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Crypto.com Trading Volume Sinks 91% One Year After 'Brave' Matt Damon Ad

Bad ad or bad timing? Either way, trading is down big.

3 min read
Matt Damon in Crypto.com's "Fortune favors the brave" campaign. Image: Crypto.com

Whichever version of the Latin proverb you choose, Crypto.com’s exchange volume isn’t looking very brave, bold, or strong one year after unveiling its Matt Damon commercial.

In the past year, Crypto.com’s normalized exchange volume has dropped by 91%, from $4 billion to $380 million per day, using a 7-day average, according to CoinGecko. That’s not to say the ad is to blame for the drop-off, but the company’s bid at spurring growth with an A-list celebrity doesn’t seem to have helped much.

There’s also the matter of the bear market in the room, which has caused crypto markets to shed two-thirds of their market capitalization compared to a year ago. But even before markets took their big tumble, the reception for Crypto.com’s Matt Damon spot was lukewarm at best.

The advertisement compared crypto investors to astronauts, mountain climbers, and the Wright Brothers. Shortly after it came out, in November, Crypto.com spent $700 million for naming rights of the Los Angeles arena formerly known as the Staples Center.

At the time, the marketing efforts appeared to have given the exchange a boost. Meanwhile, the Damon ad made the rounds in crypto circles for a few months and then started to reach people outside the industry by January of this year.

The reactions were not good. The ad even got skewered by a South Park episode that featured a pee-drinking parody.

It’s not just trading volume that’s suffered. 

The exchange’s native Cronos token (CRO), which grants holders discounts on trading fees and other perks, has a market capitalization of $2.8 billion and is trading at $0.11 on Friday afternoon, according to CoinGecko. Both of those metrics are roughly half what they were a year ago.

Over the last couple of months, Crypto.com has also been through multiple rounds of layoffs and had to cancel a $495 million sponsorship deal with the European Champions League (EUFA). The same week that news broke in August, the company filed a lawsuit against a woman for keeping $10 million it accidentally sent to her crypto wallet.

It’s only fair to say that the exchange’s peers have seen their volume plummet, too.

Huobi has lost 90% of its normalized volume. FTX is down 77%, Coinbase is down 75%, and Binance, which rolled out zero-fee trading for Bitcoin and Ethereum over the summer, now has 57% less volume compared to last year.

The zero fee bid to boost volume has been especially pronounced at Bybit, where volume has surged 757% compared to late October 2021.

As FTX CEO has routinely pointed out over the years, zero fees can dramatically and artificially inflate an exchange’s trading volume. He even called it, “one of the most consistent historical facts in crypto,” on Twitter over the summer.

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