New sports betting odds suggest NBA players will be the first ones to be paid in Bitcoin. The odds currently being offered at the best betting sites list the NBA at +200 to be the first to adopt Bitcoin for salaries. Next is the NFL at +220, the NHL at +250 and, finally, Major League Baseball comes in at +400.
There are several reasons the oddsmakers have given the NBA the pole position when it comes to being the first to pay players in cryptocurrency. Quite frankly, of all major sports leagues in North America, the NBA is proving time and time again to be the most socially progressive league.
The league is implementing arguably the best plans to restart play in consideration of the coronavirus pandemic. Its franchises and players are also adopting blockchain technology more than in any other league.
Let’s take a look at what it would take for Bitcoin to actually be used to pay salaries in the NBA and other sports leagues and why oddsmakers think basketball will be the first major sport to adopt crypto.
Spencer Dinwiddie Is Technically Being Paid In Cryptocurrency
Many use the words Bitcoin and cryptocurrency synonymously, but they are not the same thing. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies available for buying and selling on the market today but only one of them stands above them all. That’s Bitcoin.
Still, Nets shooting guard Spencer Dinwiddie deserves a ton of credit for the fact that the NBA is the favorite to use Bitcoin to pay salaries. He has already made multiple attempts to find ways to be paid in cryptocurrency. At first, Dinwiddie straight up asked the NBA if it could find a way to pay him in Bitcoin. The league said no. Then, Dinwiddie announced that he would like to allow accredited investors to buy into his next contract, a three-year $34-million extension with the Nets. Initially, the league said no.
Dinwiddie persisted. He eventually reworked his investing offering so that the NBA and its Players Association approved of what he was trying to do. Now, Dinwiddie will be getting paid in advance of recouping all of the money owed to him under contract, and sports fans can bet that, in the future, more and more basketball players will be trying to do the same thing.
What It Would Take to Pay the NBA’s Top Players in Bitcoin
According to Basketball-Reference, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is the highest-paid player during this 2019-20 season, even though he was on the sidelines due to injury for most of the season. Curry is currently making more than $40.2 million per season.
Assuming that one Bitcoin costs $10,000, Curry would have to be paid 4,200 Bitcoins to get all of his salary in crypto. Of course, it would be unlikely that any one NBA player would take their full salary in Bitcoin or any other digital currency (except for Dinwiddie perhaps).
Still, any major investment in Bitcoin by big-time athletes, especially if it’s tied to their annual salary, would make the broader crypto industry go bananas, sending coin prices skyrocketing.
When Will It Actually Happen?
While it really is anybody’s guess when the NBA will actually allow players to be paid in Bitcoin, odds are it will happen in the next 20 years. Just think for a moment about where Bitcoin prices have gone in the first 12 years of the project’s existence. It wasn’t too long ago that Bitcoins could be had in exchange for literal fractions of pennies.
The thing about getting players paid in Bitcoin, however, is that it would have to prove to be a less volatile asset than it is now. The last thing a point guard earning $40 million a year wants is for his salary to be worth 30 or 40% less in Bitcoin that it was at the start of the season. In a fast-moving asset class like cryptocurrency, seeing that kind of a swing from the start of the season to the end of the season is not uncommon.
That’s not even mentioning the fact that more NBA teams would have to adopt the blockchain and understand its value within a business context. The Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings are already using the technology to accept crypto for tickets and merchandise and also to reward fans for their loyalty. It’s a great sign, but ultimately 28 other teams still have to buy in.
For now, gamblers looking to speculate on the future might also get paid in Bitcoin should they pick the right sports league to be the first one to dish out salaries digitally.
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Odds Shark Staff Fri, Apr 29, 3:00pmBitcoin