NFL’s Richard Sherman embraces bitcoin, blockchain

Seattle Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman says despite the warnings from critics warning against investing in cryptocurrencies, he has become a big believer in the blockchain public transaction ledger and holds a few cryptocurrencies.

“I have a few bitcoin and ethereum and a few litecoin, the simple mainstream ones,” Sherman told FOX Business. “But I’m not into the thousands of other smaller coins.”

The cornerback, who started investing several years ago, says he bought Bitcoin “early enough” after fans on his website asked if they would accept digital currencies to buy merchandise.

“In hindsight, I should have just kept all the Bitcoins, but we converted them to U.S. dollars instead,” he said. Sherman says he bought Bitcoin at $1,000 and has made around $20,000 so far.

The four-time Pro-Bowler and Stanford graduate is also a new spokesman and investor in a startup called Cobinhood, an app that allows users to trade cryptcurrencies without fees, unlike other platforms.

“That is what kind of kills a lot of people’s profits when they are trading,” Sherman said. “You know, you’ll be trading and see gains and then you look up say where did my money go?”

While Bitcoin and a few other digital currencies have seen dramatic gains over the past year, several corporate leaders have been leary. 

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin a “fraud” before pulling back on that comment. Then, on Monday, the bank published a report saying that while it is “very aware” that cryptocurrencies pose a potential threat to its services, no government, especially the U.S., will allow them to exist on a large scale.

Also on Monday, billionaire Bill Gates sounded off, saying: “The main feature of cryptocurrencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing.”

“Right now cryptocurrencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs, so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way,” Gates wrote, referring to the opioid epidemic.

Last week, Bank of America published a report that recognized the risk of losing its own customers to competitors offering products “in areas we deem speculative or risky, such as cryptocurrencies.”

Sherman said that while he understands the concern over crytocurrencies, he considers bitcoin like any other investment and warns people should always do their research.

“You wouldn’t buy a property or invest in stock or bonds without doing your research,” Sherman said. “This is the same. It is just another alternative investment for people. It’s honestly one of things that is kind of a gamble. You’re rolling the dice with some of these coins. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.”