Why WNBA Star Jewell Loyd Depends on Crypto—And Why Bitcoin and Ethereum Are Her ‘Anchors’

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No person within the WNBA can put the ball within the basket fairly like Jewell Loyd, whose 939 factors scored for the Seattle Storm this previous yr set the league’s single-season scoring record. That surpassed Diana Taurasi’s earlier report of 860 factors scored in 2006.

Off the court docket, Loyd has turn into the face of crypto-savvy athlete buyers for Coinbase, which has been the unique cryptocurrency associate of the NBA and WNBA since 2021.

The 30-year-old Chicagoland native purchased her first Bitcoin in 2013 whereas taking part in collegiately at Notre Dame. Loyd and her brother, former professional basketball participant Jarryd Loyd, entered the crypto market collectively after rising up with mother and father who burdened the significance of monetary literacy.

“I used to be one of many first individuals to return out and publicly say I’m investing in crypto and taking a few of my wage in that,” Loyd informed Decrypt. “Proper after that, any group we performed all the time had one one that got here as much as me like ‘Yo, why’d you do that? What is that this?’”

Picture: Klutch Sports activities Group

“That was my time to coach,” she continued, “which was cool as a result of I wasn’t the child in class that everybody requested how they figured a query out. I used to be the one all the time asking questions. So to have that reversed was kinda cool.”

Coinbase creates crypto instructional content material in partnership with the WNBA, and launched an in-person crypto crash course to rookies on the 2022 WNBA Draft. Loyd converts a portion of her WNBA wage into cryptocurrency by means of the Coinbase app, with Bitcoin and Ethereum comprising her majority holdings.

“To me, these are just like the anchors,” she stated of Bitcoin and Ethereum, the main cryptocurrencies. “A basketball analogy is that you simply all the time want a very good middle. And people two are good facilities for me.”

After making her fifth All-Star group this previous season, Loyd signed a two-year, $463,000 contract extension with the Storm to stay the place she’s gained two WNBA titles (2018, 2020) since Seattle drafted her with the first-overall decide in 2015.

With salaries not almost as profitable as their male NBA counterparts, many WNBA gamers play abroad throughout offseasons for added earnings. Crypto’s decentralized nature has been helpful to Loyd as she’s performed for skilled groups primarily based in Turkey, China, South Korea, and Spain.

“[Coinbase] has been considered one of my private favourite partnerships with the WNBA, as a result of clearly I’m invested in it—nevertheless it additionally lets ladies get forward within the monetary world,” Loyd stated. “I’m very fortunate to play abroad and reside abroad, however sending cash and utilizing cash abroad could be very onerous. Having a [faster] and extra cheap method to switch cash abroad and forwards and backwards is sensible.”

Coinbase gave out $120,000 in Bitcoin to gamers on the New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces as a part of its sponsorship of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup midseason event in August. The league has additionally provided NFTs to followers although Coinbase, similar to a digital collectible to commemorate Loyd’s Storm teammate Sue Bird for individuals who attended Chook’s jersey retirement ceremony at Seattle’s Local weather Pledge Enviornment in June. 

Loyd stated that Crypto’s greatest help has come throughout her continued efforts to assist Rwanda, the place Loyd and her brother ship computer systems and cash to assist locals.

“We’re all the time attempting to determine methods to ship cash to assist our trigger, and with out utilizing crypto, it could have been a lot more durable,” she informed Decrypt. “After they want it immediately, it will get there. It’s extra environment friendly and we see extra change that means with the group we’re working with.”

“Working in Rwanda, they’re so proficient. They simply don’t all the time have the assets,” Loyd added. “I’m very enthusiastic about giving to the subsequent technology of youngsters and athletes. Anybody who needs to be taught, I’m keen to assist them.”

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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