Russell Okung It has been a top offensive fixture in the NFL for a long time. Turned 33 this season, the veteran made two Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl in 2013 with the Seattle Seahawks. As it turns out, Okung is very business savvy.
After signing with the Carolina Panthers last season, Okung made an unconventional request. He asked for half of his $ 13 million salary to be converted to bitcoin. This is the first time a player has been paid in cryptocurrency.
Okung received his bitcoin payment in December 2020. At that time, the dollar value of bitcoin was about $ 27,000. So, at $ 6.5 million, it is around 240 BTC.
In the last three months, the value of bitcoin has continued to rise – and it has proved attractive to Okung.
At the time of this writing, a BTC costs $ 57,494. This means that Bitcoin has already doubled Okung’s salary. He currently holds approximately $ 13.8 million worth of BTC, plus $ 6.5 million in cash from his remaining salary.
Therefore, Okung’s $ 13 million deal turned into around $ 20.3 million. In fact, the dollar value of bitcoin was $ 61,000 earlier this month, meaning Okung’s BTC investment was $ 14.64 million. This pushed him into the top 30 highest-paid NFL players.
Of course, Okung hasn’t really made any money yet. And the volatility of bitcoin makes it a risky investment. However, it does not appear that it is slowing down any time soon, which opens up an interesting wrinkle for future player contracts.
After ten years in the league, Okung has already earned millions of dollars. He can afford to invest in this way. But will young players convert bitcoin (or other cryptocurrency) into some or all of their salaries to do the same trick?
Okung’s approach seems correct. It may be ill-advised to put 100% of your salary in an alternative currency, but half of it? That is just you can raise a big salary.