By CCN: Bitcoin has managed to gain the support of an ally on one of America’s most televised platforms. Russell Okung, a two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion, has become one of the most vocal advocates for bitcoin and digital currencies.
Okung is one of several high-profile athletes pushing to be paid in bitcoin. While other sectors, particularly tech, have seen an uptick in workers paid with crypto, the vast majority of industries have lagged behind.
Earlier in May, Okung threw down the gauntlet to NFL owners and demanded to be paid in bitcoin. Despite his request falling on deaf ears, Okung has turned to a hands-on approach in supporting crypto, repping the bitcoin logo on his locker. In a tweet published on May 29, the Chargers’ star Right Tackle – who refers to himself as the ‘Chief Blocking Officer’ of bitcoin–showed how he will be spreading the word on BTC in the upcoming season:
New locker energy. Buy #Bitcoin. pic.twitter.com/jYnXs1m2QX
— Russell Okung 🇳🇬 (@RussellOkung) May 29, 2019
Players are interviewed by media members at their lockers after games and practice, giving the ‘BTC’ and ‘Minebitcoin’ logo substantial coverage in front of America’s largest sports-watching audience. In 2018, the NFL averaged 15.7 million viewers, up 5% from the year before – at a time when television ratings are hitting an all-time low. Bottom line: Russell Okung is set to represent bitcoin on one of the largest platforms crypto supporters could hope for.
Paving the Way for BTC Paychecks
Okung is not alone amongst NFL players vying for paychecks in bitcoin. In May, Morgan Creek Digital Co-Founder Anthony Pompliano revealed that Matt Barkley, quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, had asked the NFL to be paid in crypto.
NFL Quarterback @MattBarkley tried to get the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals to each pay his contracts in Bitcoin.
Neither would do it.
Matt is just one of many Bitcoiners that are playing in the NFL on Sundays 🔥🔥
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 14, 2019
Barkley showed support for the crypto industry, taking to Twitter to explain that he mines coins and understands the process.
Okung and Barkley are showing the impact of athletes and high-profile influencers on spreading support for crypto. As opposed to using bitcoin for quick-riches, these million-dollar athletes have put their reputations on the line by publicly asking to be paid in crypto.
Which begs the question: when will the average worker do the same?
Established cryptocurrency platforms have done their part to set the trend and more freelancers are turning to digital currency payments. Last week, Kraken, a popular crypto-trading exchange, fired back at bitcoin-hater Peter Schiff who claimed there was ‘no way’ the average person would work for a salary paid in bitcoin.
Contrary to Schiff’s position, Kraken reported paying 250 employees bitcoin for the month of April, and that more employees are asking for their salaries in crypto.
We respect the quest for sound money but @PeterSchiff is wrong when he says “there is no way that people are going to work for salaries paid in bitcoin”. Kraken paid 250 salaries in bitcoin in April and more employees are opting for crypto every month. https://t.co/OZuh4gcbfw
— Kraken Exchange (@krakenfx) May 23, 2019
Bitcoin-based earnings have been a controversial subject for the industry. On one hand, supporters applaud the increased adoption and skin-in-the-game approach of receiving BTC paychecks. Meanwhile, price volatility thus far has been a deterrent but may subside as bitcoin enters the making of another bull market.