Google Now Runs Crypto Ads Again

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  • Google’s new policy, which allows regulated crypto entities to promote their services, has gone into effect.
  • The policy still bans ICOs and crypto trading ads.
  • Google first revised its ban on cryptocurrencies in June this year, after three years of a full ban.

A new Google policy, which has gone into effect just recently, allows crypto-related firms to advertise using Google’s native ads.

Google, with over 70% of the search market share, has previously updated its policy for financial products and services, which went into effect on August 3. According to the new update, regulated crypto entities are authorized to advertise their services on Google. However, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are still banned.

Google first banned crypto-related advertisements back in 2018. At the time, the ban included all types of crypto ads, including cryptocurrency exchange promotion, ICOs, and cryptocurrency promotion.

The strict law came after 2017 saw a massive surge in ICOs. Later, researchers found that approximately 80% of all the ICOs conducted in 2017 were scams. Cumulatively, $1.34 billion went to ICO scams in 2017 alone.

Google’s New Advertising Rules

Google first revised its ban on cryptocurrencies in June this year, after a period of three years. For being authorized to advertise on Google, a crypto firm should either be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a “money services business and with at least one state as a money transmitter, or a federal or state-chartered bank entity.”

However, despite the tight rules, Google still doesn’t allow ICOs, DeFi trading protocols, and crypto trading ads on its platform. The company also hinders crypto promotion by celebrities, as fake celebrity endorsements have been an issue for some time now.

In addition, the new policy bars all kinds of crypto trading signals and investment advising agencies. Google continues to ban ads to websites that host “cryptocurrency trading signals, cryptocurrency investment advice, aggregators or affiliate sites containing related content or broker reviews.”

Crypto Ads Under Scrutiny

In July, the popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok also banned crypto-related ads on its platform. The ban, which came on a variety of financial services and products, banned promotions of all types of crypto-focused services, including the promotion of a specific cryptocurrency.

Other prominent social media firms, like Facebook, had put a ban on crypto-focused advertisements following the 2017 ICO craze. While the company has since revised its policy, it continued to censor Bitcoin-centered ads throughout 2020.

More recently, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the UK unveiled more intensified ad restrictions while banning advertisements by a crypto exchange. “We concluded that the ad irresponsibly suggested that engaging in Bitcoin investment through Luno was straightforward and easy, particularly given that the audience is addressed, the general public, were likely to be inexperienced in their understanding of cryptocurrencies,” the financial body stated.