Was the “Crypto Bowl” The Day Cryptocurrency Went Mainstream?

Fans of the Los Angeles Rams will forever remember Super Bowl LVI for the heroics of Cooper Kupp and the game winning drive that saw the team win their first Super Bowl in 22 years. For the rest of us, it is possible that the game will be remembered as the “Crypto Bowl”. In a departure from the usual car and beer ads, the telecast was dominated by star-studded ads pitching cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency exchanges crypto.com, eToro and FTX all spent a reported $7 million to air 30-second spots. In one of the more talked about ads, Coinbase used its allotted time to show a bouncing QR code, a remarkably effective stunt that drove 20 million hits to their website in the minute after the commercial aired (though possibly had less tech-savvy fans calling the cable company to complain that their TV’s were broken). 

Whether Super Bowl LVI will ultimately be remembered as a ‘tipping point’ – the day cryptocurrency went mainstream – remains to be seen. The commercials were primarily focused on the idea of cryptocurrency, selling the story that now is the time to invest in cryptocurrency or risk missing out on “the next big thing.” 

The Super Bowl offers a unique opportunity for companies to reach mainstream consumers and in that regard, it successfully promoted the idea of cryptocurrency. However, in order to truly move into the future that many blockchain devotes envision, the challenge for cryptocurrency will be to explain to these newly enlightened consumers what this technology will actually do or how it might improve things in their day to day lives.  

In order to gain mass adoption and capitalize on the hype created during the Super Bowl, cryptocurrencies must now focus on messaging the theoretical practical uses of blockchain technology, such as “Web3”, which envisions blockchain as the underpinning of the future of internet. Failure to do so may result in us remembering the “Crypto Bowl” much like we remember the last time the Rams won the Super Bowl in 1999, a game now famous for the 17 dot.com startups that bought ads, the majority of which didn’t survive the burst of the dot.com bubble.