Luana Pinheiro: The first female athlete to receive her salary in cryptocurrencies



Bitwage once again supports the world of sports, this time together with the Brazilian athlete Luana Pinheiro, number 15 in the strawweight ranking of the UFC -the most important mixed martial arts league in the world- by ​​being the first female athlete in the world in receiving their salary in cryptocurrencies, through their partner.

In addition, the athlete who is on a winning streak, along with her partner, the flyweight number 7 in the ranking -Matheus Nicolau (record of 18-2)-, are the first sports couple in the world to choose cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, which speaks of a clear tendency for athletes to receive their money in this format, in order to escape the friction of international transfers.

“Mixed martial arts is a brutal sport where there is not much time to think. Having mental strength and clear ideas is everything”, says Pinheiro.

Judo Black Belt Born into a family of black belts, Pinheiro was immersed in martial arts from the age of two.

“Bitcoin volatility is not a problem for me,” says Pinheiro.

“If it wasn’t volatile, it wouldn’t rise in value either. I always give this example: it takes an average of 10 to 15 years to get a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so I’m used to thinking long term. That is the mentality that one has to have when deciding to invest in Bitcoin, the mentality of someone who wants a black belt. The rest is noise. The lower Bitcoin falls, the more Bitcoin I will receive when I get paid, at the end of the day I think long term.”

This agreement is one of many facilitated by Bitwage, a company known for its international salary payment service, which allows anyone in the world to receive payments in stablecoins or Bitcoin without their employer needing to be registered on the platform.

Bitwage, founded in 2014 in San Francisco, uses Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to offer freelancers and service exporters the freedom and ability to receive their payments from abroad without friction.

Why did the couple decide to start receiving their salaries in Bitcoin? Luana answered this question in detail: “When Matheus decided to start receiving payments from him in Bitcoin a few months ago, I had the opportunity to meet the Bitwage team. They flew into Rio and provided a super comprehensive in-person counseling service. I was really impressed, and the amount of knowledge and information that I was able to gather from those meetings was amazing. At some point I clicked. I decided that I wanted to receive 100% of my earnings as a fighter in Bitcoin. It was just the natural evolution of things. Not doing so was a risk I personally was not willing to take. He who does not risk does not win, both inside and outside the octagon. Also, I’m from Brazil, so I know a thing or two about inflation and its effects. I was born in 1994, at that time the Real was created and pegged at 1:1 to the US dollar. Now the ratio is 5 reais 1 dollar. I think that is reason enough to use Bitcoin” said Luana.

“Having the right information at the right time makes all the difference. Having knowledge and not acting accordingly has no reason to be, the reason we acquire knowledge in the first place is to make our lives easier. We understand so we can act accordingly,” said Jonathn Chester, CEO of Bitwage.

“Our goal is to help each and every individual on their journey, through education every individual should be able to choose how they want to be paid, whether it be in their cryptocurrency wallet or in their bank account. So, at the end of the day, they achieve that long-sought independence. All our energy is put into offering an excellent service to whoever decides to use our platform to receive their international payments. That a couple like Luana and Matheus are receiving their Bitcoin by using our service is a glimpse of what the future holds.”

In addition to Luana and Matheus, other athletes have joined the trend with Bitwage. This is the case of American football player Alex Barrett and professional footballers Achara Ifunanyachi and Alex Crognale.


Using disruptive technologies, Bitwage’s operation simplifies and speeds up payments, giving users the freedom to receive their income in cryptocurrencies or fiat money (depending on the country).

By logging in, the user can generate an invoice on the platform to be sent to the employer or client who can transfer the funds to the assigned bank account located in the United States, Europe or the United Kingdom. Then, in a flexible non-custodial way, Bitwage will “route” said payment directly to where the user wants to receive it, either a percentage to the wallet of their choice (in BTC, ETH, USDC, DAI or cUSD) and the rest to the local account you want, or all in cryptocurrencies.

About Bitwage

Bitwage is the pioneer startup of the global fee payment service through cryptocurrencies that offers the most complete, fastest and cheapest service on the market.

Headquartered in San Francisco, it operates in the US, European, Latin American and Asian markets. Bitwage offers services to employers, employees, exporters and freelancers, who have the freedom to choose the currency in which they wish to receive a percentage of their income, whether in Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies or stablecoins, through unique bank accounts offered in the US, Europe and the UK.

Bitwage has already received more than USD1MM from the Tim Draper Association, Candela Reach Capital, Plug & Play, BPI France, and collected USD1.5MM in the record time of 55 hours on the BnkToTheFuture virtual platform.

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