The Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA) recently made headlines when their owner Vivek Ranadive announced that in the near future, anyone in the organization (players, coaches, and staff members) who wants to will be able to receive a portion (or all) of their salary paid in bitcoin. Soon, any player on the Kings who wants to be paid In bitcoin will easily be able to do so, despite the past difficulty other professional athletes have encountered being paid in bitcoin.
Pay Me In Bitcoin!
Enter Russell Okung, a Carolina Panthers Offensive Tackle in the National Football League (NFL) who famously tweeted, “Pay me in bitcoin,” in May 2019. Okung made headlines in December 2020 as the first professional athlete in any major U.S. sport to be paid in bitcoin. Technically, Okung was not directly paid in bitcoin: he converted half of his 13-million-dollar salary to bitcoin through a company called Zap. The company owns Strike, the exchange product that enables the conversion, which also allows individuals to easily convert funds from fiat to bitcoin. Soon, anyone will be able to be “paid in bitcoin” like Okung, as Strike has announced early access to this paycheck conversion program. When Okung did this, it set a new precedent for other professional athletes to do the same.
When Okung converted $7.5 million of his salary to bitcoin on December 29, 2020, the price of bitcoin was approximately $27,318.00. Bitcoin’s price has more than doubled since then, meaning he has made a large profit. His total salary including bitcoin profit would make Okung one of the highest paid offensive tackles in the NFL and one of the top 25 highest paid players!
Not Paid In Bitcoin Directly
To reiterate, Okung’s salary was not paid directly in Bitcoin. In 2019, NFL Quarterback Matt Barkley tried to persuade his NFL teams (the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals) to pay his contract in bitcoin, but he was also unsuccessful in his pursuit. It is…