If its app store ranking on Monday is any indication, Coinbase’s historic Super Bowl ad Sunday evening was a big success.
Coinbase’s Super Bowl commercial featured a blank screen with a floating QR code that allowed new users to claim $15 worth of Bitcoin and existing users to sign up for a $3 million Bitcoin giveaway. While there were reports of Coinbase crashing for some users, the QR code’s landing page got a whopping 20 million hits within just one minute of the ad airing, a spokesperson for the company told us. Coinbase is offering the new user incentive through Tuesday, Feb. 15, so you still have time to claim some free crypto if you didn’t already.
That’s a lot of new crypto investors.
“These ads were a clear call to action and global notice that crypto is here and ready for the masses. In that regard, they were undoubtedly successful,” says John Wu, president of Ava Labs, the startup behind the blockchain Avalanche.
If you became a new Bitcoin investor after the Super Bowl, here are a few things to keep in mind.
What New Crypto Investors Should Know
If the Super Bowl ad inspired you to sign up for Coinbase for the first time, you’ve either received $15 worth of Bitcoin or it’s on the way. But what now? It could make sense to take a step back and better understand this potential new investment. Put some time into learning more about crypto and the technology behind it before you invest any more money into it. Bitcoin’s white paper is a great place to start.
But you also don’t have to go far to learn more — Coinbase offers free crypto for using the platform’s Learn hub. You’ll need to watch Coinbase’s videos, take quizzes, and then Coinbase will deposit a small amount of crypto into your wallet. The content is typically focused on a specific altcoin, which is what you’ll earn for going through the lessons. Because altcoins generally aren’t recommended for long-term investing, you can convert these lesser-known coins into Bitcoin or Ethereum once you earn them. Just remember to keep track of these transactions, as every crypto-to-crypto trade is taxable.
Crypto Is Taxable
Free crypto might not be free come tax season. Any crypto that may be considered income, as well as crypto-to-crypto conversions or holdings you cash out for U.S. dollars, is taxable. You’ll need to track the market price of any crypto you get when you receive it, and again when you sell it, to accurately report to the IRS next year. If you still have questions, check out our crypto tax guide.
Prepare for Volatility
Cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile investments, and you’ll need to be able to tolerate it if you’re in it for the long haul. Experts say the best thing you can do is adopt a “set it and forget” mantra with your crypto and ignore the short-term swings. It only takes a brief look at Bitcoin’s price history to see how volatile it is, which is why experts say cryptocurrency investments should make up no more than 5% of your total portfolio.
Protect Your Crypto
Crypto is a largely unregulated investment market, which makes it more susceptible to scams. To protect yourself from hacks and scams, prioritize protecting your crypto by implementing good digital security habits and watching out for common red flags. For instance, avoid promises of free money or any contractual obligations that lock you into holding crypto without being able to sell. If you’re trading more than a few hundreds dollars of crypto, you want to consider getting a crypto wallet for additional security. Consider also maintaining strong, regularly updated passwords.