In the wake of the announcement by New Zealand’s tax office, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), that salaries and wages may be paid in cryptoassets, one UK crypto exchange has revealed that it began paying its employees in crypto earlier this year.

In the August 2019 issue of its Tax Information Bulletin, the IRD published the following two binding rulings:

  • BR Pub 19/01 (“Income tax – salary and wages paid in crypto-assets”)
  • BR Pub 19/02 (“Income tax – bonuses paid in crypto-assets”)

In particular, with respect to the first ruling, the IRD explained under what circumstances it is applicable:

This Ruling applies only to salary and wage earners, not self-employed taxpayers; and where the crypto-assets being paid:
• are not subject to a “lock-up” period;
• can be converted directly into a fiat currency (on an exchange); and either:
– a significant purpose of the crypto-asset is to function like a currency; or
– the value of the crypto-asset is pegged to one or more fiat currencies.

Until the publication of the new rulings, it was only possible under New Zealand law to pay salaries in the local currency, i.e. New Zealand dollars.

A short time after this news began circulating by various media outlets, one UK-based cryptocurrency exchange, explained the offer it made to its staff earlier year and said what their response was.

CoinCorner, which is based in one of the British isles, the Isle of Man, was founded in June 2014, and its website first went live in July 2014, making it “one of the longest-established Bitcoin exchanges in the UK.”

In a press release shared with CryptoGlobe earlier today, CoinCorner said that, earlier this year, its employees were “given the option to receive part or all of their salary in cryptocurrency.”

Employees were told that if chose to be paid partially or in full in crypto, they could receive the GBP equivalent of one of the four cryptocurrencie supported by the exchange: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, or Litecoin (LTC).

CoinCorner says that “all employees opted to allocate a portion of their salary to Bitcoin, with one employee taking home their full salary each month in the cryptocurrency.”

Danny Scott, CEO and Co-Founder of CoinCorner, had this to say:

It’s our belief that Bitcoin is the future of money and our mission is to make it accessible to as many people as possible. As one of the longest-running Bitcoin exchanges in the world, we’ve already made it quick and easy for consumers to get started with cryptocurrency and we’re now focused on helping businesses to accept Bitcoin via our new service, CoinCorner Checkout.

He then added:

It’s come full circle now as our team have welcomed the opportunity to have their salary paid in cryptocurrency. We hope to see this set a precedent for how other companies could manage salaries in the long-term and hope that it encourages them to try innovating by offering employees the choice to be paid in Bitcoin.


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