The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) became the first pro sports league in North America to adopt Bitcoin as a mode of payment for salaries. CEBL has partnered with Bitbuy, a Canadian crypto platform, to offer the league players a portion of their pay in the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
According to an official announcement, Bitbuy will first convert the Canadian dollar salaries of league players into Bitcoin and then the company will transfer BTC to the personal cryptocurrency wallets of the players.
The latest announcement from CEBL came after Russell Okung, who plays for Carolina Panthers in the American National Football League (NFL), received 50% of his $13 million annual pay in Bitcoin. In December 2020, Okung became the first NFL player to get paid in the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
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Commenting on the recent announcement, Kimbal Mackenzie, a guard for the Guelph Nighthawks, said: “The opportunity to be paid in Bitcoin is something I’m incredibly excited about. I believe cryptocurrency is the future. The ability to have part of my salary go directly into an investment that I believe will appreciate greatly over the next 10-30 years is a no-brainer. The CEBL continues to provide us as players with forward-thinking opportunities, and the option to be paid in Bitcoin further highlights that they are one of the top leagues in the world.”
Bitcoin and Sports
The role of Bitcoin and other digital currencies in the global sports industry has increased rapidly in the last few years, mainly due to a surge in the adoption of cryptocurrencies. In 2019, Dallas Mavericks became one of the first NBA Teams to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for tickets and merchandise.
“We’re proud to support homegrown Canadian sports and to partner with the league on this first to the market initiative. We think this represents a significant shift in how athletes are thinking about compensation, and we’re excited to help the CEBL’s players protect their long-term wealth by getting paid in Bitcoin,” Charlie Aikenhead, VP Marketing at Bitbuy, mentioned in the announcement.