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  • Okung will be paid by Panthers in dollars and his management team will convert half to Bitcoin.
  • Okung had made more than $90-million heading into the 2020 season.
  • The Nets Spencer Dinwiddie has also been a huge Bitcoin, crypto advocate.

This past March, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, one Bitcoin was valued at a little over $5,000. As of late-December, the popular cryptocurrency continues to set new record highs, north of $28,000 per coin, in hyperbolic moves to the upside. Not since late-2017 has Bitcoin investing dominated headlines like this. Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Russell Okung’s Twitter profile bio is simply “life, liberty and #bitcoin” and actually tweeted, way back in May of 2019, “pay me in Bitcoin” as if he was a pass-blocking clairvoyant. While the Panthers won’t pay Okung in crypto directly, half of his 2020 $13-million salary will be converted into BTC by his management team.

Why half? That’s an easy answer.

To clarify, the paycheck Okung receives from the Panthers will be processed by third party Strike’s Zap application. After news broke of this partnership, the lineman – who has made more than $100-million during his NFL playing career – fired off a tweetstorm, doubling down on his belief in the cryptocurrency.

“It’s time for @stephenasmith to bring me on and talk Bitcoin on SportsCenter.”

“When we are all paid in Bitcoin, no one can tell us what to do with the value we create.”

Okung isn’t the first high-profile athlete to bang the Bitcoin drum as it pertained to future earnings. Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie first purchased some BTC back in 2017 and then, as many do, took a trip down the crypto rabbit hole. When he reached the other side of the journey, he fought the NBA to tokenize his $34-million contract, but when he took shares to market, the concept flamed out as it only sold 10% of $13.5 GoFundMe goal. For the investors who pumped the breaks, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise because Dinwiddie just suffered a partially torn ACL during the first week of the 2020-21 NBA season.

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Cryptocurrency Prices by Coinlib

What is Bitcoin

For those unfamiliar, Bitcoin is a virtual or digital currency. Once purchased on the open market, the cryptocurrency can be placed in a digital wallet and used to make transactions with friends, family and businesses. The digital cash is not tied to a central bank nor does it possess physical characteristics like gold or silver. The peer-to-peer network value is based on a finite number of Bitcoins on the open market and that it’s a safe and secure asset.

Like Okung and Dinwiddie, our top-rated online sportsbooks and casinos have embraced Bitcoin as the preferred banking method. In fact, new players can earn greater welcome and reload bonuses when making deposits with BTC. Be sure to check out our Bitcoin Gambling Guide to learn all about the cryptocurrency and how you can take advantage of all its benefits when selecting your next online casino or sportsbook.

Ryan Fowler

Ryan has covered sports on every media platform over the past 17+ years. The first seven years of his professional career were spent as a sports anchor and reporter at various local television stations, while he picked up side gigs as a freelance sports columnist and recurring radio guest before he decided to jump to the web. As content manager of sports simulation website WhatIfSports.com and senior editor of FOXSports.com's fantasy baseball and football coverage for the better part of this decade, Ryan embraces advanced metrics, trends, and outside-the-box angles to find his edge. You can follow him on Twitter @FreelanceFowler.

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