Cryptocurrency is a hard sell

Will Buss, Broadcasting and Journalism

When the QR code suddenly appeared on our flat-screen television, my wife immediately knew what to do.

She reached for her smartphone, focused the floating digital box into the viewfinder and then fired.

She instantly received a link on her phone to an app that offered her $15 worth of free bitcoin, if she created a cryptocurrency account by the following day. She also had the chance to enter a sweepstakes to win $3 million.

She passed on that.

The QR code she had captured on her phone bounced up and down from right to left across our TV screen and changed colors each time the digital icon bumped the right and left side of the screen, mimicking a TV screen with a DVD in prolonged pause. The bouncing code appeared during a minute-long commercial for cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase during the first quarter of last Sunday’s Super Bowl. The publicity brought so many viewers — about 20 million at one time — that it crashed the app.

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