In a move that is sure to ruffle a few feathers in Silicon Valley, Google is set to ban all cryptocurrency advertising and initial coin offerings (ICO's) from June 2018.
The move is part of a new financial product policy set to come into effect from June 2018, and sees all ads about cryptocurrency and related content banned, including but not limited to ICO's, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice.
Advertisers wanting to be on Google's AdWords platform do have the option of attaining Google certification from March 2018 if they want to get around the ban.
To be certified by Google, advertisers will need to be licensed by the relevant financial services authority in the country or countries they are targeting, ensure the ads and landing pages comply with AdWords policies, and comply with legal requirements.
Google announced the ban on crypto ads alongside its announcement of a ban for ads about binary options, forex, and financial spread betting.
Scott Spencer, director of sustainable ads at Google, says in a blog post that the move will improve the user experience on the platform which has been overrun by low quality ads lately.
"Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that's removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us," says Spencer.
"We prohibit websites in our ad network serving ads on misrepresentative content."
"Our work to protect the ads ecosystem doesn't stop here - it's ongoing. As consumer trends evolve, as our methods to protect the open web get better, so do online scams."
Some advertisers have already reported that their cryptocurrency-related ads have already seen significant performance drops on the AdWords platform as early as last week.
Google's decision follows in the footsteps of Facebook, which banned cryptocurrency ads on its site in January. Facebook, at the time, said the ads were "frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices".
Twitter has also suggested it is taking steps to stop cryptocurrency-related spam on its platform.
Considering the volatile nature of the crypto markets it is hard to tell whether Google's announcement is the cause for the movement of the major cryptocurrencies, but Bitcoin is currently down 38.85 per cent to $8,158.05, and Ethereum is down 9.55 per cent to $605.46 according to CoinDesk.
Business News Australia
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