Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have a wide variety of admirers, but I’m always fascinated by the idea of famous athletes trying to sypher through the world of blockchains, moonshots and funky words like elliptic curve cryptology (Woah) – oh who am I kidding they just like that “number go up”.
As Bitcoin exploded through 50k recently, it’s been a “cache” topic to discuss on social media, but that was not only the case, here is a list of cryptocurrency mentions by famous athletes when it wasn’t quite that easy.
Russell Okung is the most recent athlete to dominate the news cycle in relation to cryptocurrency. Recently stories have been circulating about how he is set to be paid half of his massive salary in Bitcoin. And while it was recently revealed that he is not being paid directly by the Carolina Panthers in Bitcoin, the Panthers will be working with the company STRIKE to instantly convert half of Russel's 13 million contract to Bitcoin and send it to his wallet.
While he may not be technically getting a direct Bitcoin salary, he is leading the charge to mainstream crypto adoption in major sporting leagues.
Not all cryptocurrency stories have a happy ending and for Floyd, his story ended up in a bill from the securities and exchange commission.
In 2017 Mayweather posted on IG that he was "spending bitcoins and ethereum... with my Titanium Centra Card", he then went on to urge others to join the CENTRA ICO. (Remember the ICO craze? who could forget).
It turned out the Floyd was being paid to promote the ICO and didn't disclose it (oops), it ended up with Floyd having to settle up with the SEC in the form of a fine. A small dent in his fortune.
They say no news is bad news and we thank Floyd for his contribution to crypto in the news!
NFL QB Matt Barkley, the pride of USC attempted to negotiate his contract be paid entirely in Bitcoin back in 2019.
At the time he was negotiating with both the 49ers and the Bengals for a contract and threw a hail marry (heh) in asking to be paid in Bitcoin. Unfortunately, they said, "no" and Matt ended up accepting a boring old fiat contract (yawn). We can't blame you Matt, let's just hope you used some of your signing bonus to convert to a few moonshots.
Lionel Messi has been in the new for crypto a few times, most recently he became the brand ambassador for "Sirin Labs", listed on their website as the premier, cyber protected blockchain enabled smartphone with a built in cold storage wallet. (They, like everyone else, have their own token).
Regardless of why he is involved, he has shown interest in the past in various crypto avenues, we have to think getting paid or not, he is a crypto geek.
Not only do some consider him the soccer/football greatest of all time, he is undoubtedly one of the most famous people on the planet - touting 185 million (yes, MILLION) followers. Having 185 million people exposed to crypto is pretty cool.
Future hall of famer Richard Sherman has been embracing crypto since 2014, not many can say that, athlete or not. Back in 2014 he was accepting crypto payments for merchandise on his site. At one point Sherman was quoted as saying he has roughly 5% of his money in crypto.
Earning over 80 million over the span of his hall of fame career, that 5% is significant!
Once an investor in one of the largest mainstream crypto exchanges, Coinbase, was rumored (again rumored) to have divested her stake in Coinbase after Coinbase CEO effectively banned employee activism.
Regardless, she had the wherewithal to realize Coinbase and by extension crypto was a venture with getting behind.