Professional Soccer Players Are Buying Bitcoin And It Will Protect Their Wealth

According to online reports, Galatasaray S.K. and Netherlands national football team’s Ryan Babel has been shilling bitcoin to his teammates.

Babel has played for Ajax, Liverpool, Fulham and others. He has played in the UEFA European Championship and the World Cup, building connections to some of the best-known and well-compensated soccer players in Europe. Babel has shared his eagerness to accumulate bitcoin on Twitter, so it is not a stretch to imagine that the reports are accurate.

If Babel and his teammates have been buying bitcoin for the past six months, for example, then they’ve made some hefty gains. This is as important to athletes as it is to anyone else, as they need a place to store their wealth in the best possible way. Securing their wealth behind a wall of cyber hornets and a 21 million supply cap ensures it will not deteriorate, but actually increase in value. The only meaningful difference between Bitcoin plebs and pro athletes is that the latter tend to have tens- to hundreds-of-millions of dollars more than the former with which to buy bitcoin.

Athletes have also been buying bitcoin here in the U.S., with NFL player Russell Okung using Strike to get a sizable portion of his $13 million contract paid to him in bitcoin. Why? Because Bitcoin is the perfect tool to protect one’s wealth. The average career length of athletes isn’t too long, and even though they make a lot of money, they need to protect it for the rest of their lives. Bitcoin excels at this.

Buying bitcoin, especially at around $60,000 prices, gives professional athletes a massive potential upside in gains. To put how big the gains can be in perspective: Babel reportedly earned a $2.37 million signing bonus in 2019, and the price of bitcoin rose by 87 percent across that year. Had he been able to allocate that bonus to BTC, he would have made more than $2 million in profit.

Rich athletes are figuring out that if they want to make a lot of money, all they’ve got to do is accumulate bitcoin, and sit on it. 


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Peter Thiel: Bitcoin Could Be ‘Chinese Financial Weapon’

In brief

  • Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal.
  • He labels himself “pro-Bitcoin.”
  • He thinks China is strategically approaching Bitcoin.

Speaking at a virtual event for the conservative Nixon Seminar, PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel opined openly on whether China is set to win a financial arms raise with the US.

The weapon? Bitcoin.

“I’m sort of a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist,” Thiel said. “I do wonder if at this point Bitcoin should also be thought of in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the US. It threatens fiat money but it especially threatens the US dollar.”

The question Thiel was ostensibly answering wasn’t about Bitcoin per se, but about China’s plan to create a digital yuan. Was this a “threat to the dollar and its dominance of world markets?” moderator Hugh Hewitt wanted to know.

Thiel’s view is that it isn’t; he dismissed the coin, which would be issued by the country’s central bank, as “some sort of a totalitarian measuring device.”

The real concern, Thiel said, is Bitcoin because it’s more likely to serve as a functional reserve currency. The less pervasive the dollar is, the less effected it is by American monetary and foreign policy.

“If China’s long Bitcoin, then perhaps from a geopolitical perspective the U.S. should be asking some tougher questions about exactly how that works,” he said.

The seminar, titled “Big Tech and China: What Do We Need from Silicon Valley?,” also included former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.

Pompeo agreed that a digital yuan “has a huge impact for [China’s] surveillance capacity,” though he seemed to assert that such a coin itself would also allow it to make cross-border transactions that could skirt US sanctions: “They want to make sure that when Secretary Pompeo issues sanctions against the Iranian leadership, that there is a way to purchase Iranian oil.”

Thiel has invested in multiple crypto ventures including Bitcoin mining company Layer1 Technologies and blockchain development platform Alchemy.


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SEC likely to approve Bitcoin ETF in 1-2 years, says analyst

According to an analyst at CFRA Research, VanEck, Fidelity Investments, and Valkyrie Digital Assets may not see their Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, approved by U.S. regulators for up to two years.

In an interview on CNBC’s ETF Edge Monday, Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA, told host Bob Pisani that he believed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, would extend the timeline for considering the Bitcoin ETF first pitched by investment management firm VanEck in January. The SEC officially acknowledged receipt of the Bitcoin ETF application on March 15, giving the regulatory body until April 29 to come to a decision or extend the deadline.

“We’ve got a number of firms that have either gone through the filing process or have previously filed but are waiting for more clarity,” said Rosenbluth. “The SEC is less likely we think to try to pick a winner, as to who comes first and I think we’re more likely to see them — if they do approve an ETF — to approve multiple Bitcoin-related ETFs.”

He added:

“We’ve got a number of firms that have entered. We think we’re likely to see one in the coming year or two, but we don’t have a firm timeframe as to when the answer would be yes.”

VanEck and Valkyrie both filed a registration with the SEC to form a Bitcoin ETF in January, with Fidelity following in March. The regulatory body has offered no indication as to what it will decide, but given its seeming reticence in previously approving a crypto ETF, many experts do not expect a decision soon.

The U.S. may not yet have approved a crypto ETF, but Canadian firms have been leading the way in North America. Toronto-based Purpose Investments launched a Bitcoin ETF in February, and Ninepoint Partners is reportedly planning to change its Bitcoin trust offering to an exchange-traded fund as well. Both investment fund manager 3iQ and Evolve Funds Group announced they had filed a prospectus with Canadian regulators for approval to begin trading crypto ETFs.

Following the Fidelity filing last month, Rosenbluth said it was “a question of when, not if, the SEC will approve a Bitcoin ETF.” He seemed to be implying on Monday that the approval of even one in the United States could potentially open the floodgates for firms looking to form crypto ETFs.

“If they approve someone, they’re gonna approve all of them,” said Pisani.