Much to the chagrin of cryptocurrency businesses, Google is planning to ban cryptocurrency related advertisement. The ban encompasses a vast number of cryptocurrency related services including Initial Coin Offerings(ICO), cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and cryptocurrency advisement. This is all to curb the number of scams and Ponzi-like schemes offered in cryptocurrency world.
The reasoning behind the ban has to do with the uncertainty when it comes to cryptocurrency as a financial product. Google states that their new policies are in place to “address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products.” Google is not the only the online company that has banned cryptocurrency related advertisement. Social media giant Facebook also made a similar move at the beginning of the year by prohibiting advertisements for cryptocurrency products.
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).
Cryptocurrency related products are coming under higher scrutiny from governmental organizations. Due to the speed in which cryptocurrencies has developed as a market, regulators around the world have a hard time keeping up. There is still not a clear consensus among them of what cryptocurrencies are when it comes to investment and finance. Some organizations view cryptocurrencies as a security, others see it as a commodity, and some as a property.
While some crypto companies participate in misleading advertisements, others are running a legitimate business. For example, The Praetorian Group, became the first company to file their ICO with the Security and Exchange Commision(SEC). The filing will register their crypto coin, the Pax Token, as a security in an attempt to bring legitimacy to the asset. If approved, the filing will help to legitimize cryptocurrencies standing as an asset and set a precedent for future ICOs.
Companies like Google and Facebook might change their stance on cryptocurrencies once their status as financial asset becomes more concrete and legitimate. Ads promoting financial products can then be audited on a case by case basis. Until then, you can kiss goodbye to your crypto ad campaign on those two platforms.
Nonetheless, one good thing will undoubtedly come out of this. We will no longer have to see the crypto genius touting “the next Bitcoin” in Adsense and YouTube anymore.