Despite (or perhaps because of) association with online black markets, the digital currency known as ‘bitcoin’ has sky rocketed in mainstream popularity recently.
The currency exists in code and can be purchased like any other, or alternatively ‘mined’ through solving computer algorithms. There is a cap on how many bitcoins can be produced to prevent inflation, and the currency doesn’t pass through banks or government regulation. The currency is also untraceable, providing complete anonymity to its users.
With the value of bitcoins fluctuating constantly (trading at US$706.68 at the time of publication), some professionals in a variety of industries are seeking to be paid in the digital currency.
The demand is growing. Coinality, an online job board for employers and employees wishing to exchange bitcoins for services, has broken 1,000 members since its launch in September of this year.
Primarily, the positions offered appear to be in the online/tech world – full-time positions as web developers, operations managers and so forth are offered, as well as casual and part-time work. Many positions also have teleworking options, with those what require physical delivery primarily situated in the US.
Coinality is not yet monetized, and runs on donations. “It’s just a service that’s free to use,” Dan Roseman, Coinality founder, told Business Insider, adding that may change as the service grows.
While the focus of bitcoin is still rooted in tech and creative positions, the currency is slowly gaining wider acceptance. Tony Vaughn, police chief of Vicco, Kentucky, USA, recently requested to receive his pay in bitcoins, with the city accepting to do so earlier this month.
Applicable federal and state taxes will still be removed from Vaughn’s salary, with the remaining ‘take home’ pay converted to bitcoin and then placed into an online bank account, The Hazard Herald reported.
“We just want to be on top of things … up-and-coming and more progressive as a city,” Mayor Johnny Cummings said.
Image source: Wikipedia.
Have you heard of bitcoin? What do you think of this online currency, and would you consider paying your staff in it?