The NBA is getting tokenized, whether they like it or not. This week, Spencer Dinwiddie, a 26-year-old point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, announced that he’d move ahead with plans to convert his $34.4 million contract into a tradable digital asset.
In September, Dinwiddie launched DREAM Fan Shares, a blockchain-based investment platform where he’ll sell his “Professional Athlete Investment Token,” the SD8 Token, and hopefully his peers’ in the future.
After months of negotiations with the NBA, Dinwiddie and DREAM Fan Shares got the green light to let people invest in his contract, just like they invest in bonds, allowing him to receive a large chunk of his three-year contract upfront. Accredited investors who purchase one of Dinwiddie’s 90 SD8 Tokens will be paid back their principal in monthly installments, and most importantly, will earn interest.
The tokenization of his contract is complex and involves multiple companies, including a registered broker-dealer to issue the security. Dinwiddie has also engaged Paxos Trust Company to custody the token and manage the distribution of payments, utilizing Paxo’s stablecoin infrastructure, and Securitize as its digital transfer agent and technology partner.
According to Dinwiddie, the arrangement is set up to be low risk and makes it virtually impossible for investors to lose. In an interview with Forbes, he said, “The only way I have [to lose] is if I get morally kicked out of the league or something. I’m saying hey, we’re going to be tied together on a three-year term with bond-level protection on this set amount of money that can appreciate up to this amount of money in theory, and we will split that money as it appreciates.”
Dinwiddie’s trailblazing act was bold and risky (the NBA threatened to ban him from the league), but the star point guard says it’s all about empowering athletes to take control of their contracts and maximize their earning potential. In an industry where one injury can end a career, he’s building long-term strategies for athletes to stretch their salaries over a lifetime — on the blockchain!
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