Google says no to cryptocurrency ads

by Lucia Danes - -

Google bans cryptocurrency ads from June; Bitcoin value fell already

Google bans cryptocurrency ads

This week Google announced about banning cryptocurrency-related ads from June, meaning that we no longer be able to see (or create) Bitcoin or initial coin offering (ICOs) adverts on the world’s largest search engine and other platforms owned by Google.

According to Google’s blog post, the company decided to “tackle emerging threats” and start banning ads that are related to “unregulated or speculative financial products” due to increasing interest in cryptocurrency[1] which also lead to growing number of scams and phishing attacks via Google ads: [2]

“We updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs).”
[Source: Scott Spencer, Director of Sustainable Ads at Google]

Cryptocurrency is a new and gaining popularity niche among cyber criminals. Digital currency is not regulated, so no one can trace and catch fraudsters. Therefore, cryptocurrency trading cam help scammers generate millions an do not get punished.

However, Bitcoin, Monero, and other currencies are not only used by criminals. Google ban also affects genuine investors as well. Nevertheless, new regulations haven’t come into effect yet; Bitcoin’s rate has already fallen. The next day after Google announced the news, Bitcoin prices fell below $8000. [3]

Google follows Facebook’s decision reported in January

Google is not the first and only one who started the fight against cryptocurrency scams. Facebook announced new advertising policy where is no place for cryptocurrency ads in January. According to the Rob Leathern, Product Management Director at Facebook, the new policy:

<…> prohibits ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.[4]

According to the Leathern’s post, the company does not tolerate deceptive advertising that promotes cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and similar information. For this reason, the company decided to block ads related to digital financial products not only on Facebook but other platforms such as Audience Network and Instagram too.

Reddit banned cryptocurrency ads back in 2016

Facebook and Google seem pioneers of banning cryptocurrency-related ads on their platforms. However, Reddit was way ahead of them. According to Motherboard,[5] this platform has updated their advertising policy and blocked cryptocurrency ads in 2016. However, they did not make a huge deal of it and did not publish a press release.

However, Reddit users can still see third-party crypto-currency related ads. These regulations for ads exist only in Reddit’s in-house advertising platform. But it seems that from June this program should not exist when Google blocks such ads too.

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Security researcher

Lucia Danes is the news editor at UGetFix. She is always on the move because the eager for knowledge makes her travel around the globe and attend InfoSec events and conferences.

Contact Lucia Danes
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