By concluding a partnership with the Canadian platform Bitbuy, the CEBL has also become the first professional league in North America, all sports combined, to allow its players to be remunerated in this way.
In other leagues, athletes have already chosen, on an individual basis, to receive a portion of their salary in Bitcoin. This is particularly the case with blocker Russell Okung of the Carolina Panthers, who was the first to do so in the NFL in 2020.
Kimbal Mackenzie, a Guelph Nighthawks point guard, was among the first to enter the CEBL. In the coming season, he will receive half of his salary in Bitcoin and the other in a traditional bank account.
I am by no means a cryptocurrency genius, but I did my research to understand that people smarter than me predict that value [du Bitcoin] will eventually be much higher than it is right now […] I’m still figuring out exactly how it works, but wanted to jump at the chance that presented me, says the Ontarian.
It is only part of my salary that I put aside. I don’t plan on touching it for 20 or 30 years […] And [le Bitcoin] fall, so be it. It was a decision I was prepared to make. On the other hand, if it increases, maybe I will retire in two years!
The 24-year-old athlete also hails the avant-garde side of the CEBL because this new offer, he emphasizes, is not the first of the Canadian league.
We are asked as players what we want to learn outside of basketball, about certain things in society like investments in the stock market, mortgages and taxes, things that we did not learn at the school. I think they do a good job putting people in place to take care of this and make sure it’s not that ‘come on, do your job, play for us and bye, hoping that you will succeed. ”
Matthew Slan, who notably represents Kimbal Mackenzie, is one of those at the origin of this CEBL innovation. He specifies, however, that he only proposed the idea.
I’m not a financial advisor, he insists, but I’m a basketball agent and always try to find creative ways to help my clients. It just seemed like a good idea to help Kimbal and other players.
I’m trying to help the guys who are maybe in the top or the middle of their league’s income leaderboard so that at the end of the season, hopefully, they can be the highest paying players because ‘we were creative.
The Canadian Elite Basketball League has been unwilling to say how many players are signed up for its Bitcoin payout program so far because it is still early days, a spokesperson said.
We’ve had interest from a lot of players, but we haven’t unboxed the plan to everyone yet because training camps have just started, he said.
Kimbal Mackenzie says he had cryptocurrency conversations with plenty of players in the seven-team league even before the league’s announcement on Thursday.
Some people know a lot more than me so I’m sure I won’t be the last to opt for a little [de mon salaire] put in any cryptocurrency.
The third season of the Canadian Elite Basketball League gets underway on June 24.