Carolina Panthers OT Russell Okung has requested to be paid half of his $13 million contract — about $6.5 million — in bitcoin, making him the first NFL player to get paid in cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has increased in value nearly 300% since Okung first requested to be paid in Bitcoin, while USD has decreased by 20%, pointed out one user on Twitter. Okung is an outspoken civil rights activist on Twitter and also a Bitcoin enthusiast, realizing the social equity of decentralized blockchains. On May 13, 2019 he tweeted an ominous demand, "Pay me in bitcoin," which he has since pinned to his timeline. "Life, liberty, and bitcoin," says his profile with an affiliate link to the Fold App. According to CoinDesk, half of Okung's salary — about $6.5 million — will be paid through Strike by Zap, which will exchange the dollars into bitcoin for the Panthers, having received approval from the NFL and NFL Players Association. A number of other professional athletes, including Spencer Dinwiddie from the Brooklyn Nets, have also utilized Zap's payment gateway to get paid in bitcoin. Not everyone is too excited about the bitcoin news. “Not accurate," said a NFL spokesperson, "his people are just converting some of the money into bitcoin after he gets paid in US dollars, just like every other NFL player." In fairness, being the first NFL player to be paid in bitcoin is an exciting headline, but a more accurate one might be, "first NFL player to convert 50% of his salary to bitcoin.” Either way, good for Russell, and there may be tax benefits as well.