In May 2019, National Football League player Russell Okung tweeted that he wanted his wages in Bitcoin. Less than two years later, his wish has finally been granted. Okung will become the first player from a major U.S. sports league to receive his wages in bitcoin.
The arrangement is made possible by Zap Strike, a startup that was founded by Jack Mallers to enable the conversion of fiat paychecks into digital assets.
Okung’s $13 million annual salary will be split in two, with one part being paid in Bitcoin and the other in fiat. Meanwhile, Mallers in a phone interview with CoinDesk told the news site that other pro athletes have started signing up for the program – to receive their wages in Bitcoin.
This is just one of the many recent examples pointing towards the adoption of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Some participants have likened Bitcoin to gold and a potential store of value. Only recently, Mexico’s second-richest man, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, named bitcoin his best crypto investment ever.
Although in reality, Okung is still being paid fiat, he could steadily build a stash of bitcoin for himself. Behind the scenes, Strike receives a fiat payment from Okung’s team which is immediately swapped to bitcoin. The bitcoin is then sent to the player’s cold wallet storage.