Crypto: Super Bowl crypto ads: QR code or Larry David? Here’s how social media reacts

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Crypto ads made their debut at Super Bowl Sunday night. Some cheered for it, some remain unconvinced, while many scanned a QR code.

For the first time, the National Football League’s 2022 championship game featured crypto-related ads sponsored by companies such as crypto exchanges FTX,, Coinbase COIN, +0.35%, Bitbuy, and stock and crypto trading platform eToro.

While the FTX and ads featured comedian Larry David and basketball star LeBron James, respectively, the one by Coinbase took another route entirely. In a 60-second ad, the Nasdaq-listed exchange showed a QR code, which bounced slowly around the screen and linked to a website that provides new users a $ 15 signup reward.

Coinbase said that after the ad’s screening, the company saw an “unprecedented” volume of over 20 million hits in one minute on its landing page, and it had to “throttle” its system, according to a Monday blog post.

Still, some warned that consumers should practice caution when scanning any QR codes, as legitimate codes could sometimes be replaced with malicious ones.

Some industry participants applauded the crypto ads, hoping they could boost adoption and build awareness among consumers.

“Beyond the content of the ads, which is always a subjective judgment for each viewer, these ads were a clear call to action and global notice that crypto is here and ready for the masses,” John Wu, President of Ava Labs, which supports the development of blockchain platform Avalanche, wrote in an email.

Read more: Super Bowl: bullish for crypto?

However, not everyone is a fan. Some said the the ads reminded them of the dot com bubble as the 2000 Super Bowl featured 14 advertisements from 14 different dot-com companies, before the bubble burst in 2001.

Read more: Welcome to the ‘crypto Super Bowl’ with cryptocurrency ads running during the game for the first time

Bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.57% is trading at around $ 42,261, down roughly 39% from its all-time high of 68,991 in November, according to CoinDesk data. Coinbase’s shares inched up 0.05% to about $ 194.35 Monday afternoon, down 43% from its record high in November.

The S&P 500 SPX, -0.99% is down 1.2% on Monday to around 4,366.