- Fans dubbed Super Bowl LVI the “Crypto Bowl” after ads from crypto companies made a splash.
- The larger crypto industry suffered billions in losses in 2022, which FTX’s collapse highlighted.
- Here’s a look back at the 2022 ads, and the year that FTX, Coinbase, Crypto.com, and eToro each had.
Super Bowl LVII is just over three weeks away, and speculation about who will buy the famously valuable ad time during the game has begun, with some companies already releasing teasers for their ads.
But in 2022, fans dubbed the game the “Crypto Bowl,” with FTX, Coinbase, Crypto.com, and eToro all debuting ads, along with Bud Light incorporating NFTs into its ad.
Months before Super Bowl LVII, several cryptocurrencies like bitcoin were reaching all-time highs, but 2022 ended up being a much rougher year for crypto than many expected. The industry lost an estimated $2 trillion in market value, according to CNBC.
Here’s a look back at how the four companies who advertised during the last Super Bowl are doing now.
The exchange Sam Bankman-Fried founded collapsed in November after reports surfaced in the crypto publication CoinDesk that Bankman-Fried’s crypto-trading firm, Alameda Research, was heavily invested in FTT, the digital currency FTX created.
Soon after the report, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, announced plans to sell more than $500 million of his own holdings of FTT. The announcement triggered panic among other FTX investors, and the exchange saw an estimated $6 billion in withdrawal requests over the next 72 hours.
Soon after, FTX was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Bankman-Fried resigned from the company.
In December, the SEC charged Bankman-Fried with defrauding investors, saying that he used customer funds from FTX to hide losses on Alameda’s balance sheets. Authorities later arrested him in the Bahamas, and he has spent the last month speaking to media and writing his own Substack newsletter, attempting to explain what he believes went wrong, largely against the advice of his lawyers.
Coinbase’s ad, one of the most talked about of the Super Bowl, was popular enough that it briefly crashed the website, with Surojit Chatterjee, Coinbase’s chief product officer, claiming that over 20 million people visited the page within a minute.
Compared to FTX, other crypto companies that advertised during the Super Bowl had a remarkably stable year given volatility in the industry, but each had its troubles.
Insider previously reported on Coinbase’s layoffs, its shuttering of services in Japan, and its fluctuating stock price, which currently sits at just over $55, about 70 percent below its one-year high of just over $200 in early 2022 when the ad aired. However, the exchange’s price rose by nearly 20% in the past week of trading as the crypto market seems to have stabilized after the panic FTX’s collapse caused.
Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, said in a December interview that he expected the company’s revenue for 2022 to be at least 50% lower than it was in 2021.
—Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) February 14, 2022
Following the trend much of the crypto and tech industries set up in the first weeks of 2023, Crypto.com also announced layoffs, cutting 20% of its workforce. It’s the second round of layoffs in six months for the exchange, which also laid off about 5% of employees in July 2022.
Kris Marszalek, the CEO and a cofounder of Crypto.com, said in a statement last week that the summer layoffs prepared the exchange to weather the larger crypto dip, but FTX’s collapse has further shaken consumer confidence in the industry, forcing more cuts.
At the time of the Super Bowl, eToro was likely the least well-known of the four crypto companies advertising during the game, as it had fewer users than Coinbase and Crypto.com, and FTX had spent more on endorsements and marketing in the US.
The exchange also had a relatively stable 2022, but the larger crypto chaos did affect the exchange, as it still had to cut 6% of its employees in a round of layoffs last summer.
The layoffs also came in the same week that eToro announced the postponement of its merger with the special-purpose-acquisition company FinTech Acquisition Corp. V, according to CoinDesk. The merger would have taken eToro public in the US, and the postponement was reportedly a mutual decision between the companies.
This content was originally published here.