Employers reject Bitcoin and peer-to-peer currencies for payroll

31 March 2014

Latest research from HR & Payroll provider Equiniti ICS, has revealed a strong reluctance amongst UK employers to use peer-to-peer currencies, such as Bitcoin, and regional currencies, such as the Bristol, Lewes or Totnes Pound to pay their employees.

The research questioned leading employers across the UK in both public and private sectors and found that 28% of HR and payroll professionals were aware that it is possible to pay their workers in alternative currencies. However, Just 8% of employers surveyed said that they would be currently interested in alternative currencies for their payroll, the majority of respondents viewed these currencies with concern and most (60%) were monitoring to see how they develop before implementing any changes to payroll.

24% of respondents were concerned that alternative currencies were another 'dotcom bubble' and 32% thought they were merely a gimmick.

Interestingly, for the 8% of companies that have reviewed the option of using alternative currencies, the reason for not proceeding were as follows: 72% no employee demand, 28% lack of clarity over tax regulation, 28% not wanting to run multiple domestic currencies, 14% lack of software functionality to support peer-to-peer currencies and 14% no corporate support.

Mervyn McCormick, Head of Account Management at Equiniti ICS, comments, "At some point in the future it is likely that peer-to-peer currencies will have a place. However, as our research shows they are seen as having far too much risk, both to the employer and employee to offer them. As part of our ongoing technology developments we have developed systems that can accommodate alternative currencies, but in reality I think it will be many years before they will ever be required."

Find out how Bitcoin works with Equiniti’s ‘Beginners guide to Bitcoin’.