In a breakthrough of sorts for Bitcoin, Saquon Barkley, who plays for the New York Giants in America’s National Football League (NFL), has announced that going forward, he will be taking all his endorsement money only in the world’s oldest and biggest cryptocurrency. Barkley’s decision is being seen as an indication of cryptocurrency’s growing popularity despite the volatility that accompanies it.
According to a tweet by Joe Pompliano, who is into breaking down the business and money in sports, Barkley makes more than $10 million (roughly Rs. 74.6 crores) annually in endorsements. He, now, expects this money in Bitcoin, which over the past month or so hasn’t had a great run in the market. Bitcoin price in India has also seen massive fluctuations this year, as has been the case with much of the cryptocurrency market.
BREAKING: Saquon Barkley has announced on The Best Business Show that he is taking 100% of his endorsement money in Bitcoin going forward.
That’s more than $10 million annually.
What a legend. pic.twitter.com/6gpQBewgMv
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) July 14, 2021
The American football Running Back is, however, not the first athlete to demand his endorsement-related remuneration in cryptocurrency. Last month, Sacramento Kings, an American professional basketball team, which competes in the National Basketball Association (NBA), announced that their staff could get as much part of their salary as they wished in Bitcoin.
Vivek Ranadivé, the Chairman, CEO, and Governor of the Sacramento Kings, in a Clubhouse discussion, made the announcement. “I’m going to announce in the next few days that I’m going to offer everyone in the Kings organisation, they can get paid as much of their salary in Bitcoin as they want, including the players,” Ranadivé said, according to a report in Forbes.
Another athlete, Russell Okung, the Carolina Panthers Offensive Tackle, who plays in the NFL tweeted in May 2019: “Pay me in Bitcoin.” In December last year, he became the first professional athlete in any major US sport to be paid in Bitcoin. Okung, however, wasn’t paid directly in crypto tokens.
Pay me in Bitcoin.
— Okung ???? (@RussellOkung) May 14, 2019
So what could be the reason behind players opting for or demanding to be paid in Bitcoin? In December 2021, when Okung converted $7.5 million — just a little over half of his salary — into Bitcoin, the currency was trading at $27,318 (roughly Rs. 20 lakhs). In the next few months, the digital currency witnessed an unprecedented boom crossing even the $60,000-mark, accruing huge profits to its investors. Matt Barkley, another American Quarterback, tried to convince his team to pay his contract in Bitcoin, but that couldn’t happen.
According to a report in Nasdaq, Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks, who play in the NBA, started accepting Bitcoin as payment for game tickets and merchandise in 2019. “We want our fans who would like to pay with Bitcoin [to have] the opportunity to do so,” said Cuban.
On Friday, Bitcoin was trading at Rs 23,58,865, following a 2.49 percent slump in the last 24 hours.