Coinbase has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. And the crypto powerhouse marked the milestone on a defiant note, with a sarcastic TV ad applauding the crypto bashers.
“Crypto is dead. Long live crypto,” said the 30 second ad which aired Friday during the NBA Western Conference Finals game between the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks.
The ad showed tweets from 2012, with the authors’ names blurred, stating “Crypto is dead.”
At a time when crypto is reeling from a severe downturn and Coinbase is cutting spending, reactions have understandably been mixed.
Michael Fasanello, LVL’s chief compliance officer, called the ad “classic and minimalist, yet effective.”
“It sends the message that, like so many other emerging technologies and emerging markets, blockchain and crypto will have their ups and downs – but they are here to stay,” he told Protocol.
Jef Loeb, creative director of Brainchild Creative, agreed that it was “effective if the goal is to let the market know that Coinbase is not heading for life rafts just yet.”
“It’s also effective for preaching to a shrinking choir not to give up on Titanic just yet,” he told Protocol, joking, “Hey, the sopranos and altos may have -be directed to the exits, but the brothers on bass [section] cling.
Coinbase recently included a warning in its regulatory filings stating that in a bankruptcy scenario, customers’ crypto holdings were at risk. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong was quick to reassure customers that he was not facing bankruptcy.
Loeb noted the drastic shift in tone in the ad from the celebrity-focused “can’t miss” [messages] in the February Super Bowl “other crypto companies” to a spin on Mark Twain’s aphorism four months later “about how” “reports of crypto death are both frequent and exaggerated” . Coinbase’s Super Bowl ad featured a floating QR code that managed to draw so many people to its website that it crashed.
The choice of the Warriors game was symbolic. Former Warriors player Kevin Durant has invested in Coinbase, Coinbase and the NBA struck the league’s first cryptocurrency sponsorship deal last year, in full swing.
The crypto exchange recently released disappointing results amid the sharp drop in crypto prices shown by the collapse of UST stablecoins. In a sign of growing uncertainty, Coinbase also announced it was freezing hiring and cutting other spending a week after saying it was moving ahead with expansion plans.
The crypto market lost around $1 trillion in value last month, while Coinbase shares fell more than 50%.