Wellington agency introduces innovative payroll-crypto scheme

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WELLINGTON, Tuesday: Cuba St-based web design agency Psychoactive Studios is to offer employees payroll-crypto, a new payment initiative allowing staff to opt to be paid a portion of their salaries in crypto currency.

Psychoactive Studios, which launched in 2018, has gained international recognition for creating bold and engaging web experiences for multinational businesses.

“Now the agency is showcasing its innovation in people management by offering all employees the chance to participate in the new scheme, which will help improve financial literacy and has the potential to generate big returns.

Founder and MD of Psychoactive Studios Andrew Hillstead said: “The initiative came about after a number of international clients started paying for their web design services in crypto. 

“I’ve always had a personal interest in crypto, but it merged with my professional interest when a large international client paid for a project in bitcoin.

“From that moment, it became very clear to us that crypto was a unique opportunity to help our employees create generational wealth with the potential investment upside of crypto.

“The agency surveyed their team of 20 about crypto-pay and if they would opt-in to be paid in a digital currency. The results were resounding with 100% of employees showing a keen interest, with Psychoactive Studios acting as their agent.

“All of our team are in their early 20s through to early 30s and we all live and breathe the creative digital space, but we were still relatively surprised with the extremely high initial interest in this new way of receiving a salary.

“My personal interest merged with my professional interest when a large international client paid for a project in bitcoin.”

“The benefits were really clear from a cultural and innovation perspective. We work in tech and crypto and we wanted to make that accessible to our team through education and without the barriers of setting up crypto on their own.

“The primary advice we give all our team is to seek their own financial advice. Yes the markets are currently in a slump but from my perspective, this can offer an optimum time to buy in and as with the share market, it tends to be a long game when it comes to financial investments like crypto.

“Setting up the scheme was complex, with the agency’s Virtual CFO, Sheridan Jamieson, undertaking painstaking research to understand the legal implications and understand what a crypto-wage package would look like.”

Jamieson said: “We already have rigorous financial structures in place so it was a matter of understanding how crypto-pay would fit into those systems as well as seeking employment law advice to ensure we were staying within New Zealand’s regulations.

“Once those key factors were identified and we understood how it would roll out, we consulted with our team and provided them with information about the initiative as well as communicating the risk factors such as the volatility of crypto currency and encouraged them to seek their own financial advice.”

To date, three employees have signed up to receive part of their salary in crypto, with several more signalling their intention to become part of the scheme this year.”

Psychoactive Studios lead motion designer Callum Mudgway, who has opted to receive this new payment scheme, said: “It’s exciting to be on the forefront of payroll-crypto.

“There’s a huge amount of buzz around crypto currencies and obviously there are risks, it has been volatile in recent weeks. I was keen to look into how it works as a long-term investment, but it’s not something I would’ve felt confident enough to set up on my own.

“The business has also put together a guide to the crypto-payroll process for other NZ businesses.”

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