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Google to Ban Crypto Ads

The technology giant's new policy will prohibit advertisements for cryptocurrencies.

  • By Amy Whyte

Starting in June, Google will ban advertisements for cryptocurrencies as part of new restrictions the company is placing on "unregulated or speculative financial products."

Included in the ban are ads for initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice, according to a blog post Wednesday by Scott Spencer, Google's director of sustainable ads. Google will also prohibit advertising for binary options and equivalent products.

"We're constantly updating our policies as we see new threats emerge," Spencer wrote in the blog. He said Google took down more than 3.2 billion in ads that violated its advertising policies in 2017,

[II Deep Dive: Endowments and Foundations Take a Hard Pass on Cryptocurrencies]

The ban on cryptocurrency advertisements follows a similar announcement made by Facebook's product management director Rob Leathern in January. The social network prohibited ads for "financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices," including binary options, initial coin offerings, and cryptocurrencies.

"There are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs, and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith," Leathern wrote.

In addition to the cryptocurrency and binary options bans, Google's new restricted financial products policy will also impact ads for contracts for difference, rolling spot foreign exchange trading, and financial spread betting. Future advertisement of these products will require a certification process through Google.

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