The Perth Heat baseball club has announced it will use the Bitcoin Lightning Network to pay its players and staff with Bitcoin, making it the first pro sports organisation in the world to completely embrace BTC as a payroll option.

(Note, we could have said something like, the Heat is hitting a crypto home run… but we refrained. You’re welcome.)

Pitching the idea to its staff and players would have been an interesting conversation for the Heat’s CEO Steven Nelkovski, but the entire club is seemingly only too happy to step up to the plate and participate with diamond hands. (Damn, we buckled.)

“The players and organisational staff have fully embraced the opportunities that being paid in Bitcoin can provide,” said Nelkovski.

According to an announcement, the pro baseball club has partnered with leading BTC payments processor OpenNode and will send and receive the Bitcoin payments over the Lightning Network, which is a super-fast payments rail for the OG crypto.

The partnership with OpenNode will also allow the Heat to accept Bitcoin payments for sponsorships, merchandise and other sources of revenue.

And not only that, the club really seems to be going all in here – it says it’s embracing the “Bitcoin standard”, holding BTC on its balance sheet and is even partly rebranding to refer to itself as “the Bitcoin Baseball Team”.

Source: Twitter

“As part of this sporting world exclusive, Perth Heat will hodl Bitcoin on the club’s balance sheet,” reads the press release.

Nelkovski says he believes that the club’s “adoption of a Bitcoin Standard will inspire others to embrace a monetary system that demands value creation to thrive”, and that it will help the organisation “reach new levels of success, both on and off the field”.


It’s not a bunt-and-run, one-off inflation hedge

Patrick O’Sullivan, the club’s Chief Bitcoin Officer, meanwhile is just as enthusiastic about the power of Bitcoin and the club’s move into a digitally tokenised future…

“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,” he said. “And [we] 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.”

And yep, you read that correctly… the club has a “Chief Bitcoin Officer”. Now, how do we go about getting such a job…