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Crypto Exchange FTX Buys Ad for the Super Bowl

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FTX, the booming cryptocurrency and crypto derivatives exchange founded by Sam Bankman Fried, recently purchased an ad for next year’s Super Bowl, according to reports.

The Super Bowl is the most significant event in American football. It is the annual championship game of the National Football League. The NFL is the most valuable professional sports league in U.S. and Canada, with some US$13 billion in revenue, according to Sport Casting data. For reference only, the MLB and NBA generate approximately $10 Billion and $7.4 Billion, respectively.

The Superbowl is The Best Way To Spread FTX’s Message

The Super Bowl ad would open up the opportunity for FTX to be introduced to a potential audience of some 91 million viewers. Sam Bankman Fried has done the math, and according to statements reported by Business Insider, the CEO of FTX is convinced that the sports business is the perfect breeding ground for new users:

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“Sports fans are 2x more likely to know about crypto than nonsports fans. Avid sports fans are nearly 3x as likely.”

In fact, speaking to Bloomberg, the FTX CEO said the Super Bowl audience is perfect for spreading FTX’s message that cryptocurrencies are easy and safe to use:

“Our message throughout this year has been that crypto is safe, accessible, and ready for the mainstream. We’re inviting everyone to check it out, and here to help them on their journey. There is no bigger, more mainstream event to share a message like that than the Super Bowl.”

The company did not provide further details on the ad’s content or the price; however, according to Statista, advertisers had to pay about 5.6 million U.S. dollars to air a 30-second long commercial during the last Super Bowl.ADVERTISEMENT

Super Bowl average costs of a 30-second TV advertisement from 2002 to 2021(in million U.S. dollars).. Image: Statista
Super Bowl average costs of a 30-second TV advertisement from 2002 to 2021(in million U.S. dollars)… Image: Statista

Sports and Crypto

Sam Bankman Fried’s strategy to merge sports and crypto is nothing new. Previously, FTX became the first official crypto exchange to sponsor a sports league by signing a contract with Major League Baseball.

Similarly, FTX bought the naming rights to the former American Airlines Arena and renamed it FTX Arena. In doing so, the FTX-branded stadium also became the official home of the Miami Heats professional basketball team’s games.

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FTX also announced today that famed former Boston Red Sox baseball player David “Big Papi” Ortiz (known for being one of the few athletes to break the 500 home run mark in the history of the MLB) had joined the exchange as its new global ambassador.

Rival exchange Coinbase is also trying to grab its slice of the pie with a sponsorship deal with the NBA. Coinbase has the advantage of being the only regulated exchange in the United States whose shares are publicly traded.

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It seems cryptocurrencies want to become a global phenomenon in 2021, and the world of sports is the perfect on-ramp for the industry.

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US Congressman Claims Crypto Is for Elon Musk and Goldman Sachs

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US Congressman Brad Sherman slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for not showing up to the hearing.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) launched a scathing tirade against the cryptocurrency industry during a hearing on digital assets held by the House Committee on Financial Services:

They believe that somehow this is new and hip, and an attack on the powers of society. The fact is that the advocates of crypto represent the powers in our society. The powers of our society on Wall Street and in Washington have spent millions, and are trying to make billions and trillions. These include Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Visa, Citadel, Musk and Zuckerberg. Not to mention the CEOs that are before us today.  

Sherman lambasted Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for not showing up personally to the hearing and then took aim at Tether for not sending their representative at all:  

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If you wonder about where the power is, Zuckerberg had to come out here and sit there Brian Armstrong sent his number two. And Tether didn’t bother to show up at all.

He then reiterated that the number one threat to crypto is crypto itself since Bitcoin could be displaced by Ether, which is not the case for fiat currencies.

Whales and volatility risks

In response to a question posed by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) about the cryptocurrency market turning into a bubble, Bitfury’s Brian Brooks said that one person unwinding their positions could have a massive impact on the price.

He argues that the U.S. market needs liquidity and more price discovery, not less.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried says that there is complete transparency about open interest on FTX and other major exchanges.

Rep. Emmer (R-MN) asked Bankman-Fried about guardrails that FTX.US deploys for protecting customers.  

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Blockchain and supercomputers

Bankman-Fried also spoke about the impact of supercomputers on blockchain:    

It has the potential to create new cryptographic algorithms that are faster and more efficient.

