Payment of salary in cryptocurrencies: is it possible in Argentina?

by 29 Sep 2022Companies, Labor and Social Security, Labor and social security

Payment of salary in cryptocurrencies: is it possible in Argentina? 

The possibility of payment of salary in cryptocurrencies in Argentina is a question that has been recurrently asked nowadays and that, despite the absence of specific regulations on the matter, must be addressed.

We will leave for another occasion the issue of its legal nature to concentrate exclusively on the possibility of payment of salary in cryptocurrencies in Argentina in accordance with the current labor law.

Labor Contract Law No. 20,744 allows paying part of the worker’s remuneration in kind, i.e., in goods other than money[1]. With a cap of up to 20% of the total salary (Section No. 107).

The payment of salary in cryptocurrencies in Argentina would then be similar to the payment of salary in US dollars[2] or any other foreign currency, and would then be possible, at least up to 20% of the total remuneration. As in the case of foreign currency, there is doubt as to whether such a percentage could be exceeded with the worker’s agreement.

Argentine labor law is stuck in a time that no longer exists and was outpaced by many aspects of the reality of the labor world, especially when it comes to the information and communications technology industry.

Therefore, the limited general rules we have must be construed dynamically, especially in a macroeconomic context where the national currency is depreciating significantly and rapidly. In this scenario, the use of payments that are not legal tender but that provide a reserve of value, such as a foreign currency or, at least, stable cryptocurrencies, should be favored.

Notwithstanding the above, it is good practice to provide adequate information to the employee and to implement the agreements on the remuneration scheme, as well as to open wallets in exchanges operated by local companies, centralized, and with the identification of the employee as the holder, to make the payment of the salary in cryptocurrencies in Argentina in a way that can be proven.

Mario E. Castro Sammartino

 

  [1] The Pan Hispanic Dictionary of the Legal Spanish of the Royal Spanish Academy defines salary in kind as “Non-monetary remuneration received by the worker as a consequence of his labor activity” (https://dpej.rae.es/lema/salario-en-especie).

[2] See the following articles on this subject in our Legal Blog: https://cspabogados.com.ar/pagar-el-salario-en-dolares/ (only available in Spanish); and also on access to the foreign exchange market by service exporters: https://cspabogados.com.ar/pago-del-salario-en-dolares/ (only available in Spanish). A combination of both possibilities would be the so-called stable cryptocurrencies (stablecoins), whose value is determined in relation to the US dollar. In all cases, the corresponding social security contributions must be paid for the part of the remuneration in kind.

For additional information on these or any other issues related to doing business in Argentina, please, sign up for our Legal Blog or contact us at any time. Our publications exclusively express the author´s opinion and do not purport to be legal counsel on any case. Should you need it, you must consult with your trusted lawyer.​

 

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