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Monday, April 12, 2021

Oakland A’s Discuss Paying Player Salaries in Crypto

Oakland A’s president Dave Kaval tells SportTechie that the next round of collective bargaining negotiations in Major League Baseball and other sports could include stipulations on paying players in cryptocurrency.

When asked if A’s players have expressed interest in receiving salary payments in crypto, Kaval said, “I’ve talked to some of our players, and yes they are. I wouldn’t be surprised that in the next CBA, you might see that as a topic. One of the bargaining points might be receiving payment in crypto. That negotiation is just starting in baseball, but you have that happening in other sports too.”

Earlier this season, the A’s became the first MLB club to complete a cryptocurrency transaction by selling a full-season suite to digital asset trading platform Voyager for one Bitcoin. The suites sell for $65,000, roughly equivalent to Bitcoin’s current price of almost $60,000.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 11:50 AM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, cryptocurrencies

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   1. Traderdave Posted: April 12, 2021 at 01:32 PM (#6012982)
IMO unless/until cryptos are accepted as payment for taxes (and debts, but especially taxes) they will never rise above novelty status at best. They will probably crash in a destruction of value that makes the dot com bust feel like a massage and glass of wine.

That said, I'm willing to change my mind if I see credible evidence to the contrary. If any one has such, fire away, I'm all ears.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 02:02 PM (#6012993)
The issue is that crypto currencies can be an asset class, or a currency, not both. A currency that constantly appreciates in value is a disaster.
   3. caspian88 Posted: April 12, 2021 at 02:34 PM (#6013006)
I'm sure the Athletics would love to pay their players in used peanut shells too. Old cartoons told me that elephants love peanuts, too.
   4. JRVJ Posted: April 12, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6013012)
2, absolutely agree with you.
   5. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 12, 2021 at 02:41 PM (#6013015)
IMO unless/until cryptos are accepted as payment for taxes (and debts, but especially taxes) they will never rise above novelty status at best. They will probably crash in a destruction of value that makes the dot com bust feel like a massage and glass of wine.

That said, I'm willing to change my mind if I see credible evidence to the contrary. If any one has such, fire away, I'm all ears

cryptocurrencies are backstopped by the black market. there will always be people who do not want, or are not able, to interact with the traditional global marketplace, with banks and credit card companies, and cryptocurrencies are a fairly ideal solution for their problems. while black markets are not "legal", they are real, and crypto will be their preferred solution for the foreseeable future. and so even if everyone else walks away from crypto (which is not going to happen, btw), crypto will still have that role in the global marketplace.

don't forget, the earliest adopters of cryptocurrencies weren't hipster bros or wall street douches; they were white supremacists, drug dealers, sex traffickers, libertarians, child pornographers, and other such disgraceful "members" of society. and they're not going anywhere, as long we don't have a viable plan for their extermination.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 02:43 PM (#6013018)
2, absolutely agree with you.

There's actually solid historical evidence of this. In the mid-19th century the industrial revolution was humming, but gold discoveries had slowed to a trickle, causing a continuing rise in demand for gold b/c of the gold standard. The increasing price of gold, and the deflationary impact caused severe depression in the US and Europe throughout the 1870s and 1880s. The issue was only alleviated with the Alaskan and South Africa gold rushes in the 1890s.

This phenomenon also gave us the Free Silver movement in the U.S., and the Wizard of Oz!
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 12, 2021 at 02:45 PM (#6013020)
and the Wizard of Oz!
And, therefore, Dark Side of the Moon!
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#6013024)
And, therefore, Dark Side of the Moon!

So, it was all worthwhile in the end!
   9. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6013026)
Even criminals aren't going to use a currency that changed drastically day to day and week to week.

Also crypt ain't dark money. I mean sure 8f you're physically handing of an e-wallet to someone it's about as hard to track as some junkie handing a dealer 10 dollars. But even with e-wallets anything beyond minor numbers will eventually enter into a system that can and will track the asset.


At this point only an idiot would pay for a nickel bag with cryptocurrency.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: April 12, 2021 at 05:51 PM (#6013058)
Further ... if some players want cryptocurrencies, they can take their nice juicy paychecks and buy cryptocurrencies. I assume those players would prefer the convenience of being paid directly in crypto but it hardly seems like a "negotiation point" where the union would give up something. And at the moment, it's management that's floating the idea.

