Google Banning Cryptocurrency-Related Ads with Latest Policy Update
While crypto startups continue to pop up all over Silicon Valley, one of the famed area’s biggest players is set to deal a blow to the emerging space. According to CNBC, Google is planning to ban cryptocurrency-related advertisements from their ad products. This will cover any crypto content, including ads for cryptocurrency wallets, initial coin offerings, and more. The new rules are included in an update to Google’s ad policies that will go into effect in June.
Explaining the reason for the ban, Google’s director of sustainable ads Scott Spencer 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.” Additionally, in a blog post highlighting efforts Google has made to protect consumers from ads they deem harmful, the company noted they’ve instituted policies to address “unregulated or speculative financial products” such as binary options, foreign exchange markets, and contracts for difference. In all, Google says they removed 3.2 billion ads (not all related to finance, mind you) that violated their advertising policies in 2017.
The news of Google’s ban comes just months after rival Facebook took a similar stance on crypto ads. Humorously, late-night host John Oliver also took a look at the risks of cryptocurrencies on his popular Last Week Tonight program this past weekend. Among the issues Oliver highlighted in his 25-minute piece was the ability for traders to “pump and dump” coins to artificially raise their prices.
Google’s announcement is just the latest in a string of bad press for cryptocurrencies, which includes banks cracking down on buying them with credit cards and various legislators looking at regulatory options. Naturally, as of this writing, Bitcoin prices are down, falling from around $9,000 yesterday to below $8,300 this morning (keep in mind that could very well change by the time you read this). Likewise Etherium is in danger of dropping below $600 (trading at $617 as of this posting). However, while Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be experiencing some growing pains these days, the silver lining is that this weeding out of bad actors and opportunistic scammers will likely make the crypto space stronger once it comes out the other side. But, until that happens, expect a few more shakeups and setbacks in the coming months.