The crypto-related hype surrounding Sunday's Super Bowl produced mix results as bitcoin failed to reach $50,000, while Coinbase Global saw an "historic and unprecedented" reaction to its commercial during the big game.
The championship game, which saw the LA Rams defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, had been dubbed the 'Crypto Bowl' due to the number of exchanges buying ad space.
Coinbase Global (COIN) got a boost from all the fanfare as the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange had to throttle traffic earlier in the evening following running an ad that featured a QR code. The company said it was back up and running.
Coinbase reported “more traffic than we’ve ever encountered,” which meant it needed to “throttle traffic for a few minutes,” Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee said in a tweet.
"We had over 20M hits on our landing page in one minute," he tweeted. "That was historic and unprecedented. We also saw engagement that was 6 times higher than our previous benchmarks."
Coinbase shares were up 2.6% to $199.53 at last check.
"The fact that the Coinbase website crashed due to heavy traffic after they announced that a competition giving away around $3 million in bitcoin and prizes to a few lucky new accounts, highlights the draw of not just free money but cryptocurrencies as a whole," said Nicholas Cawley, Strategist at DailyFX.
However, world tensions clipped bitcoin and kept the world's largest cryptocurrency by market cap from reaching the $50,000 line.
"The hopes of BTC retesting the $50,000 resistance level as was expected last week were dashed as the Russo-Ukrainian conflict sent shivers to all markets," said Alexander Mamasidikov, co-founder of mobile digital bank MinePlex. "In addition, the fact that too many crypto firms published their adverts at the Super Bowl LVI event has made the digital currency ecosystem to be compared to the dot com bubble era."
Mamasidikov added that the jumbled ads "presented somewhat bad optics as gleaned from broad review, and against the intended aim, it might have stirred investors to take a more conservative approach to BTC for the time being."
"For this new week, we can expect bitcoin investors to get over the phobia of the conflict and decouple their price growth from the traditional stock market," he said. "Prices are expected to stabilize at a low of $41,500, and growth towards the $44,000 to $45,500 range will be considered healthy overall.”
Bitcoin prices were up slightly to $42,643 at last check.
Meanwhile, Winston Ma, managing partner of CloudTree Ventures, Author of The Digital War – How China’s Tech Power Shapes the Future of AI, Blockchain and Cyberspace” said that NFT Google search interest had surpasses that of crypto, "which shows that NFT has gone mainstream and become an asset class by it own, as compared to crypto tokens."
"The exponential increase in the demand for NFTs is evident, as consumer brands such as Nike and Adidas and media companies such as Twitter and Youtube are making their own entry into the realm of metaverse NFTs," he said.
Ma said that Alphabet's (GOOGL) – Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report YouTube has expanded on its blockchain and metaverse plans for this year.
The video-sharing platform said in a blog post that NFT will offer ways to verify the legitimacy of assets using its video library, thereby "giving a verifiable way for fans to own unique videos, photos, art, and even experiences from their favorite creators could be a compelling prospect for creators and their audience".
Some of YouTube's top executives are leaving the video sharing platform for the new roles in the crypto world.
On the legal front, David Lesperance, managing partner of immigration and tax adviser at Lesperance & Associates, cited last week's arrest of a New York couple for allegedly conspiring to launder about $4.5 billion in cryptocurrency stolen during the 2016 hack of the virtual currency exchange Bitfinex,
"Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao quickly tweeted that it is easier to track crypto than fiat," he said. "This is a reality that many of those who have not disclosed their crypto holdings to their tax authorities need to heed before tax authorities come knocking."
Whether future disclosures from exchanges, mixers, merchants, ex-partners or friends– aka "future whistleblower award recipients"–and others that crypto enthusiasts may have interacted with in the past, Lesperance said "tax authorities globally are quickly triangulating as to who owns each piece of cryptocurrency."
"The choice is clear to either rip off the bandage of coming into compliance and paying some tax or potentially lose all your assets and risk a criminal conviction," he said.
Lesperance said that “Kazakstan continues to prove itself as the wrong long-term jurisdiction for crypto-miners as the government contemplates adding additional taxation to those remaining crypto-miners who did not flee to other more hospitable jurisdictions when the government recently shut down the entire internet during protests."
"When deciding where to move, Cryptominers need to look beyond just cheap energy to seek a) green energy; b) in a stable “rule of law” jurisdiction; and c) which will allow the miners physically visit or work their operations," he said.