The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced it will now offer its professional players the option to receive part of their salary via cryptocurrency days before its third season starts on June 24.
The league, which was launched in 2019 and started with six teams that were all owned and managed by the Canadian Basketball Ventures group, will enable the new payment option by partnering with the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Bitbuy.
“Our partnership with Bitbuy speaks to our commitment to players, and also to our forward-thinking approach to how we go about our business,” said CEBL Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Mike Morreale of the crypto partnership which he claims to be the first of its kind in any professional sports league in North America.
Salaries in bitcoin
The professional basketball players, with the help of Bitbuy, will be given the option to receive a portion of their compensation in bitcoin, with the trading platform converting Canadian dollar payments into cryptocurrency and depositing the digital coins to the players’ personal crypto wallets.
“We’re excited to help the CEBL’s players protect their long-term wealth by getting paid in bitcoin,” said Charlie Aikenhead, Bitbuy’s Marketing VP, adding that the partnership shows a significant change in how athletes think about their compensation.
Meanwhile, the exchange, which has more than 300,000 users in Canada, is also set to become an official sponsor of the league as part of its deal with the CEBL.
The players’ response
The announcement gathered some favorable responses from the players.
Kimbal Mackenzie, a guard for the Guelph Nighthawks and is among the first players to get paid in crypto, said: “The opportunity to be paid in bitcoin is something I’m incredibly excited about. I believe cryptocurrency is the future.”
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