Google announced a ban on online advertisements sponsoring cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings as from June, this new policy forms part of a major crackdown on the promotion of a new type of high-risk financial products.
Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company announced yesterday night the decision of updating its current ad policy stating the search engine giant will now be banning ads for “cryptocurrencies and related content.” This comes after Facebook similarly banned ads promoting the digital-currency sector in January. Hence, the two largest web-ad sellers are now out of bounds of the budding digital-currency sector.
Google also announced it would start restricting ads for financial products which includes binary options. Currently, googling terms like “binary options” and “buy bitcoin” produce four ads at the top of results.
Facebook also took a similar initiative in January by banning cryptocurrencies ads. However, cunning businesses and promoters found a loophole in their new policy. They began misspelling key words like “bitcoin” deliberately for their ads to appear. A spokesperson from Google stated that the company will try to anticipate such practices when updating their policies.
Google’s update in policy saw the release of its infamous annual “bad ads” report, which contains a list of malicious, deceptive and controversial ads Google washes away from its massive search engine display and video network. Google stated that it removed more than 3.2 billion advertisements from the web in 2017, which is an additional 1.7 billion ads from 2016’s figure.
Last year, Google deleted 79 million ads designed to lure online users to virus-plagued websites. Google is actively trying to clean its content of misleading and deceptive content. The company suspended 7,000 customer accounts for ads phishing news article – something the company termed as “tabloid cloaking” – and blocked over 12,000 websites for duplicating information from other sources.
Google’s position against cryptocurrencies and the removal of 3.2 billion ads is not going to have a major impact on the search engine company. Indeed, in 2017, Google generated $95.4 billion in ad revenue which is a progress of 20% from 2016.
As for Bitcoin, its value fell by 9 percent after Google announced its revised policy concerning cryptocurrencies. A bitcoin’s value fell shortly below the $8,000 mark. Similarly, when Facebook announced its ban on cryptocurrency ads in January, Bitcoin had lost 12% of value. Facebook’s motive in its newfound position against the digital-currency sector was that it was “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
Upon hearing the news, Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM, leader in the digital asset investment, said the crackdown is instead a positive news for digital currencies. “It’s a good thing for the industry, Facebook and Google ads were always a red flag for me. It’s not having any impact on price,” he said. When pressed about the declining rates of the cryptocurrencies, he attributed the fall to more global regulatory fears. “Selling is driven by fear of another China ban, supposedly coming in the next 24 hours,” the CEO said. “My view is it will be a nothing burger since China has been banning bitcoin since 2013.”
Bitcoins prices are dropping heavily amid international regulatory fears. Last week, after a statement by the SEC that expanded its inspection on cryptocurrency exchanges, and news of falsified accounts on a major Hong Kong-based exchange, Binance, Bitcoin prices freefell from over $11,000 to crash beneath $9,000.
Other cryptocurrencies, also known as “alt-coins” such as Ethereum, fell by roughly 9 percent from the open, trading near $627 at 1:30 p.m. ET, according to CoinDesk. Ripple was down 8.6 percent from the open trading neat 72 cents, according to Coinmarketcap.
Commenting about the price irregularities, Jack Tatar, co-author of “Cryptoassets : The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond,” said, “We also have the threat and lack of clarity about the regulations which is also weighing on the entire cryptoasset space, not just bitcoin.” He added that any valuation below $8,000 “will be disconcerning.”