I am a firm believer that the future of work is remote. Remote work raises productivity and performance. Also, it allows you to hire and get hired internationally. 

Although we’ve got quite a few apps for task management and conference calls to make the process even more efficient, paying international remote workers is still a common issue.

Paying Remote Workers with Fiat

You can, of course, just use fiat to pay your contractors overseas, but there are just too many disadvantages to that:

  • High fees
  • Not always accessible
  • Bloated exchange rate 
  • Can be pretty slow

Transferring money internationally via bank transfers is expensive. I’ve been working part-time for a company that had to spend nearly 30% of my paycheck on transaction fees. This makes no sense and seems unfair. 

If you want to transfer money from your debit card to another card issued overseas, in some cases you won’t be able to do that as the bank simply rejects the operation. I had to deal with this many times as well. 

Sometimes you’ll end up paying more (or receiving less) due to the hidden costs that are included in the unreasonably priced exchange rates. 

And finally, it may take a few days until the money reaches your employee. And nobody likes delayed paychecks.  

What About PayPal?

In my opinion, PayPal is a better alternative. You’ll still have to pay fees when you transfer money internationally, but on the bright side, you won’t have to deal with rejected transactions and long waits. 

However, if you want to cash out the funds to your credit card, you’ll have to verify your account and upload an ID (depending on your country of residence). And then there are transaction limits. 

Paying Remote Workers in Crypto  

The idea of paying your employees in crypto has a few obvious pluses.

  1. You only pay transaction fees (miner’s fee) which is way less than any other third-party fees.
  2. Crypto is universally accessible. Anyone, even those who don’t have a bank account or even ID, can create a cryptocurrency wallet to send and receive crypto payments.  
  3. Crypto transfers are fast. Bitcoin is, in fact, one of the slowest cryptocurrencies to process – usually, it takes around 10 minutes or longer, while Ether transfers can be finalized in seconds.  
  4. You can use stablecoins to bypass volatility and save value. 
  5. In many countries, you can officially declare your crypto income, pay taxes, and stay a law-abiding citizen. 

The only downside of crypto is that it’s expensive to cash out. At this point, your coins have to go through several intermediaries until they reach your credit card as fiat and all the fees add up along the way. Sadly, this often comes as a deal-breaker.

Being a crypto enthusiast myself and working in the blockchain space, I’ve arranged to receive a part of my salary in BTC. But instead of cashing out, I hold it as an investment or use it to exchange to other coins and tokens. Although I wouldn’t dare call it financial advice, it is a decent strategy to consider. 

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