Google has announced it will ban cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) promotional material from its ad platform. This follows in the footsteps of Facebook, who banned all cryptocurrency related advertising earlier this year.
Google, the largest provider of digital advertising on the internet, announced on Tuesday that it plans to change its advertising policy for certain financial services, including cryptocurrencies, starting in June. The new restriction would apply to both space on Google’s platforms, like YouTube, and to third-party websites where Google sells advertising space.
Google’s announcement reads:
“This year, we updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs).”
Google explained the new policy will go into effect in June of this year, affecting its search engine, advertisements on YouTube, and and its display-ads network. Google’s ban is intended to “prevent consumer harm” and follows Facebook, which adopted a similar policy in late January.
The number of misleading and malicious advertising, including payday loan ads, ads that intentionally look like system errors, and so-called ‘fake news’ ads, has increased dramatically in recent years, according to a recent ‘bad ads’ report.
Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads, wrote in a blog post Tuesday:
“In 2017, we took down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated our advertising policies,”
Last year’s rapid rise in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices was partially fueled by last year’s explosion in ICOs. Unfortunately, this nascent industry has also been rife with scams and fraud.
Ads promising too-good-to-be-true returns — such as the now-infamous Bitconnect with its memorable advertising blitz — have already led to many investors losing their money. This has resulted in repeated warnings from watchdogs such as the SEC, which considers most ICOs to be security offerings and thus subject to registering with the regulator.
Fortunately, the news does not have a direct impact on Bitcoin, the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency. It is one of the few cryptocurrencies that has no marketing department, no centralized team and CEO, and is not registered as a company looking to raise funds.
It was purposely designed to be a decentralized, open-source protocol maintained by a disparate group of volunteer developers from all over the world. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Bitcoin community largely reacted positively to the news.
The top rated comment on Reddit reads:
“This is the best news ever. Only organic results when searching for Bitcoin!!”
While most altcoins have been in the red today, Bitcoin price has dropped somewhat to a key support level of $8,700. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for altcoins and up and coming ICOs.