I mean they could pay players in art, real estate, encrypted digital pictures of cats, pokemons or pork belly futures if everybody agrees and they can find an independent assessor of value (and the IRS gets their cut).
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 12, 2021 at 06:10 PM (#6013063)
The union will have to hire a team of actuaries to come up with crypto-to-Respect!! conversion charts.
   12. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 12, 2021 at 06:19 PM (#6013066)
Honestly, if it were possible to crack down on cryptocurrencies, I'd be in favor of a full ban on them. They allow cybercriminals to pay for their transactions and they use boatloads of energy to operate (compare the energy cost of a bit coin transaction to a credit card transaction- it's a whole different world). And most of them are basically pyramid schemes where people buy the stuff not to use, but to dump on somebody else at a higher price, knowing that person will only buy it because they think they can find an even bigger sucker later. All I see with respect to cryptocurrencies are negatives to society.
   13. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: April 12, 2021 at 06:30 PM (#6013070)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the value of a coin is supposed to be the underlying work right? So, for example I decide my business needs a block chain smart contract register, I need computing power to build the blocks. The miners do that, building my block chain for me so my business can function, and as a reward they get a token of some value. Or at least, that's the way it was explained to me when tokens were more closely tied to the idea of block chain tech being revolutionary. As I understand it now, nobody has come up with a good use for block chain, so they aren't as closely tied, with Bitcoin basically being a token given for building blocks that just record bitcoin transactions.

Long story short, if the block chain people are right and it eventually becomes a transformative technology then crypto will have value. The idea that it will have the value that a bitcoin has now seems far fetched though. And you still have to weigh the energy cost.
   14. For the Turnstiles (andeux) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 08:38 PM (#6013103)
I wish the A's were more willing to pay their players in any kind of currency.
   15. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 10:18 PM (#6013139)
The fact that the world's largest bank custodian is going to begin supporting cryptocurrency in certain capacities (announced earlier this February) is a pretty significant moment in the big picture of cryptocurrency viability. That's not a statement of its inevitability or future dominance, just a signal of credibility. The banks want to get their beaks wet too you know.
   16. The Duke Posted: April 12, 2021 at 11:06 PM (#6013146)
I’ve worked in investment banking my whole life and never understood exactly why people are so mesmerized by them. What makes them different from old baseball cards, for instance?

I went to a conference a few years back where a smart crypto guy was being asked by a bunch of corporate treasurers “should we be thinking about paying people in cryptos?” He said, and this the only thing anyone has ever said that I understood about them, think of these things as bearer bonds. The moment you move them from your account to someone else’s, they are gone for good. Now think about checks, Achs, and Wire transfers. In each case, there are mechanisms to reclaim your money if you make a mistake and realize it quickly. So, why would you leave those money transmission mechanisms and go backward to bearer bonds. He said, having said that, there’s always been a niche market for bearer bonds so cryptos will likely replace them.

I see them as nothing more than a Dutch tulip.

Btw - the big change you will see any time now is the disappearance of cash and credit cards from retail commerce. Credit cards will still be used in e-commerce but all in person activity will quickly shift to Apple Pay or other like mechanisms. It’s been that way in China for several years and I hear now it’s dominating the UK market - once we surface from the pandemic it will all change overnight.
   17. Brian C Posted: April 12, 2021 at 11:36 PM (#6013150)
Btw - the big change you will see any time now is the disappearance of cash and credit cards from retail commerce. Credit cards will still be used in e-commerce but all in person activity will quickly shift to Apple Pay or other like mechanisms. It’s been that way in China for several years and I hear now it’s dominating the UK market - once we surface from the pandemic it will all change overnight.

This seems unlikely to me. We still have a very vocal constituency for cash transactions, and retailers already balk at the transaction fees for normal everyday debit and credit card payments. And I think that, if anything, the pandemic has set any potential timeline for this back indefinitely - there's already a substantial segment of the populace, from both the left and the right, who are skeptical of how easily everyday activities are tracked and surveilled, and the pandemic seems to have only aggravated those concerns. And adoption of such systems seems to have progressed very slowly here - the fact that they've caught on elsewhere but not here seems like prima facie evidence that the conditions here are unfavorable for rapid adoption in the near-to-medium-term future.

