Google has updated its advertising policy to ban all ads related to cryptocurrencies.
In June of 2018, these new rules will come into effect and all ads related to cryptocurrencies will cease to be supported by Google’s Adsense program.
This move follows Facebook’s ban of cryptocurrency ads in January, which aimed to crack down on scams related to the ads. With Google and Facebook both agreeing that Cryptocurrency advertisments are unsafe, this should ideally eliminate a significant portion of advertising scams surrounding cryptocurrency. Both social media giants control somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of the digital advertising market.
Google specifically said the following in a blog post focused on its updated ads policy:
“cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice),” will be restricted from advertising on the Adsense platform.
This news has shaken the Bitcoin market a bit, dropping prices from around $9,300 USD early Wednesday morning to about $8,700 USD at noon the same day.
Last year there were around 900 initial coin offerings (ICO) according to a study conducted by Bitcoin.com. Of those 900, 59 percent have either failed, turned out to be a scam, or were not predicted to be successful. This means that the $233 million (USD) invested in these cryptocurrencies has led to no returns for investors.
Canadians were defrauded out of $1.7 million in 2017 in cryptocurrency related scams according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in a Canadian Press story from December 2017.
These new restrictions come a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that cryptocurrencies could be used for money laundering and funding terrorism. The IMF sees the decentralized technology behind cryptocurrencies as a way for users to anonymously buy goods from digital black markets.
Even with these new advertising restrictions and the IMF warnings, companies are still finding ways to integrate cryptocurrencies into their businesses. Playboy recently announced a partnership with Vice Industry Tokens to allow users to pay for Playboy content with cryptocurrency tokens.
While the warning from the IMF and Google’s ban on Cryptocurrency ads are not directly related, they do pose a larger question surrounding how people are abusing the cryptocurrency craze and using it for illegal activities like black markets, fraud and scams targeted through ads.
While regulation is needed in the cryptocurrency space it is still uncertain if banning related ads will slow down the markets and the scams related to ICOs.