Google lifts its blanket ban on cryptocurrency advertising

September 26, 2018
Chris Wheal

Google has said it will end its blanket ban on cryptocurrency-related advertising on its website, and from October will allow ads from regulated exchanges in the US and Japan.

Google lifts ban on crypto exchanges ads. Ban on ICOs remains

The Alphabet-owned search engine and e-commerce giant raised restrictions on crypto advertising in June after announcing the ban in March following a rise in fake adverts that connected to scam websites designed to get the public to invest in non-existent initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other fraudulent activities.

ICO ad ban remains in place

Rapidly rising cryptocurrency prices through the end of 2017 and first couple of months of 2018 drove a rise in fraudulent activity – particularly scam ICOs: in a study published in July, Satis Research claimed up to 80% of ICOs launched between July 2017 and June 2018 were scams.

The ban on ICO advertising, therefore, will not be lifted, but now cryptocurrency prices are falling, it would appear that Google believes the hype surrounding digital assets is fading and exchanges are less exposed to fraud.

Google’s new policy means global advertisers can apply for advertising space on its platform, however, their ads will only run in the US and Japan.

Following Facebook move

The move by Google follows similar action by Facebook, which reversed its ban – initially set in January – in June, to allow pre-approved ads to run on its platform. Ads related to ICOs and binary options remain banned on Facebook also.

Google’s news helped the cryptocurrency market halt its losses of the past couple of trading sessions, although Wednesday’s gains looked a little stretched, with bitcoin rising just a fraction of 1%.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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