Chiefs’ Sean Culkin, likely top pick Trevor Lawrence take paychecks in cryptocurrency

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NFL players are suddenly embracing cryptocurrency, as newly signed Kansas City Chiefs tight end Sean Culkin has announced he will be taking his entire 2021 salary in Bitcoin and projected top draft pick Trevor Lawrence will reportedly do the same with the proceeds from a recent endorsement deal.

Culkin, a fifth-year tight end who studied finance at Missouri, will take his entire $920,000 salary in Bitcoin, becoming the first NFL player to receive his whole paycheck in cryptocurrency. Previously Carolina Panthers left tackle Russell Okung arranged to receive half of his $13 million salary in Bitcoin. (Okung is now a free agent)

‘I fully believe Bitcoin is the future of finance and I wanted to prove that I have real skin in the game — not just trying to make a quick buck,’ Culkin wrote on Twitter. ‘I will be converting my entire 2021 NFL salary to #Bitcoin.’

Culkin, a fifth-year tight end who studied finance at Missouri, will take his entirely $920,000 salary in Bitcoin, becoming the first NFL player to receive his whole paycheck in cryptocurrency

The specifics of Lawrence's endorsement deal remain unclear, but The New York Times reported Monday that his first check from Blockfolio, an investment app owned by crypto exchange FXT, was paid entirely in cryptocurrency.

NFL players are suddenly embracing cryptocurrency, as newly signed Kansas City Chiefs tight end Sean Culkin (left) has announced he will be taking his entire 2021 salary in Bitcoin and projected top draft pick Trevor Lawrence (right) will reportedly do the same with the proceeds from a recent endorsement deal. The specifics of Lawrence’s endorsement deal remain unclear, but The New York Times reported Monday that his first check from Blockfolio, an investment app owned by crypto exchange FXT, was paid entirely in cryptocurrency

In the last year alone, a single Bitcoin has jumped 536.6 percent from $7,624.85 in value to $48,542.95, according to Coindesk.com. A similar jump this year would make Culkin's $920,000 salary worth over $5 million

In the last year alone, a single Bitcoin has jumped 536.6 percent from $7,624.85 in value to $48,542.95, according to Coindesk.com. A similar jump this year would make Culkin’s $920,000 salary worth over $5 million

Culkin, 27, went into more detail with ESPN, likening Bitcoin to investing in gold.

‘I’ve always had a lot of interest in and a passion for finance and economics from my days at Mizzou,’ Culkin said. ‘Even before that, my dad was big, really bullish on gold. Early on, I was always exposed to his philosophies on what made gold an intractable investment looking at it from a macro perspective.

‘There’s a lot of overlap between gold and Bitcoin. I really spent all of my time in the offseason the past year just hearing about this growing space in crypto. It just seemed like it was getting bigger and bigger.

‘Through education and learning and having a level of conviction over the course of time, I just felt like I wanted to be compensated from my services in football in Bitcoin.’

Culkin will be using the same fiat-to-Bitcoin salary conversion software service that Okung uses.        

Culkin, who is hoping to earn a spot on the Chiefs after recently signing as a free agent in February, has appeared in 19 career NFL games, catching a pair of passes for the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens.

Previously Carolina Panthers left tackle Russell Okung (pictured) arranged to receive half of his $13 million salary in Bitcoin

Previously Carolina Panthers left tackle Russell Okung (pictured) arranged to receive half of his $13 million salary in Bitcoin

In the last year alone, a single Bitcoin has jumped 536.6 percent from $7,624.85 in value to $48,542.95, according to Coindesk.com. A similar jump this year would make Culkin’s $920,000 salary worth over $5 million, although he admits this is not really a get-rich-quick scheme.

‘I want to do this with the thought it would continue to rise over the long term,’ he said. ‘This for me is a long-term play, a generational play. The more research I did and the more I zoomed out, I didn’t necessarily link volatility to risk. I saw Bitcoin was growing at such an exponential rate.

‘It’s going to have some large pullbacks and dips and people are probably going to say I’m crazy, but I’m focusing on the long term. Long term, it’s a stored value. What makes Bitcoin so intractable is its scarcity. Over time, it’s deflationary by nature. If you look at history, it appreciates over time.’

The specifics of Lawrence’s endorsement deal remain unclear, but The New York Times reported Monday that his first check from Blockfolio, an investment app owned by crypto exchange FXT, was paid entirely in cryptocurrency.

‘We’re really trying to get our name out a lot,’ said Sam Bankman-Fried, the C.E.O. of FTX told the Times.

‘Trevor was excited about crypto,’ Bankman-Fried continued. ‘That’s what drew us to him.’

Lawrence, who won a national championship with Clemson in 2018, is expected to be taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

Okung used a special service to automatically convert his salary from cash to Bitcoin

Okung used a special service to automatically convert his salary from cash to Bitcoin 

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