Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, is currently trading at around $42,893, according to Coin Metrics.
Why bitcoin? "Northwest Arkansas is experiencing explosive growth in the tech sector, specifically within blockchain-enabled technologies, and this incentive embraces the growing trend of cryptocurrency as a payment option by employers," its website reads.
The incentive is part of the NWA Council's "Life Works Here" campaign, which is funded by the Walton Family Foundation. When it first launched in 2020, the NWA Council initially offered $10,000 cash as an incentive program. It recently decided to add the option for remote workers to accept the amount in bitcoin instead, although they can still choose cash if they prefer.
"While we've had overwhelming interest in the initial incentive program, we're continuing to seek out unique and in-demand talent in the STEAM and blockchain professions," the website says.
In order to be eligible, applicants must relocate to Northwest Arkansas, which includes Washington and Benton counties, within six months of acceptance to the program and sign a one-year lease or buy a home.
Applicants also must be at least 24 years old, have at least two years of work experience, currently live outside of the state of Arkansas and be a U.S. citizen or have the credentials required to work legally in the U.S., according to the program's website.
In addition to the money, the NWA Council is also offering to gift remote workers a bicycle, highlighting the region's mountain biking trails, or a free membership to local theaters and museums.
So far, over 35,000 people have applied from more than 115 countries and 50 states, the NWA Council says.