Saquon Barkley of New York Giants Announces He Will Receive Endorsement Money in Bitcoin

Bitcoin in sports is not new and Saquon Barkley is only the latest to follow the trend of an increasing number of athletes opting for cryptocurrency. 

Saquon Barkley of New York Giants Announces He Will Receive Endorsement Money in Bitcoin

Photo Credit: New York Giants

Saquon Barkley is among the many athletes demanding payment in cryptocurrency, mostly Bitcoin

  • Barkley is said to make $10 million annually in endorsements
  • He is among many athletes getting paid in cryptocurrency
  • Bitcoin price has seen massive fluctuations this year

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

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. 

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. 

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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