Latin American athlete, Luana Pinheiro, is blazing the trail as the first female UFC fighter to get paid in bitcoin through the payroll service, Bitwage.
Opportunities present themselves in interesting ways. And when you’re sensitive with a big vision, it’s only a matter of time for that opportunity to blossom into something that will change your trajectory forever.
For Luana it started when her partner, #8-ranked UFC flyweight fighter, Matheus Nicolau, embarked on his journey with bitcoin in March 2022.
“When Matheus made the switch to get paid in Bitcoin, a few months ago, I met the Bitwage team. They flew into Rio and provided the in-person concierge service to Matheus. I was blown away by their approach and the amount of knowledge and information I gathered was mind-boggling”, said Luana.
The couple are professionals in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). This form of sports is quite dangerous and may result in injuries that could be fatal. It’s even more important for athletes like Luana and Matheus to consider their financial future carefully.
In a feature by Coinmarketcap, Matheus was reported saying, ”I make my money the hard way. I bleed for it. MMA is an intense sport that you put everything you have into. While I constantly fight on one hand, I have a feeling I am constantly losing money on the other. Then it hit me: Bitcoin is the solution.”
Although the price of bitcoin has dropped by over 70% since its all time high in 2021, Luana is unfazed by bitcoin’s volatility.
“If it was not volatile it would not go up either. Think about this: it takes on average 10-15 years for an individual to get a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so my time preference here is equally long if not longer. ‘Black belt time preference’ I call it. Everything else is just noise to me and the lower the price, the more Bitcoin I will be able to secure for the future.”
Luana understood that her decision to follow the bitcoin standard is important to protect herself from inflation. Brazil’s inflation was at 11.89% in June and it would only get higher. She said “I was born around 1994. At that time, Brazilian currency, Real, was introduced and pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar. Now it is 5 Brazilian Real (BRL) for $1 USD.”
Luana’s decision to receive her paycheck in bitcoin is one that will inspire a lot of female athletes. By choosing bitcoin, she not only made it faster and easier for her to get paid from all over the world and secure herself from the effects of inflation, but also secure her financial future.
Few athletes are fully equipped to handle the aftermath of an injury-induced early retirement. However, the foresight displayed by Luana and Matheus could be the push needed for athletes to consider life beyond their chosen field.
It’s quite heartwarming that Luana’s partner, Matheus, is in full support of her life as a new bitcoiner.
“Luana joining me in going onto the Bitcoin standard makes me very happy and I am more than confident that bold and courageous steps taken today will be a huge win in the future, for both of us. We stand and do things together, united and fully in sync, because that is how we are — never above, never below, but always beside each other.”