As cryptocurrencies become a more popular investment, more and more people with the means to do so are transitioning away from cash and towards crypto as a wealth growth option. One NFL athlete who has latched onto that trend is star New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who is taking a significant step as it relates to his present and future earnings.
During an appearance on The Best Business Show, Barkley announced that he will be taking all of his future endorsement money exclusively in Bitcoin through a partnership with Strike, which uses the Lightning Network payments platform to convert direct deposits made into checking accounts into Bitcoin.
According to Best Business Show host Joe Pompliano, Barkley’s annual endorsement earnings — which he earns through deals with Nike, Pepsi, Visa, and Dunkin’ among other companies — will be in the “eight-plus figures” through Bitcoin.
“You see inflation, you see how high it is right now, and you learn that you can’t save yourself to wealth. You can’t,” Barkley said. “… That’s why I’m going to be taking my marketing money in Bitcoin.”
Barkley is the latest NFL player to make a significant investment in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, following a trend of players seeking to grow their wealth beyond fiat money. Last year, free agent offensive tackle Russell Okung became the first NFL player to be paid in Bitcoin when he had the Carolina Panthers split his 2020 salary between Bitcoin and traditional currency. Earlier this offseason, free agent tight end Sean Culkin announced that he was seeking to convert his entire 2021 salary into Bitcoin.
Now entering his fourth season, Barkley’s second contract is looming, and should come with the Giants provided he can bounce back from two-straight seasons marred by injuries.
Earlier this offseason, Giants owner John Mara stressed that while the team was not in a hurry to get a contract extension done, the franchise’s plan was to have Barkley in Big Blue for a long time to come.
“I said it at the end of the season and I’ll say it again, we hope he’s going to be a Giant for life and at the appropriate time we’ll start those discussions,” Mara said in March.