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Updated Bitcoin Odds: First Pro Sports League to Pay in BTC & Other Platforms to Accept the Cryptocurrency

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With at least two players seeking to be paid in Bitcoin during contract negotiations earlier this year, the NFL has emerged as the favorite to be the first sports league to pay a player with the popular cryptocurrency. Photo by Max Photos (Public Domain).
  • At least two NFL players sought to be paid in Bitcoin during recent contract negotiations
  • A growing number of European airlines are accepting Bitcoin as payment, but major US carriers have resisted the urge
  • Luxury automakers have led the way in Bitcoin acceptance, but GM could be poised to bring it to the mainstream

Sports leagues have long been early adopters of technology, and with a number of professional athletes getting involved in cryptocurrency initiatives, it is likely only a matter of time before the announcement of a player agreeing to a contract that will pay them in Bitcoin. With that in mind, oddsmakers have tagged the NFL as the favorites to be the first league to pay a player in Bitcoin, sporting short +175 odds.

Odds Which League Will Pay a Player in Bitcoin First

League Odds
NFL +175
NBA +250
NHL +250
MLB +400

All Odds taken on Dec. 17

Bitcoin enjoyed a dramatic climb in value in 2017, peaking at just under USD20000, and spurring considerable mainstream interest in the cryptocurrency. It also resulted in at least two NFL players requesting to be paid in Bitcoin during contract negotiations earlier this year. Both Buffalo Bills quarterback Matt Barkley and Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung continue to get paid in dollars, but their bid for Bitcoin-based contracts has spurred considerable interest among NFL players.

The NFL is not the only league wrestling with how to take advantage of Bitcoin. The NBA’s Sacramento Kings have been accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for tickets and merchandise since 2014, and were recently joined by the Dallas Mavericks. But while players are becoming increasingly open to accepting payment in Bitcoin, several issues must first be overcome.

Those include the continued market volatility impacting the price of Bitcoin, which could have a sudden unexpected impact on the dollar value of a contract, and on team salary caps. But with an increasing number of football players showing interest in a crypto payday, the NFL remains the best bet to be the first league to ink a Bitcoin-based player contract.

Pick: NFL (+175)

Odds Which US-Based Airline Will Accept Bitcoin First

Airline Odds
American Airlines Group +150
United Airlines +400
Delta Air Lines +500
Southwest Airlines +650

The travel industry has been among the leaders to get in on the Bitcoin rush. Several online booking sites and international airlines are already on board, including Expedia, Latvian-based airBaltic, and LOT Polish Airlines, while flights on dozens of additional airlines can be paid for using payment service providers like Bitpay.

While no major US carrier has yet to direct accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, American Airlines sits perched as the favorite to be the first do so, sporting short +150 odds. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker has stated publicly that the company would like to move its AAdvantage loyalty program to Bitcoin but also added that he had little knowledge or understanding of how Bitcoin works.

United Airlines trails American as a +250 second-favorite, ahead of Delta Airlines at +350, while Southwest Airlines lags at +450. There is little indication that United has any immediate plans to accept Bitcoin, however, Delta has reportedly tested the waters with reported plans to replace their loyalty program with one based on the Ethereum cryptocurrency called “SkyMirage”.

Southwest already enables customers to purchase travel using Bitcoin through the Fold payment platform, but when asked at the height of the Bitcoin boom about the prospect of the airline directly accepting the crypto as a form of payment, CEO Gary Kelly hedged, replying  “the way our monetary systems work today are pretty efficient.”

Southwest already enables customers to purchase travel using Bitcoin through the Fold payment platform, but when asked at the height of the Bitcoin boom about the prospect of the airline directly accepting the crypto as a form of payment, CEO Gary Kelly hedged, replying “the way our monetary systems work today are pretty efficient.”

Pick: Delta Airlines (+350)

Odds Which Auto Maker Will Accept Bitcoin First

League Odds
Ferrari +100
Honda +250
Nissan +250
GM +400
Ford +1000

While it has been regional and discount airlines that have led the way in accepting Bitcoin for air travel, it has been luxury and cutting-edge manufacturers like BMW and Tesla that have championed the adoption of Bitcoin as a payment form in the automotive industry. Not surprisingly, it is another luxury brand that leads the way in the odds on which automaker will be the next to get on board, with Ferrari perched as a +100 favorite.

However, General Motors has become increasingly involved in blockchain technologies used in the testing of self-paying and self-driving vehicles, and has backed up those initiatives with hefty investments in related companies. Can a move to accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment be far behind?

Pick: GM (+500)

Odds Amazon.com and Apple Accept Bitcoin Payments Before 2021

Will Amazon.com Accept Bitcoin Payments Before 2021? Odds
Yes +300
No -500
Will Apple Accept Bitcoin Payments Before 2021? Odds
Yes +350
No -600

Amazon.com has been at the forefront of the push towards cryptocurrency acceptance. In addition, the company’s existing arrangements with payment platforms that accept Bitcoin, Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, is part of a new initiative that enables retailers to accept payments from a consumer’s phone using apps like Apple Pay.

This allows the consumer to pay using the currency of their choice (dollars or Bitcoin) while the retailer accepts the payment in the currency of their choice. However, no timetable exists for widespread adoption of the technology, and Amazon.com has yet to accept direct payments in Bitcoin on its industry-leading website.

Apple may be somewhat closer to turning the corner on Bitcoin, suggesting at the launch of the iPhone 11 that it was taking a closer look at how to take advantage of cryptocurrency. However, the company continues to send mixed signals after indicating that its recently launched credit card cannot be used to buy cryptocurrency.

Picks: Amazon.com No (-500); Apple No (-600)

Odds Facebook’s “Libra” Cryptocurrency is Available to US Users Before 2021

Result Odds
Yes +250
No -400

Facebook also made a splash with its recent unveiling of its Libra cryptocurrency, which was originally set for launch in 2020.

However, with the company facing considerable pushback from regulators in the United States, and lawmakers in both the US and France pushing for the project to be scrapped, any rollout of Libra in the US would appear to be years away.

Pick: No (-400)

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