Google Shuts Down All Cryptocurrency Advertising on Its Platforms

March 19, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

In a move that’s sure to leave cryptocurrency enthusiasts everywhere a little downhearted, Google recently declared all advertising involving cryptocurrency persona non grata on all of its platforms. This includes initial coin offerings (ICOs), coin exchanges, digital wallets and related products, and trading advice.

A notice from Google noted that a formal policy would be introduced in June, but reasons why weren’t stated alongside it. Reports from no less than the BBC suggest that Google decided to step in, believing there was “…a lack of appropriate consumer protections for highly speculative and complex trades.” Facebook launched a similar move back in January, citing “bad faith” on the part of several firms in the cryptocurrency market.

Not surprisingly, the value of not only bitcoin, but also Ethereum and Ripple all took a hit after the news was announced.

It didn’t help matters for either Google or cryptocurrency that users of the AdWords service reported that performance of cryptocurrency-related campaigns had fallen off, but Google noted that that was unrelated to any policy changes. Google also announced other policy changes, like financial products ads would have to be licensed by the various regulators involved, and directly certified by Google itself.

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde also took on crypto, saying “Money laundering and terrorist financing is only one dimension of the threat. The rapid growth of crypto-assets, the extreme volatility in their traded prices, and their ill-defined connections to the traditional financial world could easily create new vulnerabilities. We must welcome their potential but also recognize their risks.”

While it would be easy to be irked by Lagarde’s mealy-mouthed approach to a new technology with serious potential to fundamentally change the nature of commerce, and by Google’s latest bit of we-know-what’s-best-for-you policy in the vein of that that’s slowly strangling YouTube, it’s also important to note that this kind of thing may actually be good for the cryptocurrency market long term. It’s a sign that it’s being taken seriously, and if we’re being honest, we have to admit that there were bad actors in this segment that could use some weeding out.

Cryptocurrency is catching on, despite what may look like every effort to the contrary. This could be pretty big by the time it’s all said and done.