The city of Jackson in Tennessee is an unlikely hotbed for innovation and pioneering. Tennessee has long been known for its rustic charm and deep soulful music. But this southern belle state certainly hasn’t been known for pushing the boundaries of our financial system. That is, until today…
#1 The announcement is made
The Mayor of Jackson, Tennessee, Scott Conger, was elected Mayor of Jackson with a 63.2% lead over his rivals. He was elected into the chair in June 18, 2019. Before politics, Scott Conger was president and CEO of United Way of West Tennessee.
He served on the boards for Jackson Downtown Development Corporation, the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, Area Relief Ministries, The Salvation Army, and WLJT-DTV Public Television for West Tennessee.
Upon further research, we can see that he is a long time member of St. John's Masonic Lodge. Could this be the start to a Nic Cage style plot involving breaking into the federal reserve?! Eh... probably not, but Netflix has just approved our pitch.
#2 Government Transparency using the blockchain?
Although it does appear Jackson is using an intermediary and not truly paying their employees directly in Bitcoin, calling this a "payroll conversion option", this is a valuable first step towards larger adoption. Additionally, from the employees perspective, there is no extra work and they will receive their Bitcoin without being involved in the conversion process - win win.
Once the process becomes truly native to the blockchain, paying city employees using a public digital ledger could be a great first step to government transparency.
Hypothetically, "we the people" would be able to monitor the payroll transactions of our public servants by keeping an eye on the blockchain transactions coming from the municipalities payroll wallet. Better visibility can lead to better accountability and lead to a better relationship between the public and public servants.
#3 Demand for payroll payments in crypto rises
In the private sector, the payroll solution that blockchain offers is well-known. Many companies have already scrambled to develop a payroll solution for their employees.
For example, crypto accounting software GIlded has released 'Mass Pay', a platform for businesses to pay up to 500 employees all at once with their proprietary Ethereum-based token. Retail interest in cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed, reaching over $2 trillion this year.
The software allows users to invoice customers and pay vendors in BTC, ETH, and stablecoins. It makes bookkeeping easier due to its integration of Quickbooks and also works for non-custodial wallets.
"I seriously love Gilded. My business accepts a large number of cryptocurrency transactions and, before Gilded, our invoicing process was a nightmare. Gilded gives us the ability to offer our clients a variety of payment options in a way that is easy to manage for our operations team."
-Ty Daniel Smith, Managing Director at Coinbound
#4 Not the first to propose the idea
Andrew Yang was one of the democratic frontrunners of the 2020 election. He's known for some pretty non-traditional policies, including completely eliminating pennies: https://2020.yang2020.com/policies/no-pennies/
One of the most talked about aspects of his campaign was his push for a Universal Basic Income that would pay people $1000 a month regardless of their work status. Eventually, Yang said that this could be done through the use of a government stablecoin or Federal Reserve coin.
We'd prefer that if the government is going to get into crypto, they embrace the decentralized blockchains and not just start their own centralized coin, but most scholars believe a centralized blockchain is the most likely future for many governments. Darn..
Another competitor to the payroll space is BitWage. It allows employees to receive a percentage of their wage in digital assets. Companies can enroll to pay employees faster and cheaper. It's an innovative HR solution that is currently being used by a lot of big companies such as Facebook, Google, Airbnb, and more.
Do you think that the mayor of Jackson, Tennessee is onto something? Are you ready to get your paycheck in Litecoin? Let us know!