Welcome to The Ask, where each week Crypto Investor interviews essential voices doing the work to make crypto 'mainstream.' Exchange lightly edited.

This week we spoke to Sean Culkin, an NFL tight end who most recently played for the San Diego Chargers and pledged to take his next contract in Bitcoin. He was signed this spring by the Kansas City Chiefs, who agreed to his request, but subsequently released. He is simultaneously working to secure another NFL contract and working on an MBA.

What did you consider before deciding to take your salary in bitcoin?

Sean Culkin

Sean Culkin

CULKIN: I really had to come to terms with two things. I’ll have to, at some points, deal with huge corrections as you typically do, right? Whatever the catalyst is for having short term pullback, whether it's 20%, 30% or 50%. And all the people in the world who act emotionally will say ‘Oh, you idiot.’ So you basically have to be ok with the risk of being “wrong” and perceived as crazy.

And then also I’m agreeing to dollar-cost average into bitcoin. What happens if it’s over $100K and I’m still getting checks? If you’re buying $100K, you know with that large an allocation size, it’s going to impact your portfolio.

But for me — and it’s cliché in the crypto space — my time horizon is long, man. I know the long-term play.

Unlike companies, an athlete or creator is the brand. Does crypto present a unique opportunity for people like you?

CULKIN: I think athletes are businesses, ya know? So when you look at the current economic environment, how are you going to handle your cash? How are you going to handle your future cash flows? We’ve got fixed costs, right? We invest in our body, massage, good nutrition, training. If you look at how we operate day to day, and the capital movements and make it work — it’s analogous to any business.

So it's like, man, what do you do right now with your treasury? With your short term assets? With your cash flow? You're having more and more sophisticated macro investors coming out and saying that cash is a liability. We’re in a cash and liquidity crisis. How are you allocating so you don’t destroy capital and wealth? I think because of the properties of being an athlete you’ve really got to make the right decisions. And for me, and my conviction, my knowledge and the way I perceive all this to operate, I think Bitcoin is the best asset.

I think with crypto the athlete does have a lot of control, because we are the CEO of who we are. So we can invest in crypto and not have to worry as much about an employer freaking out or something like that. It boils down to self-sovereignty. You have a lot of control to do what you want to do and I think there are a lot of parallels with crypto there.

Do you think it’s a positive signal that the Kansas City Chiefs were open to paying your salary in Bitcoin?

CULKIN: I think you could think about that in two different ways. They could have thought like, he’s not a big name and this won’t really go anywhere. They might not have expected that this got pretty big and got some traction. Or yeah, you could look at it like maybe (The Kansas City Chiefs) are starting to understand Bitcoin. It’s not going to be long before teams, or corporations in general, with cash flows coming in have to revisit this. … What I wonder is, when is (bitcoin) going to be on the balance sheet? We’ll see on that. 

Welcome to The Ask, where each week Crypto Investor interviews essential voices doing the work to make crypto 'mainstream.' Exchange lightly edited.

This week we spoke to Sean Culkin, an NFL tight end who most recently played for the San Diego Chargers and pledged to take his next contract in Bitcoin. He was signed this spring by the Kansas City Chiefs, who agreed to his request, but subsequently released. He is simultaneously working to secure another NFL contract and working on an MBA.

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