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Carolina Panthers Paying Players in Bitcoin

Published December 29th, 2020 by Hig

From Coindesk.com

Panthers’ Russell Okung Becomes First NFL Player to Be Paid in Bitcoin

“Pay me in bitcoin” has come true for National Football League player Russell Okung. Some 20 months and a 273% price increase after he first tweeted that demand in May 2019, Okung will be the first player from any major U.S. sports league to be paid in bitcoin.

The arrangement comes by way of Zap, the bitcoin (BTC, +0.36%) startup founded by Jack Mallers. Zap’s Strike product enables traditional paychecks to be converted into BTC.

Okung’s just happens to be quite large. His $13 million yearly salary is being split 50-50 between bitcoin and fiat, Mallers said Monday in a phone interview with CoinDesk.

Mallers said other pro athletes, including unnamed members of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and baseball’s New York Yankees, have also begun onboarding to the program. Mallers said the NFL and NFL Players Association had to be involved to get approval. It is unclear if such approvals are also required for the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. 


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