Posted 3 months ago | by @devadmin

Carolina Panthers tackle Russell Okung has finally got half of his $13 million salary paid in the form of Bitcoin, a payments startup announced Tuesday.

Although the NFL still pays Okung in fiat, his checks are now sent via direct deposit to Zap, a startup that converts traditional paychecks into Bitcoin.

Okung previously tweeted in May 2019 that he wanted to be paid with the digital token.

“Pay me in Bitcoin,” read the simple tweet.

On Tuesday, Okung’s Twitter account expressed that he was “Paid in Bitcoin.” He also tweeted a possible motivation for the odd request: “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 professional athlete to be paid via digital currency but he is the first NFL player. Previously SoMee.Social and CEEK VR sponsored an Olympian Ted Jan Bloeman paying him in half cash and half the two platform’s native cryptocurrencies.

Okung won’t be the last either, Zap founder Jack Mallers, who is reportedly a friend of Okung, told CoinDesk that unnamed players on both the Yankees and Brooklyn Nets have joined the program as well.

Bitcoin has continued its monstrous bull run recently trading as high as $28,387 per coin before falling back down for a short breather from the current rally.

The value of the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap has been boosted by hopes that it will become a worldwide used payment method, with mainstream digital payments firms such as PayPal and Square allowing Bitcoin on their platforms. Meanwhile, hedge funds all over the world have been investing in Bitcoin as a hedge against the U.S. dollar’s collapsing value.

Bitcoin is currently trading at [FIAT: $27,665.66] UP +3.2% in the last 24 hours according to Coingecko at the time of this report.