LA Rams football player Odell Beckham Jr. took his $750,000 salary in bitcoin. Yahoo Finance’s Brad Smith and Akiko Fujita discuss how the current drop in bitcoin’s price is affecting his pay.
AKIKO FUJITA: NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. may be celebrating a big win that sent his LA Rams into the NFC Championship. But that was followed by a big loss, a big selloff in the crypto markets hitting him hard with his salary. Brad, I’m gonna let you do the math. It is painful just looking at the number.
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BRAD SMITH: It really is. And, I mean, it’s just remarkable here because when he went to the Rams, of course, that contract and that move took place in November of 2021, November 11, the timing that it was basically announced, and when we saw a plethora of some high-profile talent actually making their way to the Rams and Odell stepping out front and saying, you know what? I am a believer in Bitcoin. I’m going to accept my earnings in crypto.
And, ultimately, it’s unfortunate that that was the peak, essentially, that we had seen during that month. At one point, it had hit 67,000 in that month. And there you’re seeing what’s taken place since the announcement. So November of 2021, at the time of the announcement, $64,000 is where Bitcoin was sitting at- now, currently, $36,858. And so that gives you a sense of the devaluation, if you will, on that headline figure for the contract.
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But, again, Odell probably doing quite well. This is a man that’s amassed millions in earnings over the years. And I’m just happy that he’s in a warm-weather city for his personality. He certainly does deserve to be in LA with some of the other stars out there, Akiko, yourself included.
AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, I’m sure he’s gonna be just fine. There’s a lot of other people who are reeling from the selloff. But I want to point to these numbers that was put out by the Action Network, Darren Rovell there breaking down the numbers for us in terms of the losses.
You pointed to where Bitcoin was trading the day he said he was gonna take some of his salary in Bitcoin, so 64,293 to 35,400. But, on top of that, he’s gonna be taxed on that 750,000. He’s in California. We’re talking about 50%. So that means, according to the Action Network, his net gain here is 35,703, not a whole lot when you started with 750,000.
BRAD SMITH: No, not at all. And, especially, even if Bitcoin had stayed at the same price on that $750,000 contract there, then he would have essentially taken home somewhere, you know, rough figures around 11.7 Bitcoin. But, at these prices now, I mean, we still continue to think about the number of other athletes that are thinking about accepting their contracts or their own types of payments in cryptocurrency in the future.
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And there have been some very smart financial transactions that we’ve seen in the past and money habits from athletes. We were talking about Rob Gronkowski just yesterday as well in our own meetings, thinking about how he sets aside all of his earnings. And you wonder if some of those athletes who had decided to set aside some of their earnings and taking it in crypto, but still taking some of their other endorsements in US dollar or whatever their main currency is, what that would yield for them over time.
But, again, right now, this is just a tough decline for crypto, especially as it relates to Odell Beckham Jr.’s potential earnings. And we’ll see how long he holds onto that crypto. He probably has a little bit higher of a propensity for risk in his portfolio than most of us.
AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, something tells me he has a bit of a buffer. But you’re right. I mean, we’re talking about Odell Beckham today. But there’s a lot of not just athletes but officials who’ve talked about taking some of their salary in Bitcoin, too.
And any investment, any money with Bitcoin in crypto, volatility follows. And that’s kind of been the big question in this space is that with more institutional money moving in, would that sort of ease the choppy waters, if you will? It’s certainly not the case if you look at where the trading activity has been over the last several days. But I can’t say the same for equities, too, because we saw that big swing yesterday.
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