There had been a lot of speculation regarding Google’s policy about cryptocurrency advertising over the past couple of weeks. There had been speculations of the company banning cryptocurrency ads. Last week, a number of users on Google’s AdWords platform had reported that their accounts were getting suspended or terminated without any notice - or that their search appearance was dropping. All these complains were from users promoting cryptocurrencies on Google.
However, while Google reps had denied any major policy changes at that moment, it has now been made official. Google is putting an end to all cryptocurrency and ICO related advertisements on Google Search, Display Ad Networks and YouTube. This move from Google was not unexpected, as fellow tech giant Facebook did something similar earlier this year - putting a blanket ban on all cryptocurrency and ICO ads on their platform.
"We don't have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we've seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it's an area that we want to approach with extreme caution," Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads commented. This ban on all cryptocurrency related ads will go into effect starting June 2018.
Google’s advertising policy page has now been updated to reflect these bans:
- Binary options and synonymous products
- Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)
Despite Google giving a deadline till June 2018, cryptocurrency markets were already affected because of this news and Bitcoin immediately dropped below the $9,000 mark. As of this writing, Bitcoin struggles at the $8,030 mark, attempting to stay above $8,000. Such a price drop was seen in January as well when Facebook’s announcement on advertising ban led to Bitcoin dropping by 12%.
One of the biggest reasons to ban cryptocurrency ads on their platform is because of the rise in ICO related frauds and Ponzi schemes. ICO frauds are getting increasingly common. 2017 witnessed 900 ICOs popping up - a record number! While some of these ICOs do want to raise funds for a legitimate cause, there are a number of companies which have malicious intentions and want to syphon off the investor money and abscond!
While Google has banned cryptocurrency ads, it doesn’t really come as much of a surprise for the industry. Most major players in the world of cryptocurrencies were actually expecting it, especially after the ban was declared by Facebook. However, there is also the expectation that bans on both the platforms would be relaxed after some time passes, allowing some sort of cryptocurrency ads eventually. This news comes as Google releases their annual "trust and safety" ads report.