Odell Beckham Jr. Is Feeling Bitcoin’s Current Dip—But Could Have the Last Laugh

Pat Maio
Pat Maio has held various reporting and editorial management positions over the past 25 years, having specialized in business and government reporting. He has held reporting jobs with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register, Dow Jones News and other newspapers in Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Odell Beckham Jr. Is Feeling Bitcoin’s Current Dip—But Could Have the Last Laugh

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. may be one game away from the Super Bowl, but he's probably feeling lighter in the wallet than he'd like amid Bitcoin’s ongoing selloff.

If the math is correct, Beckham is heading into this weekend’s NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers likely down a few hundred thousand dollars, on paper, after committing to take his Rams salary in Bitcoin.


After being released by the Cleveland Browns in early November after a rocky two-year stint with the NFL team, the Rams signed the standout receiver to a contract with a $750,000 base salary and an additional $3 million in performance-based incentives.

Yet Beckham’s much-hyped announcement that he would convert his entire salary into Bitcoin arrived just as the cryptocurrency began to tank. When he made the proclamation on Nov. 22, Bitcoin was trading at around $56,000, after reaching as high as $69,000 earlier that month. But since then, the token has been on a steady downward trajectory. Bitcoin was trading at around $36,000 on Thursday, down roughly 35% from its Nov. 22 price.

There are two ways to look at this development from Beckham’s perspective. On the one hand, the money he was paid from his early games with the Rams (NFL players receive game checks per every game played) is now worth considerably less as Bitcoin. Yet on the other hand, the salary that Beckham is now converting into Bitcoin is being invested at a significantly lower price. In other words, Beckham is buying the proverbial dip—and should Bitcoin prices rebound, he could find himself having made a valuable investment.

One Bitcoin expert thinks Beckham shouldn’t be rattled.

“He won’t be thinking about Bitcoin this weekend because he knows a price correction in Bitcoin is almost run of the mill,” said Nik Bhatia, author of “Layered Money” and a Bitcoin expert who teaches on the subject at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. “Bitcoin is incredibly volatile. That is obvious to everyone, but the long-term growth is incredibly stable when you look at it over the longer horizon.”

Beckham could not be reached for comment through his agent, Zeke Sandhu of Elite Athlete Management.

Of the $3 million of incentives in Beckham’s Rams contract, he’s already earned $1.25 million thanks to the Rams’ two NFL playoff wins thus far, according to Spotrac. A win over the 49ers on Sunday would net him another $750,000, while a Super Bowl win would award him $1 million (he’d receive a $500,000 bonus just for appearing in the Big Game).

That means more money to convert into Bitcoin could be on the way for the man known as OBJ—and depending on the cryptocurrency’s future prospects, it could prove either a foolhardy or prescient investment.

Beckham isn’t the only NFL player to be feeling Bitcoin’s current dip. Other players to have received at least a portion of their salary in crypto include Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Russell Okung, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Mapp Gains New CPO and CTO, Prodoscore Taps Boeing Exec
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Raises
Image by Joshua Letona

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Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Gitai Raises $30 Million to Expand Manufacturing Footprint in Los Angeles
\u200bPhoto: Gitai

Space robotics company Gitai raised a $30 million Series B extension this week, bringing the total value of the round to roughly $47 million.

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