If you were offered the option to receive your salary in Bitcoin instead of FIAT - would you choose to opt in?
This choice may soon become a reality in Brazil, where Luizo Goulart (a Brazilian politician) recently introduced legislation which would allow Brazilian citizens to receive all or a percentage of their salary paid in Bitcoin. While many have speculated that this is sign Bitcoin will soon become legal tender in Brazil, I would argue that it is instead an example of a model which will increasingly be adapted by other countries and companies as well. Let's take a dive into other examples which have begun to follow this model too.
National Football League (NFL)
Perhaps the biggest name connected to 'salary in Bitcoin' is 1-time Super Bowl MVP and 3-time regular season MVP Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. While the NFL is not directly paying Rodgers in Bitcoin (he will instead be exchanging a portion of his salary to Bitcoin through his partnership with Cash App), Rodgers' decision shows that there is a growing demand from high level athletes to get into Bitcoin directly.
Other examples of players who have elected to exchange some or all of their earnings to Bitcoin include Russell Okung, Trevor Lawrence and Sean Culkin. Although currently a free agent, Sean Culkin is unique in that he has stated he will convert 100% of his salary to Bitcoin.
National Basketball League (NBA)
Another of the Big 4 sports leagues which has seen players elect to receive payments in Bitcoin is the NBA. Arguably the biggest story here is that of 2021 1st overall pick Cade Cunningham, and his decision to have his entire salary bonus paid in Bitcoin. As part of this deal, Cunningham will also act as a brand ambassador for BlockFi - signaling that sponsorships of high level athletes are no longer limited to shoes, apparel or Icy Hot (looking at you Shaq).
As a slight aside from 'receiving salary in Bitcoin', NBA superstar Kevin Durant has also made many moves to bolster his wealth with crypto. Besides being an early backer of Coinbase, KD has also recently launched a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) which will focus on acquiring companies in the crypto and technology sphere. Clearly, NBA players are seeing the value in using their name and brand to delve deeper into cryptocurrencies as part of their financial portfolios.
Beyond professional sports, your best bet to be paid in Bitcoin by your employer currently involves working directly for a crypto-field company. Companies such as Coinbase, BitShares, GMO Group and Fairlay currently offer their employees this option. Eemployees can receive a portion or all of their salary in crypto, dependent upon their risk tolerance. Other crypto companies, such as Singapore's TenX, pay their employee bonuses in their own native token.
Although receiving salary in Bitcoin is still an option in only a few select industries, I feel that as Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies continue to grow in demand and legitimacy, more employers and countries will begin to look at introducing payment options which include Bitcoin. Potential barriers will continue to be skepticism from employees/employers about Bitcoin, local & federal legislation, and tax implications. Regardless, going forward I will be keeping a close eye on stories involving Bitcoin and salary - and of course how KD and the Nets perform this year too (Go Raps).
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