Trending: Cryptocurrency In Employee Compensation And Benefits


Cryptocurrency has been around for more than a decade, and it only continues to evolve and grow in popularity. Bitcoin may have ruled the scene in the early days, but today there are over 18,000 cryptocurrencies on the market.

While crypto may once have been dismissed as frivolous or something that would never expand beyond the realm of the most internet-savvy, today it plays a legitimate role in business. Many companies now accept payment in cryptocurrency. Furthermore, an increasing number of municipalities around the world are recognizing cryptocurrency as legal tender and have even dabbled in launching their own cryptocurrencies.

It was just a matter of time, then, until employees started discussing the idea of integrating crypto into their compensation and 401(k) retirement plans. As with all benefits and compensation issues, this raises a number of ethical and legal considerations.

PLI has put together a program to address those issues. In a one-hour program entitled Employee Compensation and Benefits Involving Cryptocurrency: Trends and Legal Issues, Shawn Butte, in-house employment counsel at Wish, will provide an overview of the legal issues governing the payment of wages or bonuses to employees in cryptocurrency and the addition of cryptocurrency as an election option in a 401(k) plan.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Cryptocurrency definitions, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and stablecoins
  • Cryptocurrency transaction basics
  • Potential benefits to employers with allowing employees to receive wages or bonuses in cryptocurrency
  • Legal risks to consider when paying employees in cryptocurrency
  • Examining how the volatility of cryptocurrency could impact an employer’s compliance with wage and hour laws
  • The possible impact on classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt
  • The Department of Labor’s recent guidance expressing concerns with adding cryptocurrencies as an election option to a 401(k) plan
  • Recent trends involving the adoption and regulation of cryptocurrency, including its adoption by municipalities worldwide and the SEC’s plans to regulate cryptocurrency
  • Requirements for 401(k) plans under the Economic Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”)

The potential of offering employees the option to receive wages or invest in cryptocurrency through their 401(k) is an exciting development in the benefits space, but it’s important to understand the related legal and ethical issues. Register today to learn more about this cutting-edge area of the law.

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