Tom Brady has “definitely” gotten involved in investing in the cryptocurrency market, the seven-time Super Bowl champion said Thursday.
“I’m a big believer in [crypto],” Brady said in a pre-recorded video interview with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. He did not share any specific details about which crypto assets he’s invested in.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback only recently entered the public crypto sphere, launching non-fungible token (NFT) platform Autograph last month and changing his Twitter profile picture to the bitcoin laser eyes meme shortly after.
“In my understanding, it was really a vote of confidence to really get into the conversation as I’m such a big believer in crypto, and where things are heading in the world,” Brady said.
But Brady, who won six of his Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots of the U.S. National Football League before signing with Tampa Bay, said he’s been discussing cryptocurrency for far longer than just the past month. And when asked whether he had “gotten involved with any investing in crypto,” Brady said, “I definitely have.”
“In our quarterback room, one of my coaches has been on it for eight, nine months. So we talk about it basically every day, the prices of the different tokens, how the space is doing,” Brady said.
He compared his embrace of the crypto space to his approach to health and wellness.
“I’ve been someone who decided to treat my body differently than the way that everyone else treated it,” said Brady, who also runs his own health business.
NFL players’ BTC embrace
However, Brady does not anticipate being paid in crypto the way his peers have sought. Free agent offensive tackle Russell Okung, free agent tight end Sean Culkin and free agent quarterback Matt Barkley have all sought to get their salaries in bitcoin.
While a member of the Carolina Panthers, Okung secured an arrangement where the Panthers would send half of his salary to crypto startup Zap, which would convert it to BTC.
Culkin later secured a similar deal while on the Kansas City Chiefs but was cut shortly thereafter. No National Football League player has been paid directly in crypto by his team to date.
“At the end of the day, technically that can’t happen, [teams] can’t pay their athletes [in bitcoin], what they pay is in dollars,” Brady said. “But I mean, how you invest your money? Absolutely. So I definitely think there’ll be more solutions as this is more widely adopted in all areas of our lives.”
For Brady, crypto’s value proposition is that markets are being disrupted and the nascent asset class may well be here to stay.
“We’re learning more and more about these emerging markets,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going anywhere. … The world is changing. … And you can be ahead of the curve or behind it, and I’m choosing to be ahead of it.”
Bankman-Fried, who, through FTX, recently bought the naming rights to the stadium where the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat plays, said it’s difficult for people who are “glued to the screen looking at price action” to look away, but he advises traders to do so anyway.
“If the only reason you’re in crypto is because you think prices are going to go up, that’s, OK, I mean, you know, so be it,” he said, adding:
“But … sometimes [prices] go down and that sucks, but if a lot of what you’re coming from is the perspective of, ‘Look, here’s why I think crypto can be really cool and here are the problems I think you can solve’ … I think that’s a good time to take a step back.”
Brady’s NFT play
NFTs may represent the “next generation of interaction between celebrities” and brands with their fans, Brady said.
He said he launched Autograph to be a part of the crypto community, and make it easier for celebrities or popular brands to create collectibles for their current fans.
“When I was a kid, I was a big baseball card collector. Understanding that the kids now in the digital age, you know, are going to want so many things at their disposal on their devices, it’s a great opportunity to be involved in that for unique collectibles, but really to provide great experiences for different fans and collectors,” Brady said.
The wide-ranging conversation capped off CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021 event and was moderated by FTX.US COO Sina Nader.