Google Partially Lifts Advertising Ban On Crypto Services

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Google has revised their policies surrounding advertising, allowing cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to book ads again.

Google will allow certain Crypto Ads after three-year ban

In a policy update released on Wednesday, the leading search engine declared that it will allow ads for cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets targeting users based in the US and Japan. The revised policy states:

Beginning August 3, advertisers offering Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets targeting the United States may advertise those products and services when they meet the following requirements and are certified by Google.

In order to obtain a certification from Google to post ads for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges, these service providers must be licensed as Money Services Businesses under FinCEN regulation, and must have a Money Transmitter license in at least one US state. Alternatively, crypto service providers can also be registered at a commercial bank operating on either federal or state level. Furthermore, ads and landing pages must conform to Google Ads guidelines.

Most Services are still shut out

Although exchanges and wallets make up for a great part of cryptocurrency infrastructure, most of the wide range of services surrounding blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is still prohibited from booking Google ads.

This includes advertising for token sales of any kind, DeFi protocols, cryptocurrency loans, liquidity pools, influencer advertising for crypto products, as well as non-custodial wallets and DApps. The ban also extends to services that compare or report on blockchain and cryptocurrency projects, such as news aggregators, trading signals, affiliate websites including exchange reviews, and investment consultants.

Google’s policy of banning crypto services was adopted in 2018, following the implosion of the ICO bubble that year, which was heavily fueled by widespread exit scams and other fraudulent crypto projects. Back then, Google’s director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, said in an interview with CNBC:

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

Since 2018, we have become much more sophisticated in finding out which tokenomic models work and we have become a lot more wary about the dangers of crypto scams. In this light, Google’s restrictions might still seem a little harsh, especially since social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are more open to cryptocurrencies. However, scams, especially DeFi rug pulls and hacks are still running rampant. As such, Google’s sustained caution surrounding blockchain technology is understandable.

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