NFL Player Russell Okung to be Paid Half of His $13 Mln Contract in Bitcoin

While the offensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers finally got his wish to be paid in BTC, about 20 months and multiple all-time highs later, this is just the beginning as several other players have joined the program.


NFL player Russell Okung will now be paid half of his $13 million contract for 2020 in Bitcoin by Carolina Panthers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

The 32-year old has become the first NFL player to be paid in Bitcoin, who first shared his desire to be compensated in the world’s largest cryptocurrency in May 2019 and got his wish on Tuesday.

During these 20 months, the price of Bitcoin rallied more than 225% and hit several new all-time highs.

As for why not 100%, Okung quipped, “My wife isn’t fully on board yet.”

Okung, who is working as his own agent signed a four-year $53 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017. In his last year of the deal, he will become a free agent from next year.

This arrangement is facilitated by Zap, a startup founded by Jack Mallers. Zap’s product Strike converts traditional paychecks into Bitcoin. Okung also teased about the service and tweeted that someone should tell Bitcoin skeptic Mark Cuban about it.

Mallers told CoinDesk that unnamed players on both the Brooklyn Nets and Yankees have also joined the program.

Okung has been a Bitcoin supporter for some time now who continuously endorses it on his Twitter and of course professional life.

“The next decade will be about bitcoin’s mass adoption,” he said today.

The two-time Pro Bowler, however, isn't the first athlete from a major American sports league to explore cryptocurrencies.

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie tokenized his contract at the beginning of this year which first made news in September 2019. He also told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium in May that he would hold a fan vote if a GoFundMe campaign he set up raised over $24.6 million in BTC.

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