GMO Internet Inc., a multi-billion dollar Japanese technology conglomerate, will process salaries of its 4,710 full-time employees in bitcoin.
According to the official statement of GMO Internet, employees within the company and its subsidiaries will be able choose to receive their salaries in bitcoin with the newly integrated payroll system in the near future.
“The GMO Internet Group has decided to introduce a system that allows part of the salary payment to be received as bitcoin in order to promote ownership of our domestic employees’ virtual currency,” read GMO Internet’s statement obtained by Bitcoin.com.
At first, GMO Internet will limit the amount of bitcoin employees can receive on a monthly basis to 100,000 yen, around $881. As the number of bitcoin-receiving employees increase and the new payroll system continues to operates seamlessly, the company will increase the maximum limit of $881.
In May, GMO announced the launch of Z.com Coin, a cryptocurrency exchange targeted at institutional investors and retail traders, to address the rapidly growing demand from investors within the traditional Japanese finance sector for bitcoin.
Since May, for more than seven months, GMO’s Z.com Coin have been operating a cryptocurrency FX and cryptocurrency trading platform, as an exchange regulated by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). At the time, GMO emphasized that the Japanese cryptocurrency market could reach a market valuation of 1 trillion Japanese yen (JPY) in the next few years, expressing their optimism towards the exponential growth rate of the Japanese cryptocurrency market.
In October, GMO revealed the company’s long-term plans to compete in the global bitcoin mining industry, challenging dominant players within the market such as Bitmain. The firm stated that it will design and manufacture its own ASIC miners and mining equipment in partnership with a local semiconductor manufacturer.
“We will use cutting-edge 7 nm process technology for chips to be used in the mining process, and are currently working on its research and development with our alliance partner having semiconductor design technology to realize high performance computer for mining. It will be possible to reduce power consumption compared to the existing mining machines with the same performance, and achieve a computational performance of 10TH/s per chip,” said GMO.
GMO further emphasized that its mining center and operations will relocate to Northern Europe to utilize “plentiful renewable energy” and take advantage of the regions’ naturally cold climate to prevent ASIC miners and bitcoin mining equipment from overheating.
In the upcoming months, GMO is expected to allocate nearly 10 pecent of the company’s capital in improving its cryptocurrency exchange and mining ventures, to remain at the forefront of Japan’s cryptocurrency market.
Currently, bitcoin is widely adopted and recognized as a robust store of value and censorship-resistant money. The majority of bitcoin holders utilize the cryptocurrency to store or transfer their wealth. As such, several analysts including JPMorgan strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou and ACG Analytics strategist Larry McDonald noted that bitcoin is already penetrating into the multi trillion dollar market of gold.
GMO’s integration of bitcoin into its payroll system participated by thousands of employees is crucial because it sets a precedent across the nation and for other conglomerates in the country. Given that bitcoin is a legal currency in Japan, in the long-term, an increasing number of conglomerates will likely adopt bitcoin as a payment method.
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