- Super Bowl LVI was dubbed the “Crypto Bowl” after ads from crypto companies made a splash.
- The larger crypto industry suffered billions in losses in 2022, highlighted by the collapse of FTX.
- 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 of their ads.
But in 2022, the game was dubbed the “Crypto Bowl,” with FTX, Coinbase, Crypto.com, and eToro all debuting ads, along with Bud Light incorporating NFTs into its ad.
Months before the Super Bowl, 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 founded by Sam Bankman-Fried 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 created by FTX.
Soon after the report, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced plans to sell more than $500 million of his own holdings of FTT. The announcement triggered panic amongst 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, alleging that he used customer funds from FTX to hide losses on Alameda’s balance sheets. He was later arrested in the Bahamas and 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 Coinbase’s chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee 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 nearly 20 percent in the past week of trading as the crypto market seems to have stabilized after the panic caused by FTX’s collapse.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a December interview that he expected the company’s revenue for 2022 to be at least 50 percent lower than in 2021.
—Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) February 14, 2022
Following the trend set up by much of the crypto and tech industries in the first weeks of 2023, Crypto.com also was forced to announce layoffs, cutting 20 percent of its workforce. It’s the second round of layoffs in six months for the exchange, which also laid off about 5 percent of employees in July 2022.
Crypto.com co-founder and CEO Kris Marszalek 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 was not unaffected by the larger crypto chaos, as it still had to cut 6 percent 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 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.