PODCAST: Is it time to switch your salary to USD? Bitwage CEO Jonathan Chester

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This year, we have seen the dollar flip the euro. The pound has flailed all over the shop. Don’t even ask about Argentina, who are experiencing 83% inflation, or Venezuela, who barely have an economy anymore.

Inflation is surging around the world. The dollar has absolutely crushed other currencies, as I am sure you have lamented if you are getting paid in anything but the famous greenback – and have hence seen your salary shrink.

This is what made it so topical for me to sit down with the CEO of Bitwage, Jonathan Chester, on the latest episode of the Invezz podcast. Bitwage are a payroll solution provider. Through Bitwage, individuals can split up their salaries how they choose to between Bitcoin, stablecoins other cryptocurrencies, or a combination of everything.  

Around since 2014, Bitwage are about as old as it gets in the crypto space. It’s interesting to hear Jonathan chat about the growth in the number of people choosing to receive part, or all, of their salary in crypto through the years – with obviously the largest jump being during the pandemic, with a combination of The Great Resignation, the cryptocurrency boom and remote working all combining to be the perfect storm for a payroll solutions provider.

We also discuss pensions, with BitWage announcing last week that they have launched a 401(k) plan in partnership with 401(k) provider ForUsAll. This means employees can automatically attribute a portion of their paycheque to crypto, should they so please.

As somebody from Ireland – a euro country – who invoices their work each month, I am acutely aware of the incredibly volatile world of foreign exchange rates. Not only that, but the sheer dominance of the dollar has been staggering. So, it was fascinating to hear Jonathan chat about the pickup in people of foreign nations (especially Latin America and Africa) moving to get paid in USD stablecoins.

The below chart comes from a piece of analysis I published last month assessing quite how dominant the dollar has been. In the context of the below, why wouldn’t you consider apportioning a part of your salary to foreign currencies, if only for some diversification protection?

Obviously, this is dependent on the person. Some require payments abroad, have different time horizons, or different goals. Others want to invest in cryptocurrency. Some just want to hold the safest currency in the world – dollars.

But it definitely presents as an interesting topic to think about. In the year 2022, it has never felt more relevant.

As always feel free to reach out with comments!

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