If the headline sounds intriguing, it is. Maybe it sounds preposterous. Could bitcoin really cross over into pro sports? According to one crypto insider, at least one NFL player has already attempted to be paid in bitcoin.
For those of you not familiar with the term, bitcoin is a form of crypto currency (electronic cash) free of government regulations and it operates independently of any banks. Bitcoin can be sent from peer to peer and is stored in a digital wallet. Transactions occur through blockchain technology, which makes it nearly impossible to hack. As of today, one bitcoin equals $7,659.71.
You can see why folks are “bullish” on the potential for bitcoin. Quarterback Matt Barkley was denied his request both in 2017 (49ers) and 2018 (Bengals). But what if a marquee free agent demanded to be paid in bitcoin? The extent that NFL teams are willing to go in order to land franchise players would certainly make for an intriguing story. Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman Russell Okung apparently wants to be paid in bitcoin too and would like to see that headline scroll across the bottom of ESPN.
Bitcoin isn’t new; it’s been around since 2009, a decade in the making. So why hasn’t bitcoin caught on yet? The value of the currency is volatile, which does incur high risk, such as this fraudulent investment by former NFL running back Darren McFadden, which cost him $237 million. More recently, former Minnesota Vikings stakeholder Reginald Fowler, who was originally named as one of the Alliance of American Football league’s bigger investors,was tied to this $850M crypto mystery. Cases like these certainly highlight the volatility in bitcoin and make it easy to see why the currency has yet to reach mainstream status.
Still, crypto believers will be paying close attention to others who have gone ‘all in’ on bitcoin such as San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who began accepting bitcoin in exchange for merchandise on his website in 2014. Sherman contends that crypto currency is a hot topic in NFL locker rooms.
While there will be plenty of those on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of how they view bitcoin, one must wonder how long is it until a mega superstar hits the open market and demands from his agent, “Show me the bitcoin!”
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