DigitalX CEO, Lisa Wade, chimes in on ‘Why I decided to get paid in Bitcoin’
Today, I received my first pay as the CEO of DigitalX (ASX:DCC), a publicly listed Australian company operating at the intersection of technology and finance. Rather than fiat currency, I have a portion of my salary paid in bitcoin.
DigitalX is quite unique because we have bitcoin on our balance sheet and operate a crypto fund, among other things. Most notable is our focus on ESG and sustainability. Our Board has resolved to adopt the World Economic Forum ESG framework and the leadership team are working to set up impact measurement plans for each sustainability area. To do this, we are engaging with leading ESG technology solutions firm, Socialsuite, to bring rigour to how we measure our ESG efforts and provide transparency as a Company.
As a person who has worked in the sustainable finance space since its very inception , I continually experience pushback on the environmental impact of cryptocurrency. So why would I decide to get paid in bitcoin? Am I compromising my values? The answer is no, but let me explain why.
Bitcoin provides important infrastructure that is reshaping finance. It has the potential to make finance better – you could say the technology gives us the opportunity to rebuild finance from the good up. By receiving part of my salary in bitcoin, I can begin to transition my financial life to Web3. In the not too distant future, I believe all financial transactions will happen this way.
DigitalX is a leader in the blockchain ecosystem that will make this change happen.
For starters, everyone at DigitalX is eligible to receive wages in bitcoin. If you speak with Adam Poulton, CEO of Get Paid in Bitcoin, he’ll tell you it’s becoming increasingly common for businesses around Australia to offer blockchain-based assets to their staff.
“Although Bitcoin has traditionally been viewed as a speculative asset, people are now understanding that it’s a new form of money that can be utilised in many of the same ways as traditional money,” Poulton says.
“Our system allows businesses to use their native payroll system to remit after-tax wages in Australian dollars whilst also allowing their staff to receive wages in bitcoin.”
Because Get Paid In Bitcoin has pioneered bitcoin wages for the B2C sector in Australia for more than three years, it was a natural choice for DigitalX to work with them.
There are so many inequalities, anomalies and outright dysfunction in the traditional financial system. I see the transition to Web3 as essential to re-imagining the way resources are used and funded across the global economy. This re-imagining – or rebuilding – will bring lots of social and environmental good as a result.
For me, the positive social influence of Web3 far outweighs the negative headlines.
Rhetoric around environmental impact and socially regressive acts such as funding terrorists and money laundering is overblown. Unfortunately, all currencies are used to fund crime and terrorism – cryptocurrencies have not invented that or enabled it any more than the US dollar, the British pound or the Swiss banking system, for that matter. While we need to give attention to these issues, it is important to understand new infrastructure from all angles.
It’s also important to remember fiat currencies are not immune to environmental concerns. Manufacturing money is resource intensive, both in extracting commodities from the earth and manufacturing notes and coins. Factor in the impact of operating tens of thousands of bank branches – and hundreds of thousands of ATMs – and the environmental toll of the traditional finance infrastructure adds up very quickly.
We need to provide tangible use cases for new financial instruments such as Bitcoin to demystify the space. At the same time, we need to disarm naysayers who are making money out of the status quo and do not want it to change. I will be diversifying into stable coins, gold tokens, impact tokens and carbon tokens as quickly as possible. I’m impatient for this to become widely regarded as part of the mainstream financial system.
For those who are wondering, I had to go through full Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) checks with a credible provider to get paid in bitcoin. I fully embrace this rigour. I will have full transparency of the origins of the bitcoin in my wallet — one of the coolest features of blockchain for social impact investors. Can you imagine the possibilities this holds?
I’m encouraged by what’s ahead of us.
As the CEO of a technology company that works in the finance space, I didn’t need a lot of convincing to get paid in bitcoin. I’m ready for what the future holds and ready to take a leadership role in encouraging other CEOs and companies to do the same. We still have a lot of work to do to educate the public about the benefits of Web3. I’m confident it will lead to greater outcomes in areas of the environment, social justice and corporate governance.
Lisa Wade is the CEO of DigitalX, a company that believes in a more open, transparent and efficient world through blockchain technologies. She has more than 30 years’ experience in finance and financial markets, and a strong background in blockchain project development and funds management.