29. November 2023

Russell Okung becomes first NFL player to receive his salary in Bitcoin


  • NFL player Russell Okung of the Carolina Panthers will receive part of his salary in Bitcoins.
  • The National Football League (NFL) and the players‘ association have approved the payment.

„Pay Me in Bitcoin“ has become a reality for National Football League player Russell Okung.

First NFL player paid in BTC

Russell Okung becomes the first player from one of the major American sports leagues to receive his salary in Bitcoin Investor. The Carolina Panthers player receives an annual salary of $13 million, which will be split equally between Bitcoins and dollars.

Russell Okung uses the Zap startup founded by Jack Mallers. The startup converts checks or transfers into BTCs through its Strike service.

Mallers said other professional athletes, including members of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and the York Yankees New Baseball team, have also started using the startup.

Mallers said the NFL and the players‘ association were involved in obtaining approval for such a deal.

How does Strike work?

Technically, Okung is still paid in dollars. Behind the scenes, Strike receives a direct deposit from his team and then exchanges dollars for Bitcoins. The BTCs are then sent to a wallet controlled by Russell Okung.

According to its founder, Strike is moving to „seven figures“ in monthly volume and expects that number to increase as more top athletes want to receive their salaries in BTCs. He said :

We have found a way to allow any individual to receive a [percentage] of their work in Bitcoin.