Man Paid in Cryptocurrency by Start-up Asked to Return it After Value Shot up 700 Percent

Crypto payments | Image for representation | Credit: Reuters

A man who was paid in cryptocurrency by a start-up was asked to return the crypto after its value shot up by 700 per cent in past few months.

Ever thrown away cryptocurrency only to regret it later after prices skyrocketed? It seems that’s what happened to a start-up that paid an employee in crypto but later asked them to return it after prices shot up.

Sharing his story on, a man wrote that he got his contractual salary paid in cryptocurrency for business development work that he did for a tech startup.

Following a spike in the value of the cryptocurrency since the transaction, however, the company now wants the payee to return the cryptocurrency and bill them in US dollars for his work done last year instead. In his post, the man adds that while the contract initially did have this clause of payment in US dollar by the company, he struck this clause because he was taking all the risk of accepting cryptocurrency and it could have depreciated too. He got the cryptocurrency payment in August 2020 and they have now gone up by over 700 per cent.

He now has received a mail from the CEO of the start-up stating that since his ‘business development work’ did not generate any revenue for the company, they would want the crypto payment back. The mail added that he can invoice for his work in dollars at the original value of the crypto.

The man adds that he has worked with this company in the past and the CEO has a habit of changing the terms of payment at the last moment. He posted his story and asked for suggestions for a fair solution for the issue.

Replying to this man’s query, Market Watch’s personal finance editor Quentin Fottrell said that he shouldn’t be worried about finding a solution to this and absolutely refuse to give back the cryptocurrency. Suggesting that the employer would not have asked to pay in US dollar if the crypto, whether Bitcoin or Ethereum, had depreciated, Fottrell added that the company now has no right or control of asking for the payment back if it’s not included in the contract anymore.

Labour Law experts also shared the same opinion on the man’s query.

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