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Tae Kim

Coinbase Needs More Than a Bitcoin Giveaway

The crypto platform made a splash with a Super Bowl ad, but now says its outlook for the year is uncertain. That should make investors nervous.

Outlook uncertain.

Outlook uncertain.

Photographer: Leon Neal/Getty Images Europe

Coinbase Global Inc. Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong has been publicly basking in the positive response to the cryptocurrency-trading platform’s Super Bowl TV commercial. The ad offering new users $15 in free Bitcoin was a marketing bonanza.

But while generating buzz is a good thing, getting attention for giving away money won’t fix the major problems with Coinbase’s business. And the crypto platform’s latest financial results suggest there is no turnaround in sight.