Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Nonsense Employee Payments In Bitcoins at the Bitcoin Foundation

With great fanfare, the Bitcoin Foundation announced two new lobbyist hires on Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the new hires "Mr. Harper and Ms. Weiss will receive their pay in bitcoin, the foundation said."

But are they really being paid in a fixed amount of bitcoins? Or is this another circle jerk, where the salary is fixed in dollars and then each month a different amount is paid out to the employees, which means they aren't getting paid in bitcoins in the sense that their salaries are fixed in bitcoins.

I contacted the Foundation to see. Here's the response from a Foundation spokeswomen, it's a circle jerk (my highlight)
Thanks for reaching out - in fact, all foundation employees and consultants are paid in bitcoins :)

Jim [Harper] is on staff full time and Amy [Weiss] is a consultant.

This is the way we calculate payroll:

The Bitcoin Foundation pegs all of our internal accounting to the Coindesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), as we feel it most accurately represents the value of Bitcoin.

All salaries, minus the amount due to IRS, pegged to the BPI on the first day after the pay period month. 


  1. lol...they are deducting out taxes...PERFECT!

  2. I'm sure you'd level the same mocking criticism at a company who was paying its employees in gold, and pegging the weight of gold to a fixed dollar value - right Robert?

    Give me a break.

  3. The point is that the World Gold Council is not making such absurd pronouncements.

    1. What makes the pronouncement absurd? They ARE paying them in bitcoins, are they not? Is it also absurd to pay someone in USD in quantities pegged to some CPI index? How does pegging the payment amount to something make the pronouncement absurd?

  4. Bob,
    Do you at least recognize that BitCoin (poorly named IMHO) is actually a peer-to-peer network like the Internet (TCP/IP) itself? It's not so much about the BtC currency, but about the P2P network allowing these service companies to exist/die.

    Govt's shutting down BtC would be in the same vein as them shutting down ONLINE GAMBLING.

    Check out Chris Dixon from Andreessen Horowitz as he addresses many regulatory concerns you have and is backing CoinBase, a more professional and technically sound company.

  5. Bob, why do you seem surprised? Of course they're going to peg it to the dollar as the dollar is the primary numeraire. Bitcoin will have to rise in orders of magnitude before it becomes the dominant numeraire. I wish my boss would pay me in bitcoins.

    1. Sounds like you are backing into the Regression Theorem view that Bitcoin is not money.