From first downs to crypto: A former NFL player gets into digital assets

When things don’t go as planned in your career, finding opportunities in other fields is the way to go according to Lewis Neal, a former  National Football League (NFL) defensive tackle.

Speaking to Cointelegraph at the Blockchain Economy Dubai Summit 2022, Neal shared the story of how he went from playing professional football to exploring the finance world, eventually leading him to Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto wallets.

Lewis Neal with Cointelegraph reporter Ezra Reguerra. Photo by: Roland Guirdonan

Neal explained that his expectations were high when he started football. Like many aspiring professional sports guys, he thought that he would be the star of the show. However, things didn’t turn out as he hoped. He said:

“I thought I was going to get a lot of playing time. But during that year, I was a backup. […] So, I had to develop another skill that can be life-changing for my family and myself. So, that’s what drove me to get into the financial industry.”

By then, the former football player went to trade currencies, futures and commodities before he finally found out about crypto. “As you trade, you get exposed to other asset classes. And that’s exactly how I got exposed to Bitcoin and other asset classes in the crypto space,” he said. Eventually, he became the CEO of a crypto wallet project called Kryptic.

Related: Houston Texans becomes first NFL team to sell game suite with crypto

Given his experience as a forex trader, Cointelegraph asked Neal to share his thoughts on the recent fall of fiat currencies like the euro and the pound. According to Neal, despite Bitcoin’s steady performance, it may still fall as the United States dollar gains ground. He explained:

“The market is going to follow the economy at the end of the day, even if it’s Bitcoin. So, just because Bitcoin is steady doesn’t mean it can’t fall, right? Because if you look at the dollar, the U.S. dollar is gaining strength against every major currency.”

When asked about Web3 technologies like nonfungible tokens being used by sports professionals to engage with fans, Neal said that it’s important to simplify things and empower the athletes by making the user experience simpler. “I’ve been in the locker room, a lot of them don’t even know how to download a wallet and buy a cryptocurrency,” Neal said.

Neal underscored that athletes should be able to do it themselves so that they can have complete control over their brand and not have third parties do it for them: “We have to make it easy for it to become mass adopted by athletes.”

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