Russell Okung’s NFL Salary Bitcoin Conversion Just Went Negative


The last week has been extremely unkind to people who speculate in bitcoin.

As I type this article, the price of a single bitcoin is $22,333. The price has dropped 25% compared to just five days ago. At that level, bitcoin is currently trading its lowest value since December 2020.

Speaking of December 2020, that happens to be the exact point when Russell Okung famously announced he was taking half of his $13 million Carolina Panthers salary in Bitcoin.

To be clear, Russell Okung did not get paid in bitcoin from the Panthers. NFL players are exclusively paid US dollars. So Russell would have had to take his NFL paychecks and convert his USD into BTC, on his own after-the-fact.

There was a time when Russell’s decision looked brilliant. Unfortunately, his NFL salary bitcoin conversion just turned negative.

(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

At the time he made his Bitcoin conversion announcement, Bitcoin was trading at $27,000. Assuming he used pre-tax earnings, half of $13 million would be $6.5 million. At $27,000, that would have bought 240 Bitcoin in December 2020.

Russell was looking really brilliant just a few months ago. In November 2021, Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $68,000. At that point, his 240 Bitcoin were worth $16.32 million. That was a 150% gain!

Unfortunately, today things are not looking so amazing.

At today’s price of $22,333, those 240 Bitcoin would be worth $5.36 million. That’s a 17% loss.

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