Google to ban ads on cryptocurrencies, related products

Encouraged by country leaders and banks, major advertising companies have been banning cryptocurrency related-ads on their platform due to the uncertainty surrounding scams and illicit activities using crypto.

This follows a similar move by Facebook in January.

The ad policy based on the financial services has been set to be implemented by the company across the number of platforms that include Instagram, Facebook and Audience Network.

Oh well, even with new limits on the availability of Google ads, we expect cryptocurrency to continue being "more efficient than Star Wars at extracting money from nerds".

Google told Bloomberg that it will have systems in place to detect such workarounds. According to the policy, it will block all the advertisements related to "cryptocurrencies and related content".

In a blog post titled 'Financial Services: New restricted financial products policy (June 2018)', published by Google, the company informed that they will change its existing financial product restriction list in June this year.

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Google's move to ban crypto-currency-related ads is part of what Spencer described as a broader crackdown on bad actors in the advertising realm.

Separately, the ban applies to such risky financial products as binary options, which are a virtual cryptocurrency derivative yielding an all-or-nothing payoff. Google is not only banning advertisement of cryptocurrencies themselves, but also "initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice".

Apart from cryptocurrency content, Google has also banned services promoting other high-risk services like binary options, Forex services, contracts of difference (CFDs) and a plethora of gambling-related ad content. Some businesses attempt to get around Facebook's rules by purposely misspelling words such as "bitcoin" in their ads, but Google said it would try to anticipate tricks like this.

In 2017, Google said it removed 320,000 bad publishers from its ad network, and blocked 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps for policy violations. The downside is that the "Google certification process" will only be available for advertisers located in "certain countries".

Last year, Google generated $95.4 billion in ad revenue, up 20% from 2016.

  • Rita Burton