In brief

  • NFL player Tom Brady is fueling a rumor that he is buying up Bitcoin.
  • The seven-time Super Bowl champion is also behind an upcoming NFT platform.

If you follow superstar NFL quarterback Tom Brady on Twitter, then you might be surprised to see his latest profile picture: it’s a photo of him, of course, but with laser beams blasting out from his eyes. What’s the deal?

It’s related to Bitcoin—and it might signal that the seven-time Super Bowl champion, one of the most popular and successful professional athletes of all time, might be buying up the leading cryptocurrency.

Brady’s profile picture change comes following a tweet yesterday from Jason Yanowitz, co-founder of cryptocurrency publication Blockworks, which stated, “Rumor has it @TomBrady is loading up on Bitcoin. Retweet if you think the GOAT should turn on laser eyes. Let’s make it happen.” Yanowitz included the augmented photo that is now Brady’s profile image.

Last night, Brady quote-tweeted Yanowitz, potentially confirming the rumor, and added, “Hmmmm should I change it??” This morning, Brady made the change to his profile photo, but as of yet has not announced any plans regarding cryptocurrency. Decrypt has reached out to Brady’s representatives for any details on that front, and we will update this story if we hear back.

What’s up with the laser eyes? It’s a popular Twitter meme adopted by Bitcoiners and crypto enthusiasts. Earlier this year, we saw the likes of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, and even US Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.) add laser eyes to their profile photos amidst the Bitcoin bull run.

"It's meant to convey activation and growing power levels," Neeraj Agrawal, head of communications for cryptocurrency think tank Coin Center, told Decrypt back in February. "Think about when a character's eyes glow in a movie."

Saylor, whose analytics software company was the first to buy up large quantities of Bitcoin to hold on its balance sheet, praised Brady’s move on Twitter this morning. He also posted a new profile photo with laser eyes and explained the rationale behind the decision.

“Laser eyes proclaim a technology to guarantee the human rights of life, liberty, & property,” Saylor tweeted. “Laser eyes channel action even as they protect from dilutive distraction. Laser eyes signal intent to make #Bitcoin an instrument of economic empowerment.”

If Tom Brady really has purchased a significant amount of Bitcoin, then it could further signal wider mainstream acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s price is up 82% since the start of 2021, according to data from Nomics, with the price sitting at $58,594 as of this writing. Other top cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Dogecoin have seen even larger gains since the beginning of the year.

Brady first made steps into the wider blockchain industry last month when he was announced as a founder and chairman of Autograph, an upcoming marketplace for non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles. An NFT is like a deed of ownership to a digital item, such as a still photo, video clip, or trading card. NBA Top Shot has been one of the biggest winners of this year’s NFT boom, accounting for more than $500 million in trading volume for its video-driven collectible “moments.”

While the NFL has yet to announce its own NFT plans, many players have launched their own NFT collections—including Brady’s longtime teammate Rob Gronkowski, who made $1.6 million worth of Ethereum in March. The value of Ethereum has more than doubled since then, and according to a report last week from Sportico, Gronk is holding onto his ETH as it appreciates in value.

If Brady wants to make a quick $100,000—a mere fraction of his estimated $250 million net worth, mind you—to pad out his Bitcoin buy, then he could turn his laser eyes image into an NFT. Justin Sun, founder of blockchain platform Tron, tweeted at Brady offering to buy an NFT of just that. That $100K could buy Brady another 1.70 BTC to potentially add to the pile.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.