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Salaries Converted to Cryptocurrency Becoming a Big Trend in Professional Sports

March 24, 2021

Bitcoin Salary Bumps NFL’s Russell Okung Up to One of the Highest-Paid NFL Players

The first NFL player to direct the conversion of half of his $13 million annual salary in the form of the volatile cryptocurrency has become of the NFL’s 30 highest-paid players. Carolina Panthers tackle Russell Okung last December signed a contract making him the first player from any of the major US sports leagues to have part of his salary converted to bitcoin, showing his groundbreaking and innovative investment savviness.

According to published reports, Okung’s initial cryptocurrency investment skyrocketed to $21 million. This past week or two alone, the value of Bitcoin peaked above $61,000 per coin, compared to $27,000 back in December when Okung’s amended contract was announced.

Through Allen & Glassman, Chartered Family Law’s practice, I’m very familiar with bitcoin and cryptocurrency. This digital form of payment and investing is same is becoming a big trend in professional sports but there are still many unknowns. More banks and companies are taking cryptocurrency as an accepted form of currency but the volatility of it makes it an investment that one should do cautiously.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general can be super volatile and comes with still so many unknowns that athletes need to be guided by professionals/experts on this. As a family law attorney, I’ve seen crypto as something that can be difficult to trace but also at times hard to rely on due to its volatility.”

Okung receives the bitcoin through Zap, a startup that converts traditional paychecks into bitcoin.

Just a little background on Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is not regulated by banks or the federal government since it is decentralized and void of third-party oversight.  

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency which was born after the real estate crash of 2008. It is not run like government issued currencies and there is nothing to touch or feel or to store in your vault except in your digital wallet. It is kept track of on a digital ledger called a blockchain.

Remember, there is no guaranteed value for Bitcoin and the market is highly volatile. Right now, it is trading at over $56,000 but was very recently trading at its all-time high at over $61,000 a coin. Athletes and all individuals who invest in cryptocurrency should be reminded that it was worth much less not too long ago. It has been called the highest risk and the highest potential investment that one could engage in right now.

Furthermore, like any risky investment, not only should you have a professional financial team guide you, but you should also be careful not to over invest in such a risky type of asset.

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