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Bitcoin The Almighty Buck The Internet

The Internet Archive To Pay Salaries Partly In Bitcoin, Requests Donations 181

Posted by timothy
from the because-money-is-fungible dept.
hypnosec writes "Bitcoin is gaining popularity among mainstream sites lately and the latest to adopt the digital currency as a medium of donations and payments is the Internet Archive. Ready to accept donation in the form of Bitcoin, the Internet Archive announced that it wants to do so to pay some part of employees' salaries, if they choose to, in Bitcoin. The Archive, known for its storage of digital documents (especially the previous version of webpages), is looking to start part salary payments in Bitcoin by April 2013 if everything goes well."
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The Internet Archive To Pay Salaries Partly In Bitcoin, Requests Donations

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  • I'd quit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:14AM (#42987787)
    The day my employer tells me I'm getting paid in Itchy and Scratch money is the day I stop working for them.
    • Re:I'd quit (Score:5, Informative)

      by trytoguess (875793) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:38AM (#42987841)
      Understandable. Luckily that's not what's happening here:

      "Internet Archive announced that it wants to do so to pay some part of employees' salaries, if they choose to, in Bitcoin."

      That's a direct line from the article the summary quoted. I do admit though, it's a rather inefficient sentence if you want to get a point across clearly.
      • Why would they want to? Is this how they've been told their salary can be made more competitive, and the alternative is to be underpaid? Is there implied coercion, as in "This is how we're going to try balancing the books. Who wants to participate?"

    • by HJED (1304957)
      It does say they are offering it as an option, not requiring their employes to take it.
    • I spent a decade or so as a systems engineering consultant supporting a group of sales people. Sales people generally experience the world differently than engineers, and sales managers do lots of different things that they think will motivate them to sell lots of stuff, compensating them in often rapidly and randomly changing mixtures of salary, commission, bonuses, recognition programs, plaques, cheap trinkets, expensive trinkets, travel, whatever. Most of those years the people supporting them got simi

  • tax evasion? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:33AM (#42987823)

    how should this be taxed?

    • Not at all. Governments can get their taxes when people cash out to spend it on goods, services or they can then count it as income. I doubt the government will be accepting bitcoins as a legitimate way to pay your taxes either.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The same way everybody else does:
      - Employer says "I'm paying this much in cash/Bitcoins which has a value of $X USD."
      - Employer deducts taxes
      - Employee says "I just got paid this much in cash/Bitcoins which has a value of $X USD."
      - Employee files taxes.

      WOW THIS POST DESERVES A DOCTORATE IN ECONOMICS

    • >How should this be taxed?

      Easy. If salaries are pegged to the Bitcoin equivalent of some US Dollar value, their taxable salary is that dollar value. If they literally have a stable salary denominated in Bitcoins that doesn't change when Bitcoin's value does, handle it the same way you'd handle the salary of someone who lives in the US and works remotely for a European company & gets paid in Euros.

      • by Bill Dimm (463823)

        Except that the exchange rate for Bitcoin may not be as well established as other currencies (I don't know that for sure, but it seems a reasonable guess), making it harder for your employer to defend the amount they paid during an audit.

        • The exchange rate fluctuates wildly. Bitcoin is a niche currency, so this is to be expected.

          • If your salary is $1,250/week, payable in Bitcoins at the Mtgox exchange rate in effect at noon eastern on payday, or 95% of the highest rate between 9am & 5pm, whichever is higher, but you end up exchanging half of them for US Dollars 9 months later for 50% more, your reported income would be $1,250, and it's up to you to report the currency-speculation windfall to the IRS the way you would with any other currency. The fact that your employer did the speculation for you, with your permission, is irrele

    • by Xugumad (39311)

      The same way you tax payments in any other non-USD currency.

  • If they are interested in experimenting with paying their employees in Bitcoin, they should use real dollars to buy Bitcoin. If they can't manage converting dollars into Bitcoin, how are their employees supposed to manage buying goods and services with it? What are your options for paying rent or property taxes with Bitcoin? Or looked at another way, if they are so convinced that Bitcoin is a valid currency, perhaps the experiment should be to accept Bitcoin as a donation and convert it to local currencies
  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:16AM (#42988025) Homepage

    Don't talk about BitCoin!

  • genius (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:16AM (#42988169)

    Well that's a genius move to getting government attention.

    Get bitcoin mixed up with payroll and the IRS is sure to take interest with regards to income taxes.

    This is going to get interesting very fast.

    • You think the IRS doesn't already have procedures for employees getting paid in foreign currencies, or scrip, or in kind, or other carriers of value or anything else not US dollars? (That's a rhetorical question, because they do have such procedures.)

  • I want to be paid in gold and silver, I am accepting all donations.
  • Let me know when sites that are actually mainstream take donations or payment in bitcoin.

  • by CmpEng (1123811) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @11:11AM (#42989507)
    Since so many people ask about the tax issues around bitcoins thought I would share my experience with bitcoin profits and taxes in Canada. Basically I purchase equipment to build a dedicated bitcoin machine, total cost around $900 mostly for graphics cards. In all I made about 600 bitcoins over three months and was on average able to cash them out for about $10 per bitcoin shortly after the crash of the price from $30 on the way down to $5. As a Canadian during the $30 spike, the ability to liquidate fast enough to take advantage of those prices while limited due to the risk I was willing to take about putting my bitcoin in different online exchange accounts. In all I gross about $6k and come tax time spoke with my accountant and was able to claim it as business income. That means I was able to write off a portion of space in my house (limited by local by-laws), mortgage payments, power, utilities, etc... as well as write off portions of the $900 PC purchase each year as capital investment. After all was said in done on the $6k I took in, I ended up having to pay back $1.5k for a net of $4.5k plus a still have a great new PC. For the three months I toyed with Bitcoin it was certainly worth it.
  • I see a lot of posts saying that "bitcoin transactions aren't taxed" and "no payroll taxes if you're paid in bitcoin."

    Huh?

    If I'm working in the US but my employer pays me in GBP, they should still be sending an appropriate amount for FICA, Medicare, and withholding to Washington, and I should be declaring the income on my 1040. A different currency doesn't make it tax free.

    Does Bitcoin make it easier to evade taxes? Sure, maybe it does. Doesn't make it legal.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:27PM (#42990753) Homepage Journal

    I just happen to be sitting waiting for a bitcoin talk to start at Liberty Forum and I just walked past a bitcoin ATM and my next stop is a company that is making them usable for purchase at 7-11 and Walgreens. Interesting times.

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