Coinbase Forced Into Outage Following Super Bowl Ad After More Traffic 'Than Ever Encountered'

Coinbase had to "throttle traffic for a few minutes" after its advertising debut in Super Bowl LVI.

AccessTimeIconFeb 14, 2022 at 10:40 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:12 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was forced into an outage after its ad during Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals brought about a surge in traffic.

The Nasdaq-listed firm's debut in the most expensive commercial airtime slot on the U.S. advertising calendar prompted "more traffic than ... ever encountered," Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee said in a tweet.

Coinbase had to "throttle traffic for a few minutes," Chatterjee tweeted at 8:17 p.m. ET. According to Downdetector, users had been experiencing problems accessing the exchange since 7:20 p.m. The exchange announced on its main Twitter account that it was back up and running at 8:23 p.m.

With viewership in the U.S. consistently around the 100 million mark over the last decade or so, commercial airtime during the National Football League's annual championship showpiece is among the most sought after in the world. The price of a 30-second Super Bowl ad slot on NBC was reportedly around $6.5 million – up around $1 million from last year – with some slots costing as much as $7 million.

This year, for the first time, Super Bowl viewers were shown ads from a number of crypto companies. Along with Coinbase, crypto exchanges FTX and and eToro all appeared during commercial breaks. FTX's ad featured comedian Larry David while's starred National Basketball Association legend LeBron James.

Coinbase spent as much as $14 million on its ad, which featured a QR code bouncing around a black screen for its full 60 seconds. Viewers who scanned the QR code were taken to Coinbase's site, where they were invited to sign up and receive $15 in free bitcoin plus the chance to win $3 million in prizes.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.