Starting June ’18, Google will ban “Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)”. That’s what the Google advertisement policy update reads.
The cryptocurrency and blockchain space is expanding at an alarming rate; according to Miko Matsumura, co-founder of the Evercoin Cryptocurrency Exchange, about 30 Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) go live every single day. More astonishingly, he claimed that 1 billion ICO projects have raised money to date. That’s a huge number considering the inception of Bitcoin, the first blockchain-backed cryptocurrency, took place only in 2008.
Many fraudulent organizations have taken advantage of the ICO hype and unscrupulously cheated unsuspecting investors into investing in fake ICO projects. A lot of cheap tactics like “pumping and dumping” are also carried out by these scammers, making some quick buck at the expense of innocent people’s wallets. Facebook recognized the potential for much bigger scams and implemented a ban on ICO & cryptocurrency ads last month. Unfortunately, legitimate crypto projects – ones that have actual use cases – will bear the brunt.
Since advertising is the major source of revenue for Google, it has to strive to ensure that its search engine platform is a safe and secure environment for potential advertisers. It is for this reason that Google will also be banning ads for binary options, forex and financial spread betting.
Google has decided to implement the same strategy by banning all ads linked with the crypto space. Google also said aggregator and affiliates using Google ads will not be allowed to host promotional material related to cryptocurrencies.
“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” says Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads, while talking to CNBC.