This Pro Baseball Team Is Paying Players and Staff in Bitcoin, Holds $BTC in Balance Sheet

This Pro Baseball Team Is Paying Players and Staff in Bitcoin, Holds $BTC in Balance Sheet

Recently, Australia’s Perth Heat became the first team in professional sport to fully embrace Bitcoin and its Lightning Network.

Perth Heat is the most successful team in the Australian Baseball League (ABL), having won 15 Claxton Shields.

On November 16, the club announced their “partnership with leading Bitcoin payments company OpenNode to accept Bitcoin payments and send Bitcoin payouts powered by the Lightning Network”, thereby becoming “the first professional sports club in the world to fully embrace Bitcoin and the Lightning Network for payment acceptance and payroll for staff and players.”

According to the club’s press release, this partnership will allow them to pay players and staff members in Bitcoin, accept BTC payments for “sponsorships, merchandise, and ballpark concessions”, and hold BTC in its balance sheet.

In short, the Perth Heat has chosen to use Bitcoin as the standard for payments and payouts.

Perth Heat’s Chief Bitcoin Officer Patrick O’Sullivan had this to say:

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 recognize 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.

And Perth Heat CEO Steven Nelkovski added:

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 organization can bring to a community in the Bitcoin age. By embracing the underlying values of the Bitcoin protocol we believe that the organization 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 organizational staff have fully embraced the opportunities that being paid in Bitcoin can provide.

Bitcoin-only payment processor OpenNode was launched on 21 May 2018. The official Medium blog post announcing the launch called OpenNode “A lightning network enabled bitcoin payment processor that requires 0 technical knowledge from businesses to integrate.” 

Here are the benefits that OpenNode offers to merchants:

  • “Merchants can choose from 190+ source currencies to create bitcoin payment requests in.”
  • “Convert to your preferred local currency at the time of transaction to avoid bitcoin price changes.”
  • “Convert settled funds to/from bitcoin anytime. Hold funds in your preferred currency and optimize funds transfers.”
  • “When you deposit local currency, OpenNode converts to bitcoin at the time payouts are initiated to provide price certainty.”

The list of fiat currencies available for bank transfers and automatic conversions via OpenNode’s bank/exchange partners includes:

  • 🇺🇸 USD
  • 🇪🇺 EUR
  • 🇬🇧 GBP
  • 🇧🇷 BRL
  • 🇲🇽 MXN
  • 🇦🇺 AUD
  • 🇨🇦 CAD (soon)


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

Image Credit

Featured Image by “Shahrokh” via Pixabay

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