The $14M Coinbase Ad Crashes The System

2 min readMar 7, 2022


The Coinbase app, the crypto trading platform, crashed after a DVD-inspired Super Bowl ad caused an explosion in traffic!

Why Did The Coinbase App Crash?

The $14M Coinbase ad, which was essentially just a QR code moving across millions of TVs, during Sunday Super Bowl LVI between the Rams and the Bengals may have been the most imaginative that resulted in the Coinbase app crashing.

What Was The Coinbase Super Bowl Ad All About?

  • The US-based crypto exchange platform debuted a new commercial during the game that bore little connection to its other broadcast ads.
  • Among the celebrity glamour and luxurious-corporate approach of Super Bowl advertisements, Coinbase opted for the simple approach.
  • Coinbase’s 60-second promo was almost entirely comprised of a retro colourful QR code, bouncing from a corner to another corner of your television screen, similar to how the famous DVD Video logo appeared back in the day! Remember?
  • The one-minute commercial was probably the most minimalistic ad of the event. There were no people in it, not even the product’s name.

Coinbase QR Code Ad Costs $14M To Be Made!

Guess how much Coinbase had to spend to attract the viewers’ attention to its bouncing QR code? Around 14 million dollars!! The advertisement prompted many people throughout the country to whip out their phones and scan the QR code. When users scanned the code during the Super Bowl, they were directed to Coinbase’s promotional website. The crypto exchange then announced that people who participate in Super Bowl Sunday would receive a free $15 Bitcoin. The offering was time-limited, with new users having until February 15 to take advantage of the $15 promo.

$14M For An Ad, $0 To Maintain The System!

Shortly after the ad’s airing on Sunday afternoon, multiple rumours were spread across social media platforms that Coinbase’s website had crashed because of the unexpected flood of customers being suspected as the culprit. Coinbase announced the website went back online after its software engineers throttled access earlier in the evening in response to the ad’s release. According to Coinbase’s Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee, the company experienced “more traffic than we have ever seen” after the Coinbase QR code ad went live, necessitating a “short-term traffic halt”.


Many were expecting the better performance of Coinbase’s website after spending millions of dollars on a one-minute ad. Things happen but what you need to do is to follow similar news and stories from here to stay alert to the market changes. At, we save you hours of browsing different websites by bringing everything all in one place. We have gathered crypto world news, coin reviews, and educational overviews right at your fingertips!





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