Japan's GMO Internet plans to start paying salaries in bitcoin on an optional basis in a bid to better understand virtual currency. Whether employees are interested in signing up for the experiment was not disclosed.
A Japanese company plans to start paying part of its employees' salaries in bitcoin, as it aims to get a better understanding of the virtual currency, a spokeswoman said on Friday.
GMO Internet, which operates a range of web-related businesses including finance, online advertising and internet infrastructure, will start paying up to 100,000 yen ($890) monthly by bitcoin to its employees in Japan from February next year.
"Employees can receive salaries by bitcoin if they want to," company spokeswoman Harumi Ishii said.
"We hope to improve our own literacy of virtual currency by actually using it," she added.
The offer will be open to around 4,000 employees of the GMO group in Japan, Ishii said.
Japanese labour law requires salaries to be paid in yen. But GMO says it is not breaking any regulations as the bitcoin salary will be optional.
Whether employees are interested is another question, which the February launch of the salary option will answer.
GMO started a bitcoin trading and exchange business in May.
Next month, it will join the so-called "bitcoin mining" business, gaining the right to receive new Bitcoins as a reward for helping keep the network secure by approving transactions.
World bitcoin prices have surged globally this year, soaring from less than $1,000 in January to $17,000 this week.
But warning signs of a bubble and government scrutiny of cryptocurrencies are increasing as fast as bitcoin's price.