Earlier this year, Facebook banned all cryptocurrency adverts with an excuse that a majority of them were not acting in good faith. Similarly, Google has taken a move to crackdown on all crypto-related advert on their platform.
The company announced it in a post that the decision will take effect in June 2018:
“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going 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.”
Over the past years, the popularity of bitcoin has grown beyond limit surpassing the value of all fiat currencies. It’s siblings, ether, dogecoin and litecoin have also soured in value, paving the way for other companies to try out a blockchain company without following the due regulation process. Many of these new coins flooding the crypto market lure people via adverts to invest in their currencies with the hope that the value will surge within a period. While the early investors of bitcoin profited massively, other unsuspecting investors have become victims of high-profile scams via Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).
The US SEC in January allegedly halted a crypto ICO scam and initiated an emergency asset freeze after the fraudulent company had raised up to $15m from numerous investors since August 2017.
Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads, said that the recent development is in line with the company’s restructuring. He said that the company is revising its financial services-related ad policies to review malicious and deceptive ads from its display network. This includes restricting every crypto-related content as well as ICOs and wallets. While the move is to limit fraud, other well-meaning crypto companies will be affected as they won’t be allowed to place ads even as third-party websites.
This isn’t the first time that Google will be pulling off a string like this. In 2017, it pulled down about 79 deceptive ads that lured unsuspecting victims to websites with malware and blocked over 12,000 sites for plagiarism. The company remains the most significant platform for ad placement, so it’s unlikely that the policies will plummet sales.
Whatever the case may be, well-meaning or fraudulent, it doesn’t change the fact that cryptocurrencies are unregulated by the central bank and as such will not be entirely acceptable in the financial market.
Just like Facebook pledged to restore sanity on its social media platform via some policies, Google parent company, Alphabet is doing the same. It has to ensure safety for all its users continually.