Cryptocurrency prices are in the doldrums, but that’s not stopping some high-profile athletes from using bitcoin pay for receiving their pay. While digital assets like bitcoin have gained a reputation for trading in an uncorrelated way to the S&P 500 index, they’ve been unable to escape the risk-off mood among stock market investors.

The bitcoin price has been more than cut in half since November levels, falling from a peak of close to $69,000 to about $33,700 today. The S&P 500, meanwhile, has fallen over 10% from its recent peak, placing the index in correction territory.

Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency, has seen its price tumble by 30% in the last few days alone to $2,230 after trading above $4,000 in December.

Crypto Pay

Despite the volatility, crypto enthusiasts still choose to see the glass as half full. Not only that, but professional athletes who are commanding up to seven-digital salaries are increasingly opting to be paid in bitcoin instead of cold hard cash.

Among them, Francis Ngannou, the UFC heavyweight champion of the world, has caught bitcoin fever. Ngannou retained the heavyweight title in UFC 270 at the Honda Center over the weekend, beating Ciryl Gane in the main event and scoring the coveted belt.

UFC President Dana White was conspicuously absent from the title ceremony, with whom Ngannou is currently embattled in a contract dispute. Meanwhile, the fighter agreed to be paid 50% of his UFC purse or $300,000 in BTC even while the asset’s value has been more than halved. The heavyweight champion believes “bitcoin can empower people everywhere.”