I guess I just don't see what the driving mechanism for this change is going to be here in the US. Too many people unbanked, too many retailers hesitant to get on board, too many people who don't trust the system.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: April 13, 2021 at 02:49 AM (#6013159)
#17 ... the US drags but the world has moved on and even moreso in the pandemic. Other than the occasional small takeaway that accepts only cash, I've paid for most everything with a card for the last 15 years in Oz and NZ. That includes $4 at the coffee kiosk, convenience store or hospital vending machine. I think I've seen one old lady write a check at an Australian grocery store in the 8 years I've been here although still a fair number who pay in cash. Even the 70+ crowd are using their phones now (via their bank apps I think, not ApplePay). The under 30 crowd seems all phone (or watch). During the pandemic, it became a faux pas to pay in cash and cashiers have been a bit surprised/wary when I've forgotten and tried to. If I'm willing to let the state of NSW track me wherever I go, I don't even need to carry my driver's license anymore.

So yeah, I gotta carry cash for when I go to the hole in the wall that makes banh mi. I think I've been to the ATM once, maybe twice this year (I need to cut down on the banh mi). I do need to go to the bank to deposit my US stimulus check (I kid you not).

EDIT: Now that I think of it, I've seen a couple of young'uns who seem to have had chips installed.
   19. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: April 13, 2021 at 03:01 AM (#6013160)
So yeah, I gotta carry cash for when I go to the hole in the wall that makes banh mi.


Good banh mi are always found at a hole in the wall.

(I need to cut down on the banh mi)


Your words are strange to my people.
   20. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 13, 2021 at 06:11 AM (#6013161)
How about management taking their salaries in crypto first?
   21. Adam Starblind Posted: April 13, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6013179)
Nothing as volatile as bitcoin will ever gain traction as a means of paying for something. There are stories about people buying pizzas a sushi for what would now be hundreds of thousands of dollars. You'd never buy or sell something without knowing with any certainty what you were giving up or getting in return. There are ways to hedge that, but that's not practical for most people and businesses.

There are "stablecoins" that are tied to the value of fiat currency, but I have no idea how reliably.
   22. Adam Starblind Posted: April 13, 2021 at 09:46 AM (#6013181)
#17 ... the US drags but the world has moved on and even moreso in the pandemic. Other than the occasional small takeaway that accepts only cash, I've paid for most everything with a card for the last 15 years in Oz and NZ. That includes $4 at the coffee kiosk, convenience store or hospital vending machine. I think I've seen one old lady write a check at an Australian grocery store in the 8 years I've been here although still a fair number who pay in cash. Even the 70+ crowd are using their phones now (via their bank apps I think, not ApplePay). The under 30 crowd seems all phone (or watch).


All true in the United States.
   23. McCoy Posted: April 13, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6013196)
I see no reason to pay with my phone.
   24. Brian C Posted: April 13, 2021 at 11:38 AM (#6013201)
Yeah I pay for everything with a card too and also rarely use cash, but that's not really my point. There are still astounding (to me) numbers of people who regularly use cash here, and small merchants that encourage/require it, and as a result I'm just skeptical that cash/credit card payments will go away "overnight" here any time soon.
   25. McCoy Posted: April 13, 2021 at 01:09 PM (#6013214)
Tap to pay still isn't universal
   26. McCoy Posted: April 13, 2021 at 01:11 PM (#6013215)
The switch to insert card was basically "overnight"
   27. Walt Davis Posted: April 13, 2021 at 09:22 PM (#6013300)
Small businesses like cash because it's a lot easier to not ring up the occasional sale and not owe sales tax on it. (I have never been offered a receipt for my banh mi.) I assume wait staff still prefer cash tips.

Anyway, proportion of pop 15+ with a debit card, by country, 2017: Netherlands leads the way at nearly 99% ... Canada at 97%, NZ is at 96%, Australia at 90% ... US at 80%.

From this: Tap and go payments have taken so long to hit the US, where the rollout at scale is happening in 2019, giving card-issuing banks a chance to grab market share. In 2017, according to the Federal Reserve, US consumers made USD 6.6 trillion in payments on credit, debit, and prepaid cards, 8% more than in 2016. Due to the market complexity (thousands of banks, tens of millions of merchants, a fragmented payment industry, the Target data breach in 2013), issuers moved to issue cards with chips, which are harder to counterfeit.

