“The Fed continues to print trillions of dollars,” the bitcoin advocate said. “I believe the best defense against inflation is bitcoin, and they will continue to print money.”
The man was fluent in cryptography. He looked like a speaker at a Bitcoin conference. And in fact, he was a speaker at a Bitcoin conference. But he also happens to be future Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is one of CoinDesk’s first Crypto Sports All-Stars.
This coin is part of CoinDesk sports week.
It’s a solid list. It is full of elite National Football League quarterbacks, tennis players, and soccer players who all believe in the power of decentralized self-sovereign finance. We narrowed it down to 10, and the list is admittedly arbitrary – LeBron James would love a word – but it gives some idea of just how deep crypto has seeped into mainstream pro sports.
Oh, and as for the return on their crypto investment? For each Crypto All-Star, we tried to calculate what you would have gained – or lost – if you had invested $1,000 in the All-Star’s chosen project at the time of their announcement.
So let’s meet the team and assess your fortune!
1. Team Captain: Tom Brady
Did Brady curse bitcoin? On May 9, 2021, with the price of bitcoin hovering around $58,000, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback added “laser eyes” to his twitter avatar. The price then dropped to $30,000. “Okay, the laser eyes didn’t work,” Brady admitted. “Anyone have any ideas?”
Yes, there were more ideas! He came up with the idea of using a flamethrower to thaw a block of ice containing bitcoin. (It was in a commercial for FTX crypto exchange.)
He launched an NFT (non-fungible token) collection that sold out in less than 10 minutes. He and his wife, Gisele, now have shares in FTX, and Brady co-founded the NFT Autograph platform which raised $170 million in January.
Perhaps most endearingly, after Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin claimed he doesn’t even know who Brady the soccer player is tweeted, “What’s up Vitalik! You may not know me, but I just wanted to say that I’m a huge fan of yours.”
When you go to the Socios.com fan token website, the first thing you see is a giant image of Argentine footballer Lionel Messi’s bearded mug. He has a big smile and he proudly holds his phone to show the Socios app. Messi has good reason to smile: he signed a whopping $20m deal to promote Socios, explaining that he wanted to ‘create a more connected and rewarding future for fans around the world’. It’s certainly a more rewarding future, or at least it is for him.
3. Serena Williams
The tennis legend is more than crypto-curious. At the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, she revealed that she considers bitcoin a “super strong investment”, and her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, has invested in a bitcoin rewards startup called Lolli, because she believes that “earning and owning bitcoin is a step towards financial inclusion for all.
4.Floyd Mayweather Jr.
A throwback to the glorious madness of the initial coin-deal craze in 2017. On Instagram, the legendary former boxer boldly announced to the world, “I’m going to win a million dollars in silver on August 2nd on the ‘ICO Stox.com’, referring to an early prediction market project. The world was confused. What is an ICO? What is he talking about ? “Is this real?” CoinDesk wondered at the time. This post has since been deleted, but Mayweather later created other ICOs (including one that sparked a lawsuit), wore a t-shirt promoting “Ethereum Max” in June 2021, was roundly booed at a bitcoin conference and had one simple request for the world: “You can call me Floyd Crypto Mayweather.”
5. Jessica Pegula
Currently the seventh-largest female tennis player in the world, Pegula became the first female athlete to drop an NFT collection in March 2021, telling the Tennis Channel that “it’s another really cool kind of outlet for female athletes.” She noted that “sometimes you have to take risks” and hoped she would “inspire more athletes and more girls to do the same.”
6. Aaron Rodgers
“I believe in Bitcoin and the future is bright,” Rodgers tweeted. “That’s why I’m teaming up with Cash App to take part of my salary in bitcoin today.” Dressed in a black suit and tie (in a John Wick Halloween costume), Rodgers sipped a glass of whiskey and said, “Bitcoin over the moon,” announcing that he and Cash App will give away 1 million dollars worth of bitcoin so “we can go to the moon together.
7. Spencer Dinwiddie
When he wasn’t handing out pennies for the Dallas Mavericks, Dinwiddie co-founded the social token platform Calaxy (raising $26 million). He’s been publicly bullish on bitcoin since October 2018 (in a Bleacher Report profile, he described how he traded bitcoin on his phone before NBA practices). He appeared on Pomp’s podcast in 2020. He tried to tokenize his contract with the National Basketball Association, and he even hosted “New Money” for CoinDesk TV. The man is premonitory. In May 2021, he told me his NBA colleagues were warming up to crypto and “everyone wants in.”
8. Megan Rapinoe
A long-time champion of inclusivity and equality, the soccer player helped bring female athletes into the NFT market by launching ‘The Collective Series’, a digital trading card series that also features the skateboarder Mariah Duran, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and Women’s National Basketball Association icon. Sue Bird. Rapinoe’s natural charisma is so strong that, as Jezebel’s Shannon Melero said, she “tragically forces[es] fans like me are considering buying cryptocurrency.
9. Russell Okung
It pays to be ahead. In May 2019, long before it became fashionable, Okung, then a Los Angeles Chargers player, tweeted a simple statement: “Pay me in bitcoin.” Crypto Twitter was thrilled; “I see you!!!” gushed entrepreneur Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, as well as six fire emojis. Okung got his wish. Not only did he receive half his NFL salary in bitcoin (the first NFL player to do so), but he also helped launch the “Bitcoin Is” educational campaign and even bullied the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, on the energy consumption of miners, paying for one billboard which said “Stay in space, Elon.”
10. Steph Curry
In an ad for FTX, Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry insists he’s not a crypto expert. Maybe. But he was savvy enough to take a stake in FTX. He dropped 3,000 NFT sneakers, he bought a Bored Ape (at one point worth 75 ETH), and he even made the monkey his twitter avatar.
His teammates are also in crypto. Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are paid partially in bitcoin, and the Warriors signed an NFT partnership with FTX. Perhaps most importantly, Curry wisely followed Brady’s tips“Whatever you do…don’t laser-eye!” »
Honorable Mention – Denis Rodman
Rodman has been out of the NBA for over two decades. But The Worm deserves a shoutout for an amazing tee he wore in Singapore, where he had hoped to help broker peace between then-US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un: “Peace Begins in Singapore – PotCoin.com “We agree that none of these words make sense.
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.