Premier League footballers have been enquiring about being paid part of their salary in cryptocurrency after Kieran Gibbs became one of the first footballers to receive a portion of his wages in bitcoin.
Gibbs, the former England and Arsenal defender who is now playing for David Beckham’s MLS side Inter Miami, is paid 50 per cent of his salary in bitcoin.
In an interview with i, he explains why half his monthly wages are paid into a traditional bank account while the other half is sent to crypto finance company XBTO, who convert it into bitcoin and add it to the player’s hardware wallet.
“I had a few people reach out to me to ask,” he tells i. “That’s kind of why I did it. I’m not a controversial person, I don’t come out and speak about a lot of topics. But this is something that was calling me to at least announce what I’m doing.
“It’s still a topic people don’t fully understand and the main reason for me to announce it was to raise awareness, for people to ask questions. I know a lot of players, they reached out and asked about it. I don’t tell them what to do but I tell them why I did it and I let people make the decisions themselves. Maybe one or two have listened to me.”
Gibbs, 32, does not believe it would be difficult for clubs in England to pay their stars in cryptocurrency. “I don’t think it would be that complex,” he says.
Crypto is a buzz word in English football at the moment that often sparks heated debate. NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – are unique digital assets, such as pictures, that are stored on a blockchain.
Manchester City and Liverpool launched NFT collections with mixed reviews. Socios is a fan-token crypto company who have partnerships with some of the biggest clubs in Europe. The company insists the tokens are not a cryptocurrency, although critics disagree.