Celebs like Matt Damon and Tom Brady have been hawking crypto in high-profile ads — but if you invested when they told you to, you'd be seeing major losses as crypto nosedives

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Matt Damon onstage at event making disappointed facial expression
Matt Damon appeared in an ad for Crypto.com that began airing last October.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images
  • Celebrities began hawking crypto in earnest last fall as bitcoin was hitting record highs.

  • But if you invested then, you'd be seeing losses over 50% right now.

  • Cryptocurrencies plummeted for the second day Thursday after the collapse of a major stablecoin.

If you've turned on your TV anytime in the past six months or so, chances are you've seen a celebrity hawking crypto.

And if you're among those swayed by their endorsements, you'd be out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars right now.

Celebrities have been steadily hopping on the crypto craze for years, but it wasn't until last fall that they began starring in high-profile ad campaigns promoting cryptocurrency exchange platforms. In September, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen appeared in a $20 million campaign for crypto exchange FTX where they called people in their contacts — everyone from a surgeon to a dog-walker — to convince them to start investing on the platform.

Then, famously, Matt Damon joined the party with a much-maligned ad for Crypto.com where he compared investing in cryptocurrencies to being brave enough to travel to outer space.

By the time the Super Bowl rolled around, crypto ads dominated the commercial breaks. Larry David and LeBron James were starring in ads of their own — David's FTX ad was based on the premise that if you didn't start investing in crypto, you'd be dismissing something as genius as the invention of the wheel.

So, how much money would you have lost if you listened to the likes of Brady or Damon?

Well, if you invested in bitcoin on October 28 when Damon's ad debuted, over 52% of your investment would have been wiped out by now. Which means, as The Intercept's Jon Schwarz pointed out on Twitter, that if you'd bought $1,000 worth of bitcoin at the time, you'd have about $526 right now.

Those who invested following the Super Bowl, an event with 208 million viewers, are seeing less of a startling crash right now — about 30% — but a wipeout nonetheless.

Thursday marked the second day of cryptocurrency turmoil, with bitcoin nosediving to its lowest since December 2020 and other major coins — like ether, solana, and cardano — sinking by as much as 30%. The sell-off comes after TerraUSD, a major stablecoin that's supposed to maintain the same value as the US dollar, plunged to less than $0.30, rattling investor confidence amid a time of broader turmoil in the stock market.

Bitcoin, which hit a record high of $69,000 in November, fell below $26,000 Thursday morning, while ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, plummeted below $1,900, according to CoinMarketCap.

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