Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Russell Okung said he has been paid in bitcoin after asking to be paid in the cryptocurrency for almost two years. The Panthers is reportedly diverting half of his $13 million salary to the Strike wallet, which converts the payment into bitcoin for Okung.
Russell Okung ‘Paid in Bitcoin’
Pro football player Russell Okung is now reportedly receiving half of his salary in bitcoin. Okung has been a staunch bitcoin advocate for years and he has been asking to be paid in bitcoin since May 2019. Then he tweeted on Tuesday that he was “Paid in bitcoin.”
However, Okung is not receiving bitcoin directly from the Panthers but through a third-party payment service called Strike, an application developed by Zap Solutions Inc., which helps people convert any percentage of their paychecks into bitcoin.
Under the agreement, the Panthers reportedly will pay part of Okung’s $13 million salary to Strike which will then pay Okung in bitcoin. Okung is the Panthers’ highest-paid player for the 2020 season.
Okung’s salary agreement is handled internally by the Panthers, CNBC explained, adding that the National Football League (NFL) and its players’ union were both unaware of Okung’s agreement until Tuesday’s announcement. However, they did not attempt to void or officially sign off on the agreement. An NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told the publication: “There wasn’t anything to sign off on. The clubs pay the players in US dollars. What the players or his agents do with the money is up to them.”
Okung said in a statement:
Money is more than currency; it’s power. The way money is handled from creation to dissemination is part of that power. Getting paid in bitcoin is the first step of opting out of the corrupt, manipulated economy we all inhabit.
The pro football star frequently tweets about bitcoin. “You can make ‘x’ a year and watch it slowly erode with inflation or you can protect your hard-earned money with bitcoin,” he wrote after announcing that he was paid in the cryptocurrency. “I’m freeing myself from fiat. You can too.” He elaborated:
When we are all paid in bitcoin, no one can tell us what to do with the value we create … In a post fiat world, you won’t have to worry about your labor and time being stolen.
Okung further tweeted Tuesday, “If you think elections are rigged wait until you learn about the US dollar.” In addition, he wrote, “If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the world is rapidly changing” and “The next decade will be about bitcoin’s mass adoption.” In November, the pro athlete tweeted, “I’m irresponsibly long on bitcoin.”
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