Monday, June 13, 2022
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Getting paid in bitcoin: What you need to know

As for cons, the biggest is bitcoin’s high volatility. Imagine getting paid one bitcoin for a renovation job, says Wong, only to see its value drop by 30% overnight—which happened on May 19, 2021. (See what can affect bitcoin’s price.) Are you prepared to weather that risk?

Another drawback: widespread bitcoin acceptance among Canadian companies is still a long way off. Just 8% of small businesses in Canada planned to accept crypto in 2022, according to a Visa survey released in January—so your options for spending it are fairly limited.

Which companies currently accept crypto in Canada? Finding them takes a bit of digging, and they’re hugely varied—ranging from larger firms like jewellery retailer Birks and tech vendor to small businesses like Uncle Mike’s All Natural Products and Funky Moose Records.

What’s more pertinent, though, is what you can’t pay for with crypto directly, including household bills, mortgage payments and groceries—not yet, at least. So, if you need the money, you’ll have to cash out your coins at whatever the going rate happens to be at the time.

How to get paid in bitcoin

If, after all these considerations, you decide to get paid in bitcoin, how would you go about it, and what are the risks?

Crypto wallets

The first thing you’ll need is a crypto wallet to receive payments. If your employer is working with a cryptocurrency platform, the platform will likely host a wallet for you.

If you’re self-employed and have decided to accept payment in crypto, you can open a wallet on a crypto platform yourself—when choosing one, be sure to compare features like security, fees and customer support. And, when receiving payments, it’s a good idea to use a cryptocurrency payment processor such as Bitpay, says Wong. “You reduce a number of risks including lengthy confirmation times and the security of your cryptocurrency wallet, because the processor will automatically convert the payment into fiat for you at the market rate at the time of the transaction.”

If you want to hold on to bitcoin instead of converting it to fiat currency, Wong recommends you store it in a cold wallet (a hardware wallet that’s disconnected from the internet) rather than a hot wallet (a digital wallet that’s always online). “Cold wallets are more secure against online attacks, which are the most common attack vector,” he says. “Cold wallets carry their own risks like risk of physical theft, forgotten encryption key, etc., but [this] can be mitigated through other methods.”



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