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News: 7-Time NFL Champion Takes Stake in Crypto Exchange FTX

Tom Brady stands behind cryptocurrency and the other ways it's becoming mainstream.

Justin Cupler

Contributing Writer at Tally

August 6, 2021

Tom Brady, seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and future first-ballot Hall of Famer, and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bündchen, have long been cryptocurrency supporters. Recently, they went all-in on crypto by taking an undisclosed stake in FTX Trading Ltd., a cryptocurrency exchange platform. 

In taking the equity stake, Brady will also become an FTX ambassador. Bündchen will take a role within FTX as well as, an environmental and social initiatives adviser. There were no financial terms released, but the couple will receive an undisclosed amount of cryptocurrency in exchange for their services.

Brady has other off-market financial deals in the works. This year, Brady announced he would release Autograph, a non-fungible token (NFT) — a blockchain that certifies the uniqueness of a digital asset — that’ll unite iconic sports brands, fashion and pop culture to create digital collectible items. 

This is just one example of how cryptocurrency is being legitimized through mainstream adoption. In case you missed it, here’s a “bit” of cryptocurrency news. 

In June, El Salvador’s lawmakers voted to make Bitcoin a legal tender within the country, meaning stores can price items in the cryptocurrency and citizens can pay taxes with it. The new law garnered 64 total votes out of 84 potential votes.

El Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele stressed that Bitcoin becoming legal tender will make it easier for citizens living abroad to send money back home to their families. 

El Salvador will continue using the U.S. dollar as its national currency, but the law will forbid companies from rejecting Bitcoin as a payment method. 

To help spur interest in Bitcoin adoption, El Salvador will give $30 in Bitcoin to all citizens who download the government’s cryptocurrency app and complete their registration. 

El Salvador’s new cryptocurrency law will go into effect on September 7, 2021. 

Elon Musk and Tesla backtrack on cryptocurrency

In May 2021, Elon Musk announced Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as a payment method, citing the amount of energy it takes to mine and its environmental impact. This was just two months after the company began accepting it as payment. 

In July 2021, at the B Word cryptocurrency conference, Musk softened his stance, saying Tesla would likely resume accepting cryptocurrency at some point. His key to accepting it as payment is that at least 50% of its mining operations are fueled by renewable energy. 

After Musk’s comments, Bitcoin rose 6%, and Ethereum rose 10.6%.

Accepting cryptocurrency as payment

While cryptocurrency trading is nothing new, its acceptance as a payment tool is still a work in progress. In 2021, cryptocurrency pushed into the mainstream, as more companies announced they will accept it or are planning to accept it

Mastercard announced in February 2021 that it would start supporting cryptocurrencies natively on its network by the end of the year. But there was one caveat — it would only accept those that meet strict stability, privacy and anti-money-laundering compliance. While this adds legitimacy to the cryptocurrency world, it remains to be seen if any of these digital currencies meet Mastercard’s requirements.

In March 2021, PayPal announced it would start allowing its users to pay merchants with cryptocurrency. In one swoop, this opened Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to the worldwide marketplace. 

In May 2021, Sotheby’s announced it would accept Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment for the auction of the Banksy artwork “Love is in the Air.” While Bitcoin was used to sell Beeple’s digital artwork “Everydays - The First 5000 Days,” Banksy’s auction was the first to fetch cryptocurrency for a physical piece. 

Look at any cryptocurrency timeline, and it’s a rollercoaster ride. For example, Bitcoin plummeted below $30,000 per coin back in mid-June, only to shoot back up to $42,000 on June 30. As of August 2, it dropped back down to $39,354.

Despite its volatility, cryptocurrency remains a popular investment option, including among the wealthy, like super couple Brady and Bündchen. However, even with sustained popularity, most financial experts recommend limiting crypto investing within a portfolio.