It felt like another battle won, another step in mankind’s financial evolution when New Zealand announced that workers’ salaries will now be paid in cryptocurrency. The country’s tax agency on August 13 legalized the payment of wages and salaries in cryptocurrencies. The new law mandates that the preferred digital coin be pegged to at least one standard, or fiat, currency. New Zealand also requires that the cryptocurrency of choice be directly convertible into a standard form of payment.
For crypto-enthusiasts, despite controversies about its volatile nature, government recognition that bitcoin has now become a preferred payment method by citizens could mean the acceptance of blockchain technology.
On the other side of the world in Hong Kong, citizens have refused to use a centralized form of payment (Octopus) for fear that it doesn’t allow the luxury of anonymity – the very foundation of cryptocurrency.
While New Zealand pioneers bitcoin as the new paycheck, Australia is not far behind in the blockchain race. The Australian government plans to introduce a limit on cash payments starting Jan. 1, 2020. As cash transactions exceeding 10,000 Australian dollars ($6,750) will be illegal, transactions equal to or exceeding the stated amount will be carried out using an electronic payment system or by checks. The proposed bill will encourage companies and individuals to turn to digital currency like bitcoin!
Sweden and Germany are not left out of the race. While the former is essentially a cashless economy (with 2% of all transactions in cash), Germany has followed in the path of Australia by capping transactions. Furthermore, the German Ministry of Finance signed a decree on February 2018 legally recognizing Bitcoin as a currency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now equivalent to other legal means of payment, as they are the more convenient payment method.
Likewise, Walmart recently announced that it has applied for a cryptocurrency patent to pay staff in ‘Walmart Coin’ and introduce a payment system that is expected to save the company USD 2.8 billion annually.