Google is banning advertisements for cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum, in an approach to protect users from scams which are hidden behind risky monetary transactions.
In an update to its financial services policy, Google announced that the ads for cryptocurrencies and related content like initial coin offerings (ICO), cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, as well as cryptocurrency trading services, will not be allowed from June 2018.
The cryptocurrency-ad ban will be applicable to Google’s platforms like YouTube, and to the other websites where Google ads work.
Google didn’t mention on its website why it is banning these ads. But Google’s director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, told CNBC – “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.”
The search engine giant removed 3.2 billion ads in 2017, which were found violating its advertising policies. It was more than 100 bad ads per second, and nearly twice the number of ads it removed in 2016 (1.7 billion). Along with these harmful ads, Google had also blocked 320K publishers from its ad network, 90K websites, and 700K mobile apps, for violating content policies.
In January, Facebook announced ban for all Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ads to stop false and misleading promotions. Google and Facebook are the largest digital ad providers in the world, and hold the majority of advertising on the internet. Hence, the ban is already showing its impact on the cryptocurrency market.
The bitcoin price fell below $8000 from $9200, following Google’s announcement. The current Bitcoin price, as per Coindesk, is $8100, which is not even half of what it was fetching just three months back.
Cryptocurrency is becoming infamous because of its use in misleading people. The users are fooled not only through the ads but through the phishing of mails as well. Cybercriminals use topics like bitcoin to mislead users and steal their money.