Google to Ban Cryptocurrency, Initial Coin Offering Ads in June

Alicia Cross
March 15, 2018

"Last year, we added 28 new advertiser policies and 20 new publisher policies to combat new threats and improve the ads experience online".

Google LLC updated its policy to ban cryptocurrency related ads by June.

While Google's last Financial Services Policy had nowhere mentioned Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or any other related topics; however, the newly released restricted financial products policy restricts the advertisement of Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex and financial spread betting and cryptocurrency-related product ads.

Separately, the ban applies to such risky financial products as binary options, which are a virtual cryptocurrency derivative yielding an all-or-nothing payoff.

This blanket policy change also includes a ban on cryptocurrency related services which include ICOs (initial coin offerings), crypto-wallets and crypto related trading advice. Nevertheless, some of those banned ads might be able to advertise with Google only after they have been certified. However, it is not clear if the drop was triggered by Google's decision alone or by broader market factors as well. The social network prohibited ads for "financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices", including binary options, initial coin offerings, and cryptocurrencies.

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Facebook took a step of a similar nature in January, which leaves the two biggest sellers of web advertising not within reach of the digital currency industry.

Encouraged by country leaders and banks, major advertising companies have been banning cryptocurrency related-ads on their platform due to the uncertainty surrounding scams and illicit activities using crypto.

Adverts promoting cryptocurrency and ICOs, which see people buying volatile tokens in the hope they will go up in value, have spread following the surge in interest in bitcoin in 2017.

Google's new policy comes with the publication of its annual bad ads report.

Google has said in 2017, it took down over 3.2 billion ads that violated their advertising policies. It said it removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network a year ago for violating publisher policies and blacklisted almost 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps.

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