During 2021, Bitcoin salaries seem to have been the solution for many people against the rising inflation of the pandemic period.
From sports celebrities to political figures, the general trend is to prefer the risk of volatility of crypto prices over the continued decrease in the purchasing power of one’s salary.
Bitcoin salaries: preferring the risk of volatility over inflation
The rise of global inflation in 2021 has reached staggering numbers to the point where more and more people prefer to receive salaries in Bitcoin than in fiat currency.
Reportedly, in the US, growth has been so fast and furious that the government has called for a cost-of-living increase of almost 6% for people living on social security. This was the largest increase in four decades.
In the United States, in the same year, athletes of the calibre of Aaron Rodgers and Russell Okung of the National Football League (NFL), as well as political figures, made public their willingness to convert or directly receive their salaries in Bitcoin.
Okung’s case, examined by Joe Pompliano (brother of the famous crypto influencer Anthony Pompliano) caused a stir. Basically, the NFL athlete, by his own choice, decided to convert half of his annual salary of $13 million into BTC in December 2020, when 1 BTC=$27,000
In March 2021, when the price of Bitcoin rose to $61,000, Pompliano pointed out that inevitably that half of Okung’s salary had risen in value, thereby also increasing his purchasing power, something that could never have happened with fiat currency.
Bitcoin salaries: a refuge even for politicians
In the second half of 2021, the issue of “Bitcoin salaries” saw an unexpected involvement from politicians.
Indeed, while in Argentina, MP José Luis Ramón presented a bill to introduce salary payments in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in El Salvador Bitcoin became legal tender on 7 September 2021.
Subsequently, some politicians in the United States also began to talk about salaries in Bitcoin very emphatically, claiming to be in favour of cryptocurrencies.
First of all, the mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, who was the first US politician to volunteer to receive 100% of his salary in Bitcoin, also offering the possibility to public sector employees. Following this, Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, also publicly stated that he would accept his first three salaries in BTC.
BTC to attract new employees
At the end of December, the New York Times noted that there is a growing number of Silicon Valley professionals who are leaving the global giants Twitter, Amazon and Meta to get rich in the cryptocurrency industry by opening or working for a crypto startup.
Precisely because of this, some companies have adapted to offering a salary in Bitcoin to attract new employees to their team.
Accepting a Bitcoin salary might be a solution to inflation for many but it is also a willingness to live with high-risk exposure.
In 2021 alone, the price of bitcoin reached $67,000 and subsequently collapsed below $30,000, only to bounce back again. Ethereum saw all-time highs of around $4,800 on 1 December, only to see it fall to around $3,600-$3,900.
For people who fervently believe in the future of cryptocurrencies, are open to volatility and risk, and have a long-term time horizon, being paid in Bitcoin can be a new and exciting way to increase wealth.