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Professional Athletes Paid In Crypto: A New Era?

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 1 min read

Athletes getting paid in crypto seems to be gaining in popularity, according to the frequency of it happening lately.

Only two days ago, WGN-TV, a Chicago news outlet, published the story of Ted-Jan Bloemen, Canadian speed skater, who allegedly became the first professional athlete to be paid in cryptocurrency after signing a one-year sponsorship deal with ONG Social, a social network and crypto community, and CEEK VR, a developer of virtual reality solutions.

Lawrence Baslaw, Bloemen’s agent and president of Baslaw+Associates Inc., said, “This is really a whole new frontier. It will be exciting to see how cryptocurrency can work for Ted-Jan, in particular, but also the impact it will have on the sport marketing industry as a whole.”

He’s not the only one either: at the end of last month, a Turkish amateur football club claimed to be the first to pay for a player transfer in cryptocurrency. According to BBC, Omer Faruk Kıroglu was rewarded 0.0524 in Bitcoin and 2,500 Turkish lira to join Harunustaspor, who compete in the Sakarya First Division Group B.

Bitcoin found its way into other sports as well: a hockey club arena will be refurbished to promote crypto, and its top player will be paid exclusively in Bitcoin, it was reported at the end of last year. According to Bitcoin Suisse, this is the first time a crypto-financial company has sponsored a national premier league professional sports team.