World leading search engine Google has just announced a reversal in its ban on cryptocurrency ads.
In an update released on September 25, the company plans to accept advertisements from “regulated” advertisers. Regulated sites from all over the world can now run advertisements Google’s platform for audiences in the US and Japan. The move comes as a relief to legitimate exchange sites who felt hard done by the wholesale ban executed by the company in June of this year.
The ban on cryptocurrency related ads.
Earlier in March this year, Google announced a crackdown on cryptocurrency related advertisement which came into effect in June of 2018. The company revised its policy on financial-related advertisements to prohibit content on ICOs, digital wallets, and trading advice.
In defense of the ban Google’s director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer said, “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,”
The rapid growth of cryptocurrencies has come with its share of controversy, scam and cryptocurrencies have now become synonymous. The SEC and other regulatory agencies have attempted to institute regulation around cryptocurrencies but their impact is yet to be felt. It is therefore upon industry players to self-regulate.
Lifting of the ban.
Fast forward, September 2018 and the company is retracting on its position. This time albeit cautiously as earlier alluded by Mr. Scott. The company will now accept cryptocurrency advertisements from verified advertisers. Advertisers will have to apply for certification for the country they wish to run their advertisement.
A part of the updates reads, “ The Google Ads policy on Financial products and services will be updated in October 2018 to allow regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan.”
While it is not clear why the ban has been lifted it appears that the company believes that false advertisement associated with cryptocurrencies is dying down. This move should be seen as largely positive for cryptocurrency stakeholders, who had earlier seen the company ban mining applications on Google play store.
Besides Google, other tech companies like Facebook and Twitter had also moved to prohibit cryptocurrency advertisements. Facebook has since gone ahead to revise their wholesale ban and now allows advertisement on trading advice and digital wallets. Advertisement on ICOs are still prohibited on Facebook. In an effort to discourage fraud and deception Twitter banned all advertisements on Token sales and ICOS in March of 2018.
The lifting of the ban on cryptocurrency advertisements could be a subtle recognition of their presence and potential. It could be as well a case of following what others are doing(check facebook). Nevertheless, cryptocurrency cannot be wished away but it is important to tread carefully it could be a gold mine or a land mine.