Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung boasted on Tuesday that he now receives half of his $ 13 million NFL salary in Bitcoin. The arrangement involves Okung using a startup that converts direct payroll deposits into cryptocurrency and comes in as Bitcoin breaks new price records.
Okung used Twitter to declare it was “paid in Bitcoin”, framing the development as a fulfillment of a 2019 wish.
The price of Bitcoin is currently floating approximately $ 28,000– a brand that was once unthinkable for digital currency, which has surpassed the $ 20,000 Milestone for the first time just two weeks ago. Bitcoin is renowned for its volatility and has seen many dramatic crashes, including in 2018 when it fell to around $ 3,000 after hitting $ 19,000 in previous months.
But Okung isn’t the first professional athlete to embrace digital currency. In the 2017 bull run, for example, boxer Floyd Mayweather suggested he would change his nickname from “money” to “crypto”. Meanwhile, the CEO of Zap – the startup that organized Okung’s Bitcoin deposits – told the trade publication CoinDesk that members of the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets also asked him to be paid in Bitcoin.
Like many other Bitcoin boosters, Okung has claimed that cryptocurrency is superior to traditional currencies because governments cannot deflate its value.
Athletes aren’t the only Bitcoin converts to have helped define the current rally. Over the past year, large companies like PayPal and Square adopted the currency, as have billionaire investors like Ray dalio and Paul Tudor Jones. This marks a change from 2017, when the traditional trading and financial world largely eschewed cryptocurrency.
For Okung, the personal triumph of being “paid in Bitcoin” may offset a professional disappointment: his Carolina Panthers are 5-10 and are officially eliminated from the upcoming NFL playoffs.
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