Russell Okung: From NFL Superstar to Bitcoin Educator in 2 Years

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NFL star and left tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers Russell Okung has hosted a Bitcoin (BTC) conference to boost knowledge and adoption of the cryptocurrency.

Speakers at the event, hosted in Los Angeles on Sept. 1, included Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song, Morgan Creek Digital Assets co-founder Anthony Pompliano, eToro analyst Mati Greenspan and crypto podcaster Peter McCormack.

A 2017-esque embrace?

Some Twitter commentators have responded with barbed scepticism to Okung’s swift conversion into a cryptocurrency advocate: one characterizing it as “the most 2017 thing” in reference to the hype surrounding the sector ahead of its historic bull season in winter 2017.

Yet others believe that the enthusiasm of such a high-profile NFL player can bring valuable media attention to the sector and spread awareness of Bitcoin among a mainstream audience. 

This is alluded to in the event’s byline, which declares that “the mission of Bitcoin is mainstream adoption.”

Participant Mati Greenspan summarized key points from Okung’s talk, in which the sports star revealed that his family’s history and experience of banking restrictions in Nigeria had catalyzed his awareness of the need for individuals to have financial autonomy. Okung told McCormack:

“When someone asks me ‘What is Bitcoin?’ I always answer ‘What is freedom?’”

In his introduction to the event, Okung has written that he is planning to host further events and collaborate with various brands and innovators to promote the vision of Bitcoin creator Satoshi. “Global economic revolution is the goal,” he states.

Stardust

This spring, Cointelegraph ran an analysis piece exploring the positive impact — and potential pitfalls — of celebrity endorsements of the cryptocurrency industry, from sports superstars to Hollywood actors.

Earlier this month, legendary American professional boxer Mike Tyson was prompted to deny news putting forward his support for a blockchain-based platform for fighters dubbed Fight to Fame, which was subsequently alleged to be a fraudulent scheme.