Former Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs is receiving half his salary at Inter Miami in Bitcoin and said that several players have enquired about the logistics of doing the same
Premier League players could soon start asking for part of their salaries to be paid in cryptocurrency after former Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs explained why he receives half his wage in Bitcoin.
The 32-year-old currently plays for Inter Miami, the Major League Soccer franchise owned by David Beckham, and in an interview with the i said that he has spoken to a number of players who are exploring the possibility of being remunerated in a similar manner.
It is unclear if Premier League clubs will be willing to agree to such an approach, though Gibbs said that “I don’t think it would be that complex.” A recent survey indicated that up to a quarter of Britons consider cryptocurrency “the future of finance.”
Gibbs added: “I had a few people reach out to me to ask. 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.”
A host of players have started to invest in non-fungible tokens in recent months while a majority of Premier League sides have agreed sponsorship deals with cryptocurrency partners. Liverpool and Manchester City have both launched NFT ranges to a mixed reception.
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Hal Robson-Kanu, the former West Bromwich Albion and Wales striker, was an early advocate of cryptocurrencies having launched a startup company in 2018. He recently described the expansion of crypto as “a formality” because it takes away the need for third parties such as banks to deal with transactions.
“We live in a debt-based monetary system and the impact federal reserves have,” Robson-Kanu said. “What actually is money? Money is time. What’s the transaction? It’s a contract. Digital currencies, alternative currencies, and digital ledgers that allow transactions to take place seamlessly peer to peer throughout the world without any third party or central authority controlling it.
“We’ve always been a transaction based civilisation whether it was rocks, silver and gold or what we now call cash. It’s always been there but it’s progressed century on century and digital currency is a natural progression for me. You can see the adoption of it is a formality.”
At the same time Robson-Kanu argued that it is important to ensure those investing in cryptocurrencies educate themselves beforehand. “It’s a very volatile market so you want to understand what you’re doing,” he added. “You wouldn’t be telling your grandmother to go and get involved in it necessarily at this stage.”