It’s been months since Google banned all cryptocurrency-related ads from its platform. However, that is now changing. According to an announcement as reported by CNBC, Google will be reallowing regulated crypto exchanges to buy ads in the United States and Japan. The new policy is said to start in October.
The ban was first announced in March of this year. It was intended to protect consumers from predatory ICOs and crypto-related scams which were being proliferated online. One does not need to look far to see these kind of scams online, since they are still quite prevalent on Twitter. However, all ICOs, wallet information, and trading advice are still banned from being advertised on Google to protect consumers.
While it is true that the cryptocurrency space has much to offer, it has also spawned significant fraud and some high-profile scams over the years. However, cryptocurrencies are part of a fast-moving space and many social media platforms are reversing their initial bans. For example, earlier this year it was not just Google that initiated this ban but also Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and others all cracked down on crypto-related advertising. The intended effect was to stop bad actors but their recent rollback indicates that maybe there is growing consensus that it was too far. For example, Facebook resumed allowing some kind of cryptocurrency-related advertising on its platform back in June.
At the time of the original ban, Scott Spencer from Google commented that:
“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.”
So what changed since now and then? It seems that Google has come up with better means to vet these ads and make them safer for consumers. Although Google’s updated policy applies to advertisers all over the globe, the ads themselves can only be run in Japan and the United States. Any interested parties will need to apply for a certification to run these same ads in other countries.
Of course, there is some self-interest at play here — Google doesn’t want to cut out a rich source of advertising stream. For example, the company accrued some $54 billion in ad revenue in the first half of 2018. It seems that now Google is acknowledging that is crypto is here to stay and they’re coming up with proper procedures to vet their ads.