In February 2022, Crypto.com’s “Fortune Favors the Brave” commercial became one of several crypto companies’ ads that played during the Super Bowl. It was cleverly produced and featured the expected celebrity endorsement — The Martian actor Matt Damon. Crypto.com also became the title sponsor for a Formula One race and had plans for a $495 million UEFA Champions League sponsorship.
However, the marketing blitz was apparently no match for the upcoming carnage in digital asset markets. Markets were already showing signs of decline when TERRA lost its peg and collapsed, taking its counter-asset, LUNA, with it. The collapse caused a domino effect that led to severe declines in crypto markets and the bankruptcies of a couple of big DeFi apps and an investment firm.
By June 2022, the situation was bad enough that Crypto.com announced 260 layoffs and pulled out of the UEFA Champions League deal. It also pulled the “Fortune Favors the Bold” ad from TV.
Now the latest figures indicate that 2,000 employes have left Crypto.com since June 2022. Most of them were layoffs. That amounts to 30-40% of Crypto.com’s workforce — a rough estimate because Crypto.com is not legally required to disclose how many people it employs. According to Crypto.com, most of the layoffs were back-office staff and support services.
Despite the bad news, Crypto.com seems focused on international expansions. It recently obtained a Digital Assets Service Provider (DASP) license from French regulators. It also gained regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus’ Securities and Exchange Commission and Italy’s Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (OAM).
Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek called the European expansion critical for future growth. He commented:
“The European market is central to the long-term growth and success of Crypto.com and we are tremendously proud to now receive registration in France from the AM. We look forward to continuing to work with the AMF and the ACPR as we introduce our products and services in France, offering users a comprehensive, safe, and secure crypto platform.”
Fortune might favor the brave, but it apparently didn’t favor Crypto.com employees during the rough year that 2022 has been for crypto markets. The focus on expansions in Europe may mean that Crypto.com is hoping that things will improve. However, 2,000 former Crypto.com employees probably aren’t counting on it.
And, yes, some crypto-themed Super Bowl ads were better than others.