Bitcoin has experienced seismic growth in recent months: its price has increased significantly since January 2021 and is expected to continue to rise. This growth underscores the enormous potential of bitcoin as an investment asset. For this reason, professional athletes and big sports clubs capitalize on Bitcoin. For example, Russell Okung, a Carolina Panthers offensive tackle, recently became the first NFL player to receive a salary in bitcoin.
In this article, we’ll explore the future of Bitcoin in sports. But first, why are professional athletes turning to bitcoin investing?
Why professional athletes invest in Bitcoin
1. To have more control over their wealth
Bitcoin gives athletes more control over their money by cutting out middlemen. Many athletes have endorsements and corporate sponsorship agreements. The agencies that handle these transactions end up taking large sums of money.
By using Bitcoin, athletes can make deals without necessarily going through intermediary services like those offered by agents. These endorsements involve large sums of money. Using bitcoin for payment helps avoid high taxation, as the rate of capital gain can sometimes be lower than ordinary income tax, depending on your jurisdiction.
2. Bitcoin provides privacy and security
The government and sponsoring companies follow the spending habits of athletes. In addition, their notoriety and notoriety can attract athletes targeted by fraudsters and crooks. Bitcoin gives top athletes a sense of security by keeping their identities private if they decide to take the necessary privacy precautions.
Bitcoin is one of the fastest growing areas of financial technology. By investing in the industry, athletes are poised to reap huge profits. Some top athletes with massive cryptocurrency investments include Lionel Messi, Nikita Kucherov, Floyd Mayweather, and Matt Barkley.
NFL and NBA Investments in Bitcoin
The Sacramento Kings became the first NBA franchise to accept payment in bitcoin in 2014. The goal was to improve the customer experience when purchasing memberships and merchandise. In April 2020, the Kings announced, according to Forbes, that team players would be eligible to receive their salary in bitcoin.
In 2019, the Dallas Mavericks began accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for merchandise and bills. Likewise, the Miami Dolphins began accepting bitcoin payments during the 2019/2020 NFL season.
Athlete involvement in Bitcoin
Russell Okung is the vice president of the NFL Players Association and a former left tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers. However, his name made headlines when he became the first NFL athlete to receive a salary in bitcoin. It all started when he visited his ancestral home in Nigeria and failed to make a wire transfer from his US account.
This incident pushed Okung towards bitcoin. In fact, he tweeted: “Pay me in bitcoinIn May 2019. Although the Chargers refused the request, Trezor offered Okung a free wallet. He recently received another piece of good news: The Carolina Panthers will pay half of Okung’s $ 13 million salary in bitcoin. However, the Panthers will not directly pay the player in bitcoin. Instead, they’ll send the funds to Strike, a platform that converts payments into bitcoin, which in turn will pay Okung into bitcoin.
Strike also plans to attract professional basketball and baseball athletes, according to Coindesk, and New York Yankees baseball players and Brooklyn Nets basketball players joined the program. Matt Barkley is already in bitcoin mining, according to his twitter. Without a doubt, Okung got the ball rolling.
Oakland Athletics Selling Bitcoin Tickets
A critical development in the adoption of Bitcoin in sports is the acceptance of bitcoin as a payment method for ticketing. The COVID-19 pandemic has discouraged the handling of paper money, a trend that was already underway before the virus. Bitcoin is increasingly accepted for convenience and health reasons.
Accepting bitcoin is a significant way for teams to raise more dollars while they wait for the normal resumption of sports activities. Essentially, a shift to bitcoin will characterize the new normal. Oakland Athletics pioneered the use of bitcoin in professional baseball for full payout.
Bitcoin transfers in football
One of the most intriguing actions in football is the buying and selling of players. At each transfer window, football teams spend a gargantuan sum. The young people to come bring in up to 100 million euros.
The use of Bitcoin for transfers is a new step in the sports industry. In 2018, Harunustaspor from Turkey signed Omer Faruk Kirogul for a cost of 0.0524 bitcoin. Inter Madrid also managed a one-time signing by buying David Barral from Real Madrid B using Bitcoin.
Club and team sponsorships
If you are a sports enthusiast, you may have seen the names of the major sportswear bitcoin exchanges. The names of Bitcoin exchanges are now commonplace in tournaments. An agreement between the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and the NBA for naming rights for the Miami Heat arena is nearing completion, priced at $ 135 million for 19 years.
In 2014, BitPay sponsored the St. Petersburg Bowl to promote Bitcoin. Likewise, eToro, a UK-based trading platform, sponsors several EPL football clubs, including Crystal Place, Tottenham Hotspurs, Leicester City, Southampton, Brighton and Hove Albion FC. The EPL is one of the biggest football leagues in the world and enjoys immense popularity.
In general, bitcoin can be used to pay for player transfers, reduce ticket scalping, and authenticate merchandise. Another example, in 2018, the Gibraltar United football club paid its players in bitcoin. These developments highlight the enormous potential of Bitcoin in sports.
The future of Bitcoin in sport
With the growing popularity of Bitcoin, its adoption in sports will continue to increase. Next year, we’ll likely see more clubs engaging in partnerships with bitcoin-related companies. Additionally, more and more clubs will adopt bitcoin as a payment method for player salaries and transfers. As in other industries, the future of Bitcoin in sports is bright.