Google announces ban on cryptocurrency ads

A little over a month after Facebook updated its advertising policy to include a blanket ban on  cryptocurrency, Google is following suit. Shortly after reporting that it had removed 3.2 billion “bad ads” in 2017, the search giant issued an update to its advertising policy page, highlighting a ban on:

  • Binary options and synonymous products
  • Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)

The company notes that it’s making the decision out of an abundance of caution around the admittedly volatile space.

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies,” Google ad executive  Scott Spencer told CNBC in an interview published last night, “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.”

In spite of that caution, the rules aren’t slated to go into effect until June. Even so, they appear to have already had an impact, with Bitcoin dipping below $9,000 after the announcement. The fluctuation echoes a similar change in price after the Facebook announcement back in January, which caused best known cryptocurrency to drop 12-percent.

While some enterprising companies have reportedly worked around Facebook’s ban through intentional misspellings of words that might otherwise send up a red flag for the social media site’s ad police, a spokesperson for Google tells Bloomberg that the company is working to address that issue.

That, one imagines, will be in place by the time these polices go into effect over the summer.