Multinational search engine Google has announced that it is to ban advertising for cryptocurrencies, following in the footsteps of Facebook.
In an announcement from the company earlier this week, the company said that it will be updating its financial services policy, which will see advertisements banned for financial services, including digital currencies, starting from June.
It adds that ads for aggregators and affiliates will also not be able to serve, among other things, cryptocurrency advertisements. The announcement didn’t refer to why the company had decided to take this approach. It did, however, state that the ban also applies to cryptocurrency related content ‘including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice.’
This announcement from the biggest provider of digital advertising is notable given the fact that it comes months after the decision by Facebook to ban ads related to cryptocurrencies.
At the end of January, the social media platform announced that it was taking the step of prohibiting ads on digital currencies to prevent promotions that may be ‘misleading or deceptive.’ Rob Leathern, a Facebook product management director, announced the ban via a company blog post, stating that:
We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.
He added that the ‘policy is intentionally broad’ as the company works at better detecting ‘deceptive and misleading advertising practices.’
The interest that the digital currency market is experiencing has raised concerns that scammers are using online sites to trick people. In recent months, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declared that securities laws apply to many cryptocurrencies and the exchanges that trade them. As a result, market prices fell with investors worried that further pressure will be applied on the industry.
Earlier this month, the SEC said:
If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an ‘exchange,’ as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration.
After the announcement from the agency, bitcoin’s price fell 10 percent below the key $10,000 mark. Some analysts believe, though, that the SEC is less focused on bitcoin and more on smaller coins that are funded through initial coin offerings (ICOs).
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