Crypto Paychecks: A Growing Trend Among Millennials and Gen Z Workers

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Receiving a paycheck in cryptocurrencies may no longer be just a dream for the younger workforce. As research indicates, millennials and Gen Z employees are showing a growing interest in receiving a portion of their salaries in digital assets. An Ohio-based startup called Rise has captured the attention of the crypto world by offering a unique service that allows both companies and employees to choose between receiving their salary in fiat or cryptocurrencies.

In 2021, a study by financial advisor company deVere revealed that over a third of millennials and half of Gen Z workers would like to receive 50% of their paychecks in crypto. To address this growing demand, several startups have emerged to assist companies in processing payroll in digital assets. Rise, the recent winner of CoinDesk’s PitchFest contest during the 2023 Consensus conference, offers a fresh approach through the utilization of smart contracts for instant payments, giving workers and companies alike the flexibility to choose between fiat and crypto payouts.

Rise initially began as a marketplace for companies and contractors in the crypto space, but soon recognized the need for compliant crypto payment tools. According to Rise co-founder and CEO Hugo Finkelstein, companies needed “payment infrastructure and a compliance component that would make their lives easier,” rather than simply a new platform for forming connections.

In response, Rise pivoted its focus to paycheck services in June 2021, raising pre-seed funding from several investors, including JAM Fund, co-founded by Tinder’s Justin Mateen. The platform currently supports payments in 90 fiat currencies and 100 cryptocurrencies on various Ethereum-compatible blockchains, with the notable exception of Bitcoin – though Finkelstein confirms it’s on the roadmap.

Rise’s approach has garnered significant interest, with 500 contractors and 70 companies already onboarded, processing over $10 million in payments through the platform. While the field is competitive, Finkelstein remains confident that there is space for everyone as interest in crypto payroll continues to grow. Some of Rise’s current clients include Ethereum staking protocol Lido and DAO governance platform Aragon.

One distinctive feature offered by Rise is the Rise ID, an ERC-725 non-fungible token (NFT) containing a contractor’s KYC status, work, and payment history. Users can authorize the use of this token with various crypto wallets and other services.

In addition to the payroll services, Rise is also exploring opportunities to offer “High Yield” accounts that enable users to leverage decentralized finance (DeFi) interest-generating products. However, Finkelstein acknowledges that the current regulatory environment is not conducive to these products on blockchain.

As the crypto ecosystem rapidly expands, the demand for seamless integration of digital assets into traditional financial structures grows ever stronger. Companies like Rise that facilitate the bridge between the two realms prove that cryptocurrencies have a promising future not just as investments, but as a medium of exchange in our everyday lives.

Source: Coindesk

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