional SWIFT transfers which can take weeks.


Cryptocurrency transactions occur peer-to-peer, without intermediary financial institutions, ensuring direct and secure transfers.


Bitcoin operates on a decentralized network, bypassing centralized authorities like banks and governments, ensuring independence from traditional financial systems.

Investment Opportunity

Crypto has the potential to appreciate in value, offering employees the chance to earn more than their base salary.


With a significant portion of the population familiar with crypto, offering payments in digital currency can be attractive to employees and freelancers.

Competitive Edge

Organizations offering flexible payment options like crypto withdrawals can stand out from competitors, particularly in sectors attracting digital-savvy talent.

Disadvantages of getting paid in Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency's evolving status in financial and governance systems contributes to its drawbacks:


Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are highly volatile, making them unreliable for wage payments due to significant price fluctuations.

Suspicious Reputation

Crypto's pseudonymous nature associates it with illicit activities, leading to reputational risks for companies involved in crypto transactions.

Limited Global Acceptance

Inconsistent terminology and regulations across countries create complexities for international transactions involving crypto, impacting compliance with financial regulations.

Lack of Integration

Integrating Bitcoin with existing financial systems poses challenges, hindering its widespread usability and acceptance.

Crypto Regulations: How is Bitcoin Regulated?

Countries with friendly regulation

In crypto-friendly jurisdictions like the US, Bitcoin is classified as a "money services business," subject to stricter regulations and unique taxation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS treats Bitcoin as property, resulting in different taxation compared to traditional currency.

Numerous Latin American countries are making strides in cryptocurrency adoption and regulation. Notably, El Salvador and Honduras are leading the way in this regard.

Countries with restrictive regulation

Several countries enforce complete bans on cryptocurrency. According to the US Library of Congress, nine nations have official prohibitions, making owning or trading crypto illegal. These countries include Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Qatar, and Tunisia.

Taxes on Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies face varying tax treatments globally. In the EU, Bitcoin is VAT-exempt due to a 2015 Court of Justice ruling, considering it a service. In Israel, it's a taxable asset, in Switzerland, a foreign currency, while Argentina and Spain treat it as income tax. In the UK, corporations pay corporate tax, unincorporated businesses pay income tax, and individuals pay capital gains tax on crypto profits.

Salaries in crypto are treated as regular income for tax purposes, with payments reported in local currency. However, complexities arise due to inconsistent regulations, posing challenges for payroll departments managing international teams.

Is Crypto Wage Legal?

In countries where Bitcoin is legal, direct payment of employee wages in Bitcoin may not be permissible due to labor standards. Regulations in countries like the US and Canada mandate wage payments in fiat currency.

To navigate this, it's advisable to offer base pay in fiat currency and utilize cryptocurrency exchange services like Coinbase for streamlined payroll solutions. These services facilitate the conversion of local currency into the worker's preferred cryptocurrency using crypto accounting software.

How to Get paid in Cryptocurrency?

Receiving crypto payments, such as Bitcoin, typically occurs through two main methods:

  1. Traditional direct payment (per-to-peer)
  2. Using a Payment gateway for business

Pay directly to a Wallet

Transferring crypto to someone's wallet is straightforward. Once both parties have digital wallets, they can initiate crypto transactions using decentralized blockchain technology.

Pros: simplicity.

Cons: challenging for businesses to manage, transaction limits, difficulties in setting up the payroll via peer-to-peer methods, weak AML protection and risk-management.

Pay with payment gateway service

A cryptocurrency payment gateway, or crypto payment processor, facilitates businesses to accept and pay in crypto.

Pros: Enhanced security for both businesses and employer, easy management.

Cons: Businesses must undergo KYB (Know Your Business) procedures and integrate the solution into their workflow.

Who Typically Gets Paid in Bitcoin?

While full cryptocurrency salaries are not widespread, some notable instances exist of employees accepting Bitcoin as their primary income currency.

In 2020, NFL player Russell Okung received a portion of his salary in digital currency, signaling a shift in payment preferences. Similarly, several sports clubs introduced the option of offering crypto payments to their athletes.

In 2022, New York City mayor Eric Adams made headlines by converting his first paycheck into Bitcoin and Ethereum, mirroring moves by other crypto-friendly political figures like Miami mayor Francis Suarez.

Presently, platforms like Deel facilitate global workers in receiving payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, showcasing the growing acceptance of digital currency in the workforce.

Should I Pay My Employees in Crypto?

Workers familiar with crypto and those with libertarian beliefs may find receiving payment in Bitcoin or similar currencies appealing, aiming to reduce reliance on state or centralized authority. Offering crypto payments can give companies a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining talent, especially in high-tech industries. Certainly, there are obstacles to consider as well.

Tax Efficiency

Cryptocurrency payments may offer tax advantages, depending on the tax treatment in the worker's country. In the US, Bitcoin is taxed as property, subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) upon appreciation. High earners might prefer crypto payments due to lower CGT rates compared to income tax.

Currency Value Appreciation

Cryptocurrencies are more volatile than fiat currencies, offering the potential for significant value appreciation. Employees paid in crypto may benefit from increased earnings if the value of their cryptocurrency rises compared to traditional cash payments.


Cryptocurrencies can experience significant price fluctuations, potentially causing payments to lose value rapidly. While they can appreciate quickly, they can also depreciate just as swiftly, posing a risk to workers' earnings.


Widespread acceptance of crypto remains a concern. Criminal elements are attracted to cryptocurrencies due to their decentralized nature and limited government oversight, raising security and regulatory issues.

Despite these challenges, the tax benefits and other advantages of paying employees in crypto, particularly in emerging markets like Africa, are compelling. However, employers must ensure compliance with local laws and tax regulations in their operating countries.

Offer Cryptocurrency Withdrawals with Calypso Pay

Calypso Pay is committed to fostering a fairer workforce and developing tools to empower companies and workers worldwide. We believe that paying your international team should not be a hurdle, and cryptocurrency can play a role in overcoming this challenge.


In conclusion, while paying employees in cryptocurrency presents both opportunities and obstacles, the benefits such as tax efficiency, currency value appreciation, and global accessibility outweigh the challenges. Platforms like Calypso Pay are pioneering solutions to make international payments seamless and equitable. By embracing cryptocurrency as a payment option, businesses can not only attract and retain talent but also contribute to the broader adoption of digital currencies in the global workforce. As the landscape evolves, it's essential for employers to navigate regulatory compliance and ensure transparency while leveraging the transformative potential of crypto payments.


Is getting paid in Bitcoin a good idea?

It depends on individual circumstances. Factors to consider include one's risk tolerance, understanding of cryptocurrency, and tax implications.

Does anyone get paid in Bitcoin?

Yes, some individuals, including athletes, politicians, and workers in tech industries, opt to receive part or all of their income in Bitcoin.

Is it legal to be paid in Bitcoin?

The legality of Bitcoin payments varies by jurisdiction. In many countries, it's legal to receive wages in Bitcoin, but regulations and tax implications differ.

How to earn Bitcoin's for free?

There are several methods, including participating in airdrops, completing online tasks, mining through faucets, or earning rewards through affiliate programs and cryptocurrency giveaways.