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7 high-profile athletes taking the high-upside risk of crypto pay

Markets Insider | Matthew Fox | Jan 31, 2022

Odell Beckham Jr - 7 high-profile athletes taking the high-upside risk of crypto payAs bitcoin soared to record highs, more and more professional athletes said they would receive some or all of their salaries and endorsement deals in crypto.

Most of the commitments were made in 2021 when the total cryptocurrency market capitalization briefly touched $3 trillion and was consistently rising in value.

Odell Beckahm Jr. said in November he would take his $750,000 salary in bitcoin, while earlier this month two players on the NBA's Golden State Warriors said part of their salary would be paid in bitcoin.

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And it's not only athletes taking part of their salaries in bitcoin. Miami and New York City Mayors Francis Suarez and Eric Adams have received part of their salary in the cryptocurrency in a bid to demonstrate their cities' openness to the fast-growing industry.

Bitcoin has fallen from its mid-November high of about $69,000 to a low of about $35,000 this week, meaning some athletes have essentially taken a 50% pay cut for the same amount of work, assuming they didn't immediately sell their bitcoin for traditional US dollars upon receipt.

Complicating bitcoin salaries even further is the tax implications, as you are taxed on the value of bitcoin when you receive it, not on what the value fluctuates too come tax season. That means if bitcoin falls far enough and stays there, some athletes' tax bill may be more than the residual leftover value of their cryptocurrency.

Still, the potential remains for bitcoin to recover its losses and continue its long term uptrend, which would make the athletes decision to get paid in bitcoin look a lot smarter than it might today.

See:  Miami mayor says the city is moving toward paying public employees in bitcoin

These are seven professional athletes that have taken the risk on crypto and have some or all of their salary or endorsement deals being paid in crypto.

  1. Klay Thompson
  2. Andre Iguodala
  3. Odell Beckham Jr.
  4. Shohei Ohtani
  5. Aaron Rodgers
  6. Cade Cunningham
  7. Trevor Lawrence

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