• Russell Okung has been promoting Bitcoin payments startup Zap
  • The NFL player said he wants to be paid in Bitcoin
  • The Panthers said he was paid in U.S. dollar instead

Russell Okung’s total career earnings have reached $108.5 million in his 11 seasons in the NFL. He created a buzz recently after allegedly getting paid in Bitcoin.

The news is allegedly not true, per The Verge. NFL players are paid in U.S. dollar and they have the prerogative to buy some Bitcon using their salary, and this is what Okung did. The offensive tackle has been posting about Bitcoin payments startup Zap on his social media accounts. It was not clear if he represents the brand or has a deal with them. Although the 32-year-old expressed his desire to get paid in Bitcoin and even claimed he was indeed paid in his choice of cryptocurrency, the reports about it were not verified.

On the other hand, getting paid in Bitcoin presents an interesting option for athletes and players not just in the NFL but in other sports. Brooklyn Nets player Spencer Dinwiddie is also an avid fan as he believes Bitcoin is the future, a report from Yahoo! Sports revealed. It may still take a long while before it becomes regulated and given as a salary.

Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks. Initial coin offerings, bought with cryptocurrency, offer an alternative for startup fundraising? KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty

Okung’s team, the North Carolina Panthers, is paying him $13 million in 2020, the last year of his 4-year contract signed originally with the Los Angeles Chargers before getting traded to the Panthers in March. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021, according to Spotrac. The former 6th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft earned a total of $108.5 million in his 11 seasons as a pro football player. The biggest salary in his career came in 2011 when he was given a $16.6 million salary by the Seattle Seahawks.

The Fort Bend, Texas native was a bonafide superstar in college. He was ranked number 1 on the offensive tackle list by’s preseason rankings. Moreover, he was also among those considered for the 2009 Outland trophy and Lombardi award. Celebrity Net Worth added that Okung was a former Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year and a first-team All-American.

The former Oklahoma State star’s preference for cryptocurrency could go well with his plans when his playing career is over. Experts see the value of Bitcoin to go higher in the next few years, given its scarcity and complexity in acquiring. But this could also be one of the reasons why professional athletes are not completely sold on the idea of receiving Bitcoin as salary.

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