Google Banning Ads for Cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering

Bitcoin the largest cryptocurrency by market value pared an advance of about 2% after Google’s announcement
Bitcoin the largest cryptocurrency by market value pared an advance of about 2% after Google’s announcement

15 March, 2018

So no more ads for ICOs, or crypto, or bitcoin in search results for the time being.

Google has announced it will be banning adverts for cryptocurrency across all its platforms.

Its new financial services rules, published this week, state that advertising will no longer be permitted to serve content relating to cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), exchanges, wallets, trading advice and spread betting.

The move follows a similar ban by Facebook in January.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile and governments are also clamping down on the digital tokens to thwart its expansion.

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This news came soon after Google released its annual ads report on March 14.

In 2017, Google took down more than 3.2bn ads, compared with 700m in 2015. It is estimated to bring in more than $40bn in ad revenues over the course of 2018, nearly half the entire global $94bn market, beating Facebook, which earns $22bn, into second place. That compares with 1,200 sites reviewed in a single month in 2016, with around a quarter blocked and 200 publishers saw their accounts terminated. Last weekend, some advertisers using Google AdWords to promote cryptocurrency-related businesses reported a drop in their ad views. We blocked 79 million ads in our network for attempting to send people to malware-laden sites, and removed 400,000 of these unsafe sites past year.

The ads in question included those automatically sending users to malware sites (79 million), "trick to click" ads, which frequently appear as system warnings to entice users to click (66 million), and ads with the motive of getting users to install unwanted software (48 million). Google, in its trust and safety ads report, has said that it took down more than 3.2 Bn ads in 2017 that violated its policies, which is almost double the 1.7 Bn number it removed the year before.

Where it is unlikely that the upcoming ban on cryptocurrency ads would have any serious impact on Google ads sales, the ban would be of great help to unsuspecting and novice investors to protect them from companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not now operating in good faith.

Google also took action against sites that promoted unsafe and derogatory language as well as hate speech.

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