Google to ban cryptocurrency and ICO ads

Google has announced a ban on online advertisements that promote cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. The ban will be implemented in June of this year.

Google to ban cryptocurrency and ICO ads

Following Facebook, that announced in January that it would ban all ads for Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO), Google will now be making a change in its advertising policy. The new ban would apply to space on Google’s platform, and also to third-party sites where Google sells advertisement space.

In a blog post, published by Google, the search giant stated that the ban included ads relating to cryptocurrencies “including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets and cryptocurrency trading advice.”

In terms of revenue, Google and Facebook account for the majority of online advertising. The craze around cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, has raised concerns about illegal use and scammers.

Earlier this month, Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney spoke at the inaugural Scottish Economics Conference, calling for cryptocurrencies to be regulated. There he stated:

“Bringing crypto-assets onto a level regulatory playing field could also catalyse private innovation to create a more resilient, effective payments system. With these foundations in place, the scene is set for better payments.”

Google is taking a more serious approach. Another blog on Google ads, posted today by Scott Spencer, director of sustainable ads, stated:

“Digital advertising plays an important role in making the web what it is today—a forum where anyone with a good idea and good content can reach an audience and potentially make a living. In order for this ad-supported, free web to work, it needs to be a safe and effective place to learn, create and advertise.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Whether it’s a one-off accident or a coordinated action by scammers trying to make money, a negative experience hurts the entire ecosystem.”

The blog also noted that in 2017 Google had taken “down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated” its advertising policies and “removed 320,000 publishers” from its ad network for breaking its publisher policies.

Google did not give a reason for the upcoming ban in the announcement, however, in recent months regulators across the US have been strongly criticising promoting cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.