Panthers’ Russell Okung becomes the first NFL player to be paid in bitcoin

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Offensive lineman Russell Okung of the Carolina Panthers is going to make some history off the field. He became the first NFL player to have part of his contract paid for in bitcoin.

Okung’s setup comes via Zap, a bitcoin app founded by Jack Mallers. Zap’s Strike product is going to take Okung’s salaries and convert them into bitcoin. According to Yahoo Finance, the Panthers offensive approach will pay half of its $ 13 million annual salary in bitcoin.

This choice does not come out of nowhere for Okung. Back in May of 2019, Okung tweeted his desire to be paid in bitcoin. He updated that older tweet Tuesday.

“Money is more than currency; it is power,” Okung said in a statement. “The way money is handled from creation to distribution is part of the power. Getting paid in Bitcoin is the first step to choosing from the corrupt, manipulated economy in which we all live.”

How it all works is that the Strike product gets a direct deposit with the Panthers. They will then change the dollar amount for bitcoin and give it Okung.

Okung is certainly not the first professional athlete to turn to the world of crisis money. Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and anonymous members of the New York Yankees have received their salaries in bitcoin, according to Yahoo.