Jeremie Beaudry doesn't code or hang out on Reddit. He wasn't raised post-financial crash with a healthy suspicion of traditional banking institutions or fiat currency. In fact, Beaudry spent most of his career working for a big U.S. bank, but now the financial services legal counsel is taking a small portion of his regular weekly pay in bitcoin. He has been socking it away in what amounts to a self-directed individual bitcoin IRA.
"I generally don't have a firm grasp of computer science and lean on developers for that. If you spoke to me versus the larger crowd in crypto, I am on the outside looking in," said Beaudry, compliance and regulatory affairs counsel at BitPay, who previously worked for SunTrust Bank. "I would say I don't fit the norm, but I've definitely been introduced and baptized in fire in certain ways. I loved my position and co-workers and boss [at SunTrust], but I really wanted to get into fintech," the former bank executive said.
Beaudry started with the Atlanta-based digital currency payment provider a year and a half ago, when the price of bitcoin was between $400 and $500. (It has since moved from near-$20,000 to trading in the $8,000 range in recent days.) It took the financial services lawyer a little time to warm up to the idea of being paid in bitcoin. The payroll app that BitPay uses allows employees to set a bitcoin percentage or dollar amount on a weekly basis.
"It's an easy change within the app," Beaudry said. Employees set their pay preferences on a Monday and get paid on a Friday. That time lag is a default disincentive for any employee trying to time the price of notoriously volatile bitcoin, though Beaudry said BitPay is the first company where he has been paid weekly.
"I don't really care about fluctuations," Beaudry said. "I am from the traditional banking world. I owned a home on my 21st birthday, so I understand that hard assets appreciate over time, too," Beaudry said. "But I think my approach to finance has changed. ... Not being in it is worse than being involved in it. "