If you’ve been cooped up inside due to weather or COVID, you have probably seen a fair bit of football on television, along with a lot of high-priced advertising. Both will reach their apex on Super Bowl Sunday. A ubiquitous ad this season features Matt Damon touting how “Fortune favors the brave” in an ad for crypto.com. I’d urge us to think of another fact when we see this ad: “Trafficking preys on the vulnerable.”
Today, January 11th, is National Trafficking Awareness Day. Just yesterday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a new report: Virtual Currencies: Additional Information Could Improve Federal Agency Efforts to Counter Human and Drug Trafficking. The report notes that human and drug traffickers increasingly turn to cryptocurrencies to facilitate their illicit businesses.
Often, when experts speak about trafficking, they refer to the four Cs: chocolate, clothes, coffee, and cellphones. Sadly, now, I need to add a fifth.
So when you see the ad this weekend, remember that Matt Damon also advocates strongly against food insecurity and for water stewardship. Remember, too, as Damon says in the ad, “History is filled with almosts.” With this glaring exception, his body of work almost gets it right.