Google is Banning All Cryptocurrency

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Come June 2018, Google will ban online advertisements promoting any cryptocurrency-related content as a component of its recently updated financial services policy which introduces curbs on a handful of financial products including contracts for difference (CFDs), rolling spot forex and financial spread betting — all viewed as high-risk products.

Apart from those binary choices, an excerpt from Google's 'new restricted financial products coverage' reads the ban extends to:

Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice).

What's more, Google also said aggregator and affiliates using Google ads will no longer be permitted to host promotional material related to cryptocurrencies. In other words, Google is effectively disabling crypto-related advertisements on its own website as well as third-party sites using its ad products. The ban, a move to effectively stamp out scams in the crypto space, will also impact legitimate or 'controlled' firms offering cryptocurrency services.

Speaking to CNBC, Google's director of sustainable advertisements Scott Spencer explained the move as a preventative measure to safeguard consumers.

«We don't have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we have seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it's an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.'

The change in policy comes alongside the ad giant's annual „bad ads“ report that points to over 3.2 billion ads taken down in 2017 for violating Google's advertising policies. Google also said it blacklisted 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps in breach of publisher policies.

Google's ban follows a similar move by ad-rival Facebook which prohibited cryptocurrency-related advertising earlier in January. Facebook blamed 'misleading or deceptive promotional practices' adopted by companies promoting initial coin offerings or cryptocurrencies while updating its „intentionally broad“ change in policy that will extend to other Facebook-owned platforms such as Instagram. „We will revisit this policy and we enforce it as our signals enhance,“ Facebook said at the moment.