9 min read

September 16, 2021

Juno Picks: Top 10 Celebrities That Get Paid in Crypto

From sports stars like Ronaldo and Messi to musicians like Mel B and 50 Cent, there’s been a surge in the number of celebrities getting paid in cryptocurrency over the past few years.

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Cryptocurrency is reaching new heights in 2021 — we now see not only tech professionals and entrepreneurs but even celebrities across the world getting paid in crypto today. 

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a round-up of ten celebrities that take part or all of their earnings in cryptocurrency. In addition to this, many other celebrities are tweeting about and investing in different types of digital currency, showing us that crypto is becoming mainstream across the world — and is here to stay!

50 Cent 

50 Cent

Rapper 50 Cent decided to accept Bitcoin for his fifth album "Animal Ambition" in 2014. He raked in about 700 Bitcoin in June 2014, when one Bitcoin was worth $662. 

This means he made around $460,000 in sales at the time, and currently holds Bitcoin worth $8 million, making him one of the first musicians to profit from the cryptocurrency boom. 

The artist confirmed this by sharing a post on Instagram with the caption: "Not bad for a kid from South Side, I'm so proud of me." 

Russell Okung

Russell Okung

In 2020, former Carolina Panthers star Russell Okung agreed to receive half of his $13 million salary in Bitcoin. 

With Bitcoin prices continuing to rise week after week, it seems that Okung made the right decision at the right time. In fact, if we look at the present Bitcoin value, he can be considered as one of the highest-paid NFL players at the moment. 

For example, when Bitcoin hit $44, half of his contract paid in Bitcoin reached $10.59 million, and at $56K, that half turned into more than his entire quoted salary.

Okung stated, “Getting paid in Bitcoin is the first step of opting out of the corrupt, manipulated economy we all inhabit. When we are all paid in Bitcoin, no one can tell us what to do with the value we create.”

Mel B

Mel B

The former member of British pop group Spice Girls, Mel B became the first British artist in history to accept payment in Bitcoin in 2013. 

Mel B has always been a trendsetter and was quick to recognize the potential of cryptocurrency. She partnered with the now-defunct CloudHashing, a London-based company that offered Bitcoin-mining contracts, to allow the sale of her 2014 Christmas single via Bitcoin. 

At the time, she was excited to try the new currency and said, "I love how new technology makes our lives easier, and to me that's exciting. Bitcoin unites my fans around the world using one currency."

Sean Culkin

Sean Culkin

Kansas City Chiefs’ Sean Culkin is all set to convert his entire 2021 salary of $920,000 into Bitcoin, making him the first NFL player to do so. 

He will use a Dollar-to-Bitcoin convertor, called Strike by Zap, an app that allows users to make Bitcoin transactions via bank account or debit card. It is the same service Russell Okung used to receive half of his salary in Bitcoin from the Carolina Panthers. 

Culkin tweeted, “I fully believe Bitcoin is the future of finance, and I wanted to prove that I have real skin in the game — not just trying to make a quick buck. I will be converting my entire 2021 NFL salary to #Bitcoin.”

Trevor Lawrence 

Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence is another pro athlete who went public with his Bitcoin salary. Lawrence was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars No.1 overall in the NFL draft in May 2021. 

He partnered with crypto investing app, Blockfolio, to invest his estimated signing bonus of $22,630,055 in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. Apart from this, he has also invested in a newer blockchain platform called Solana



As a part of an initiative called Project Coral Reef, 35 renowned artists, including G-Eazy, Mariah Carey, the Backstreet Boys, and Dolly Parton, have come together to provide their fans with discounted music and merchandise using the cryptocurrency Monero

Monero is currently the ninth-largest cryptocurrency with a price of $252 per coin. This is the first time stores have started accepting Monero, which was earlier used only for dark web purchases. 

G-Eazy said, "As cryptocurrencies become more popular, it's important that my fans have choices when it comes to how they buy my songs and merchandise. Given Monero is one of the safest and most secure cryptocurrencies, it's one of the best options for my fans to purchase my new album.

Saquon Barkley 

Saquon Barkley

New York Giants star Saquon Barkley has revealed that he will take all his endorsement money only in the world's oldest and most prominent cryptocurrency: Bitcoin. 

Barkley announced this on an episode of Joe Pompliano's new show on YouTube, The Best Business Show. 

He said, "You see how high [inflation] is and you learn you can't save yourself through wealth. That's why I am going to be taking my marketing money in Bitcoin."

Cade Cunningham 

Cade Cunningham

In August 2021, the top NBA draft pick by Detroit Pistons, Cade Cunningham, signed a sponsorship deal with crypto firm BlockFi to receive his signing bonus in Bitcoin.

According to the agreement, Cunningham will collaborate with BlockFi to raise awareness about the value of cryptocurrencies via educational videos, exclusive interviews, and promotional giveaways. 

He added, "Many hardworking people still don't have access to cost-efficient, reliable options to save and invest."

Lionel Messi 

Lionel Messi

Argentine soccer legend Lionel Messi has received cryptocurrency as part of his new two-year contract signed with the French club Paris Saint-Germain. The player will receive crypto as part of his $30 million payment from his welcome package at the club. 

While the total amount of his welcome package has not been revealed officially, the club has stated it is a "significant" amount

As a result of this news, the official fan token of the club, known as PSG, has experienced a massive surge in its trading volumes and price. Launched in January 2020, this token is priced at $30.69 and can be converted to fiat currency through various cryptocurrency exchange providers. Plus, it provides holders with decision-making power in some matters of the club.  

Cristiano Ronaldo 

Cristiano Ronaldo

The former Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo received fan tokens, known as JUV, prior to Juventus' Serie A clash with Benevento, making him the first footballer to be rewarded with cryptocurrency. 

JUV is the official Juventus fan token that gives holders the chance to vote on club decisions and access to various perks and prizes. Plus, they can interact with the club and make decisions through an app called Socios

The legendary Portuguese footballer received 770 Juventus fan tokens for his 770 senior goals, which are approximately worth $11,750 based on the current price of $15.26 per token.

Cryptocurrency has gained significant traction and a growing user base over recent years, thanks to its developers and the celebrities who have invested in it and adopted it as a payment method. 

Although it's unclear when the digital currency will be adopted by the masses, what we know for sure is that some of the world’s most influential people now consider cryptocurrency to be very valuable indeed!

Aishwarya Aggarwal
Aishwarya Aggarwal
Aishwarya Aggarwal is a content writer passionate about helping brands create value-packed content that connects and converts. When not writing, she finds solace in dabbling with the beauty of colors on a white canvas.

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