Finance

QR code Super Bowl commercial causes crash for cryptocurrency app

The Coinbase Super Bowl commercial that featured a QR code caused the cryptocurrency app to temporarily crash.

The minutelong Coinbase Super Bowl commercial featured a colorful QR code floating around the screen, mimicking the bouncing DVD logo often seen in the early 2000s.

Viewers who scanned the code were brought to a link that offered $15 in free bitcoin to anyone who created an account with Coinbase before Feb. 15 and entered participants in a $3 million giveaway.

The final few seconds of the commercial revealed that the ad was for Coinbase.

Coinbase chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee tweeted Sunday evening that the company had witnessed more traffic than it ever encountered. He said Coinbase “had to throttle traffic for a few minutes,” but noted that operations were back and running.

Chatterjee said the company’s landing page saw more than 20 million hits in one minute, calling the statistic “historic and unprecedented.” He also said engagement was six times higher than previous benchmarks.

“We’re ready for you at drops.coinbase.com,” he added in a tweet.

Coinbase’s stock fell in premarket trading Monday morning, dropping 1.78 percent to $191.26 before the opening bell, according to Reuters. As of 10 a.m. ET, however, the price of the stock was up.

A number of cryptocurrency companies ran advertisements during Sunday’s Super Bowl, including FTX, Bitbuy and eToro, with the industry broadly eyeing sports advertising as a way to become more established.

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