50% of gig workers, otherwise known as freelancers, are open to earning a portion of their pay in bitcoin (BTC-USD), Ethereum (ETH-USD) and other cryptocurrencies, even as the emerging space undergoes a broad cyclical downturn, according to a survey released by digital asset marketplace Bakkt (BKKT).
Meanwhile, 38% of respondents said they would opt to receive 100% in crypto, as they believe it will eventually become a medium of payment.
Bakkt (BKKT) surveyed 1,018 U.S.-based gig workers between mid-June and early July, when bitcoin (BTC-USD) fell over 70% to as low as $19.2K from its November peak of $68.9K. The token is now changing hands at $23.87K as of Friday afternoon.
“The increasing appeal and the existing usage of cryptocurrency among gig workers came through clearly in our study,” said Nicolas Cabrera, chief product officer of Payments at Bakkt (BKKT). “While this group could benefit from increased understanding of how crypto can be used, rideshare drivers, food delivery drivers and other gig workers cite crypto as the next generation of currency and are drawn to the potential increase in the value of their pay.”
While crypto adoption is still in the early stages, 20% of respondents claimed they have already been paid in crypto, the survey noted. But as crypto prices have gotten knocked down rapidly over the past year, it’s surprising that the gig economy workforce is still bullish on prospects for crypto payments.
While wide adoption of crypto as a form of payment is still far off, there have been some high-profile examples. Female UFC fighter Luana Pinheiro, the #15-ranked strawweight, teamed up with crypto payroll service bitwage to get her paycheck in bitcoin (BTC-USD). That makes her the world’s first female UFC fighter to get paid in BTC, bitwage emphasized.
How does that work? For bitwage, Pinheiro registered to receive a bank account number and she chose the desired percentage to receive in bitcoin (BTC-USD). From there, she sent the new account number to her employer to get the crypto. And anything that wasn’t allocated to BTC will go into her traditional bank account to earn fiat money such as U.S. dollars.
Pinheiro contended that the price of bitcoin (BTC-USD) is more or less irrelevant when considering long-term expectations.
“I do not think I will have a problem with bitcoin going down or up,” Pinheiro said. “If it was not volatile it would not go up either. Everything else is just noise to me and the lower the price the more bitcoin I will be able to secure for the future,” she added.
At the beginning of 2022, New York City mayor Eric Adams got his first paycheck paid in bitcoin (BTC-USD) and ethereum (ETH-USD) via crypto exchange Coinbase Global (COIN). Prior to funds being made available, Adams’ paycheck was automatically converted to crypto through Coinbase.
Separately, prominent sports figures like NASCAR driver Landon Cassill and the NBA’s Cade Cunningham last year decided to receive pay in crypto at a time when the market was nearing its heights. Since then, though, coin prices have been slumping in the wake of increased financial contagion effects, regulatory scrutiny, tightening financial conditions and a shortage in liquidity.