Google Bans Cryptocurrency Advertisements, Supposedly for FBI
Search engine giant Google announced it will ban cryptocurrency-related ads starting June this year. According to the announcement, the company is updating its ad policies to ban cryptocurrency ads like those belonging to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
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Google’s released document reads “cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)” will not be permitted to serve on Google’s AdWords platform.
Google and Facebook on the Same Page
Legitimate crypto businesses will no longer be allowed to serve their target audiences through Google’s ad services, which is known to display ads on third-party websites as well as its own websites.
Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads told CNBC:
“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.”
On January 30th, social media giant Facebook also enacted a ban on cryptocurrency ads as a result of an update in its own policies. To that end, Facebook and Google share a potent rivalry relationship when it comes to ads. Unsurprisingly, Google has seemingly followed Facebook’s lead, then, not wanting to be left behind.
FBI Behind the Bans?
Some are suggesting that Facebook’s and Google’s bans on crypto ads were not self-determined, but a result of constant pressure from security watchdogs. A new report revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States — apparently pressured the social media giants to put a ban on crypto-related adverts.
Jason Roy, senior investigator at the Manitoba Securities Commision and chairman of Canada’s Binary Options Task Force, revealed:
“What happened is that Canada’s Binary Options Task Force, as well as the FBI, explained to Facebook what the concerns were and that these types of ads are leading to people becoming victims. We’ve been talking to Google and had similar discussions and are waiting for them to take similar action.”
However, it is equally important to note that scams only make up for a fraction of the activities in the entire crypto space.
What do you think? Is Google’s ban fair to legit crypto businesses? Let us know your views in the comments section.
Images via SCMP, NY Mag