Saquon Barkley just made the riskiest decision of his career.
Thankfully for Giants fans, it had nothing to do with his ACL injury rehab –– or anything football related for that matter. Barkley’s risk is financial.
“I will be taking my marketing money in Bitcoin,” Barkley told Anthony Pompliano on the “The Best Business Show” in early July.
Sign up for Giants Extra: Get exclusive news, behind-the-scenes observations and the ability to text directly with reporters
That means 100% of Barkley’s endorsement money will be paid in Bitcoin via the payment app Strike. With countless Bitcoin success stories out there, Barkley is convinced he’ll be one, too –– after all, he is investing over $10 million annually, which could currently buy him 250.06 BTC. According to experts though, Barkley should temper his expectations.
“He’s taking a gamble,” Forbes cryptocurrency expert Billy Barmbrough told NJ Advance Media. “A very important rule of investing is that historical past performance should not be used to predict future performance. While it may seem like a tempting idea, it’s a very risky one. It could go very badly, very quickly.”
The reason Barkley’s investment is so risky is because of Bitcoin’s volatility. The value swings constantly and as Forbes put it in a recent analysis: “Anyone considering (investing in cryptocurrency) should be prepared to lose their entire investment.” Bitcoin’s market makes it so unstable.
“The reason it’s volatile is because it’s a relatively immature market,” Bambrough said. “Nobody really knows exactly what it should be valued at, so the price swings quite a lot.
“No one is able to say with any confidence what the price will be in 6 months, a year or 10 years.”
Aside from volatility, another thing Barkley should worry about is future regulations on cryptocurrencies. While it’s mostly deregulated, countries like China and South Korea issued crackdowns on crypto trading, causing massive drops in value. Bambrough said regulations like this could completely empty Barkley’s investment.
“It’s difficult to say what regulations will look like in the future,” Bambrough said. “It’s possible that people who are putting their money –– or sponsorship deals –– into it now might find that in a year’s time, they’re unable to access the crypto assets that they invested in.”
Cryptocurrency instabilities could be devastating to millions of Americans in a few years –– including several NFL players. Along with Barkley, rookie QB Trevor Lawrence and free agent tackle Russell Okung had some of their contracts paid in Bitcoin.
Barkley said his interest in Bitcoin sparked after being sidelined for most of the 2020 season with an ACL injury. This offseason, Barkley had conversations with his agent as well as Bitcoin investors Anthony and Joe Pompliano and Jack Mallers. These talks persuaded him to fully commit to it.
“When you see the KDs, the LeBrons and Bradys of the world and you want to create generational wealth, you can’t do that with the sport that I play and the position that I play and coming off of injuries,” Barkley said.
If Bitcoin remains stable, Barkley could rake in a significant profit. While he knows a potential boom –– or bust –– in his investment won’t happen overnight, he’s fully confident in his choice.
“We’ll see how right I am in a couple of years,” Barkley said.
Get Giants text messages: Cut through the clutter of social media and text directly with beat writers. Plus, exclusive news and analysis. Sign up now for a free trial.
Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a subscription.
Ryan Novozinsky may be reached at email@example.com. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.