Once terminals that accept cards with chips are in place, the move to contactless only requires updated cards. However, the delay on chip cards put the US way behind on contactless. Fortunately, in November 2018, JP Morgan Chase announced that all of its credit and debit card holders would be moved to contactless by the end of 2019. Also, Visa says that it expects 100 million contactless Visa cards to be issued in the US by the end of 2019.


Contactless was introduced in NZ in 2011 and, per this really took off in 2014.
   28. TJ Posted: April 13, 2021 at 11:29 PM (#6013321)
Crypto will never be accepted by the vast majority of athletes until it can be used to make it rain at a strip club...
   29. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2021 at 08:02 AM (#6013335)
Yeah, when I thought I lost my card and I asked for a replacement they sent me a tap and go card. Of course now that I have one I haven't come across a place where I can use it. My wife still has just a chip card.
   30. Ron J Posted: April 14, 2021 at 09:06 AM (#6013345)
There are still "no tap" places, but if a place is tap enabled I get funny looks if I try to insert. It's just assumed that you'll tap.
   31. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2021 at 10:44 AM (#6013354)
Some place tried to get me to tap once and I'm like I don't have that card. No no no just tap it.
   32. DL from MN Posted: April 14, 2021 at 11:13 AM (#6013357)
There are still astounding (to me) numbers of people who regularly use cash here


I run into places all the time that only take cash - concession stands at the high school for one. I don't remember if I've ever seen a "tap and pay" kiosk.
   33. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2021 at 11:43 AM (#6013359)
Finally got to use a tap and pay today for a rack of lamb.
   34. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 14, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6013363)
I'm living in Spain at the moment and they've been regularly about 5 years or so ahead of the US. Back in 2015 almost every place wanted a chip on a card to pay; my bank card didn't have one at the time, so they would have to run it manually. Now I have a chip, but most places want to tap to pay. My bank (a major national bank) doesn't have tap-to-pay cards yet, though I got one from my Spanish bank and use that.
   35. Jay Seaver Posted: April 14, 2021 at 01:27 PM (#6013365)
Just traveling to Montreal every summer, it's often seemed like the US has been really slow to upgrade for a number or reasons, and I kind of suspect that everybody's trying to take a big enough slice that it becomes an issue. Pre-pandemic, I was paying by check at my friend's comic shop because he'd mentioned that the 3-5% or whatever the bank takes on a card can be kind of a big deal, enough that I've at least tried to be conscientious about paying in cash where I can. If you're not a big account, your bank is probably not helping you upgrade your equipment. I suspect that a lot of other countries have central banks which offer things like debit card and processing services for much closer than nothing than is available to the average American individual or small business, which likely puts more pressure on the big businesses which will absolutely save a few bucks by not upgrading for as long as they can get away with it.

Plus, I suspect we've got more people who are at least crank-adjacent in the US than the global average. Say "chip" or "RFID" and folks will freak out, but those same people worried about being tracked everywhere will also vote for people dead-set against regulating anything, including what a business can do with your personal information and transaction history.
   36. Traderdave Posted: April 15, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6013553)
I guess I'm one of the last dinosaurs: I carry cash daily, a lifelong habit.

   37. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: April 15, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#6013563)
I guess I'm one of the last dinosaurs: I carry cash daily, a lifelong habit.


Nah, I'm an older millennial and I always have cash. Machines break, internet goes down, no reason not to carry some cash.
   38. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: April 15, 2021 at 10:55 AM (#6013564)
I guess I'm one of the last dinosaurs: I carry cash daily, a lifelong habit.


I always have some cash on me. However, as the pandemic was starting, i took out $80 from the atm. I didn't have to get more cash until last month. And haven't used any of the $60 I got out then.

Also, regarding crypto, all i know is the $5 of Doge I got a couple months ago is now worth $14! To the Moon!
   39. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 15, 2021 at 11:30 AM (#6013571)
I always have some cash on me. Some stores won’t accept cards for purchases below a certain amount and I hate having to buy extra stuff to meet the minimum when I don’t have cash.

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