Later, he also said that all major blockchains are “super secure” in response to a question posed by Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY):

I don’t know of one. All the major blockchain networks are super secure.

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Other countries have it easier

Brooks says that other countries, such as Germany, the UAE have clear-cut regulations for cryptocurrency assets, urging U.S. regulators not get left behind:   

We are the last country standing that hasn’t figured it out.   

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Visa debuts crypto consultancy for retailers and banks

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  • Visa is now advising companies and financial institutions on cryptocurrency offerings.
  • UMB Bank is reportedly the first client to use the company’s crypto consulting and advisory service.
  • The new service further cements Visa’s involvement in the crypto sector. 

Global payment network Visa announced Wednesday it’s launching a consulting and advisory service to help financial institutions and retailers navigate through cryptocurrency. The development today further strengthened the company’s move into the digital currency space and would drive more crypto services and mainstream adoption.

Crypto consultancy

At the moment, the payment company already works with over 60 crypto-related companies, according to the press statement. Through its expertise, Visa will assist financial institutions, retailers, and central banks to roll out cryptocurrency offerings, including non-fungible token (NFT) projects and central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The crypto consultancy was launched as an offering under “Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA)” and already has American bank UMB as the first client, which is already exploring the roadmap of a strategy for a new digital currency-related offering. 

“We came to Visa to learn more about digital currency and the use cases that are most relevant for various business lines as we serve our customers in the years ahead,” says UMB Bank’s executive vice president, Uma Wilson.

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Visa is digging deeper into cryptocurrency

Since 2021, the payment company has been making strategic efforts to expand into cryptocurrency as the dominant on and off-ramp medium for crypto to fiat conversion. Besides partnering with major exchanges like Coinbase and FTX for card programs, the company has been increasing its team of cryptocurrency experts to further drive its digital currency business.

As recently as November 12, Cryptopolitan reported that the company was looking to hire a director for its “Crypto Ecosystem Readiness Lead,” who will focus on creating and growing new revenue streams and expanding strategies for accelerating the company’s crypto card acceptance.

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Bank of Thailand bans commercial banks from trading crypto

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  • Bank of Thailand bans commercial banks from crypto trading
  • An official of the bank cited price volatility
  • Thailand’s tourism industry encourages crypto holders to visit

Trading digital currency is very rewarding, and that is if a trader knows what he is doing in the market. Despite that, the market has been targeted by several evil users, pushing countries to regulate the sector or ban it outrightly. In the latest update, the Bank of Thailand has announced that it has barred all commercial banks in the country from providing crypto trading services.

Bank of Thailand official cited price volatility concerns

The statement was released yesterday through one of the top members of the Bank of Thailand, Chayawadee Chai-Anant. In his statement, the executives talked about a series of issues associated with trading crypto but rested majorly on price volatility. Since banks have a moral obligation to hold cash for clients, they should be nowhere near cryptocurrencies.

This latest statement is coming off the back of several key partnerships between commercial banks and crypto exchanges across the country. Last month, Bitkub announced that it had concluded details and has inked a partnership deal with Siam Commercial Bank. Another crypto exchange announced in August that it had completed a massive funding round.

The funding round was led by the Bank of Ayudhya and saw the exchange raise $1.3 billion. The Bank of Thailand has continued to be unmoved in its clamor against digital assets, although most people in the country are moving to it. Another senior member of the Bank of Thailand, Sakkapop Panyanukul, advised businesses about the risks of operating with digital assets.

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Thailand’s tourism industry continues to invite crypto holders

The Bank of Thailand has in previous times talked about some of the disadvantages of using digital assets as payments for goods and services bought. Chai-Anant believes that people need to abandon digital assets completely. He listed several risks associated with holding and using them, including theft, price spikes, money laundering, and theft of personal data.

He opined that the massive usage could eliminate stability in any system and risk consumer protection. This recent warning was released after Thailand announced that it had completed preparations to receive crypto-rich visitors into the country. Although the Tourism industry wants people to bring their crypto in, the Bank of Thailand wants them to be alert. Thailand holds its tourism sector in high regard as it is one of the most income-generating sectors.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have caused a stop in income generation from this sector for a while. Although crypto holders have been encouraged to visit, the country has continued to record a low turnout of visitors.

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