Australian baseball club to pay players and staff in bitcoin

Perth Heat sponsorship and merchandise can also be paid for in bitcoin

A baseball bat and ball lie on a pitch set against a darkened arena                                 
The Australian baseball team have partnered with bitcoin payments company OpenNode – Photo:Shutterstock

Perth Heat, a baseball team in the Australian Baseball League and a foundation member of the league, have announced they will now pay their players in bitcoin.

The Australian baseball team have partnered with OpenNode, a bitcoin payments company, in order for the sports team to accept and make payments in bitcoin, powered by the Lightning Network.

The baseball team claim “it is the first professional sports club in the world to fully embrace bitcoin and the Lightning Network”.

This now means Perth Heat players and staff will be paid in bitcoin, sponsorship, merchandise and ballpark concessions can be paid in bitcoin and bitcoin will be held on the club’s balance sheet.

The OpenNode partnership means “Perth Heat is setting bitcoin as the new standard for payments and payouts”.

However, it is not mandatory that players and staff be paid in bitcoin. They can choose to be paid in fiat currency or take part of their salary in bitcoin.

Club rebrands itself as ‘the bitcoin baseball team’

On the Perth Heat website, it now reads ‘The bitcoin baseball team’ with the bitcoin ‘B’ featured in its logo.

Steven Nelkovski, CEO at Perth Heat, said: “We firmly believe that the mindset that bitcoin imparts on network participants will be felt by our players, coaches, staff, and our loyal fan base and we look forward to setting the bar for how much value a sports organisation can bring to a community in the bitcoin age. By embracing the underlying values of the bitcoin protocol, we believe that the organisation can reach new levels of success both on and off the field and remind the world of the true value of sports.

“We know the community looks to the Perth Heat as a model of success and we hope our adoption of a bitcoin Standard will inspire others to embrace a monetary system that demands value creation to thrive. The players and organisational staff have fully embraced the opportunities that being paid in bitcoin can provide.”

Patrick O’Sullivan, chief bitcoin officer at Perth Heat, said: “The Perth Heat are committed to operating according to a bitcoin Standard and in doing so are shifting the corporate treasury from dollars to bitcoin. The club has already established an initial position in BTC to help secure its digital property rights on the world’s most secure monetary network and will continue to reinvest available capital into bitcoin.

“We believe the world has begun to recognise the power of sound money principles and are determined to lead from the front. This is not a one-off purchase to hedge against future uncertainties or inflationary pressures. The Perth Heat are embracing the reality that the future of money and corporate treasuries will live on the Bitcoin blockchain.”

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