Google To Lift Ban On Crypto-Related Ads Five Years After Implementation
Google has emphasized that advertisers must comply with the diverse laws governing each targeted location.
By Anna B Kiwanuka
After a prolonged five-year hiatus, Google is set to reintroduce advertisements for cryptocurrency coin trusts in the United States starting January 29, 2024. The tech behemoth, which previously imposed a comprehensive ban on crypto-related product ads, disclosed its plans to permit advertisers in this niche, albeit under strict guidelines adhering to local regulations.
In a noteworthy move, Google emphasized that advertisers must comply with the diverse laws governing each targeted location. For instance, in South Africa, advertisements related to cryptocurrencies must explicitly caution consumers about the potential risks, including the possibility of financial loss associated with crypto assets.
The search giant revealed intentions to elucidate the specific parameters and prerequisites for advertising cryptocurrency coin trusts by January 2024. These financial products enable investors to trade shares in trusts holding substantial amounts of digital currency while imposing constraints on direct marketing approaches that encourage purchasing, holding, or exchanging crypto assets.
Moreover, Google extended its ad policy to encompass educational content on cryptocurrencies and businesses facilitating e-currency payments or dealing in mining hardware. However, these entities are mandated to adhere strictly to the existing Google Ads regulations to advertise on the platform.
Google’s revised policy also permits the advertising of NFT-based games and platforms, albeit within defined limits. Blockchain-centric games allowing in-game transactions for items, characters, weaponry, or armor are sanctioned for promotion, albeit confined to in-game exchanges.
Highlighting the paramount importance of empowering users with comprehensive information for sound financial decisions, Google underscored its commitment to furnishing users with necessary details while shielding them from deceptive and harmful practices through this policy amendment.
The ban on crypto-related advertisements imposed by Google in March 2018 was largely viewed as a response to escalating concerns about fraudulent activities within the crypto sphere, mirroring similar actions undertaken by Facebook during the same period. Despite subsequent incremental anti-fraud measures, the decision to lift the ban raises questions about the sufficiency of these precautions.
Many observers interpret this reversal as a strategic maneuver by Google to augment its substantial advertising revenue, particularly in light of the resurgent traction witnessed in the crypto market. Notably, the cryptocurrency market has exhibited robust performance in recent times, with the total market capitalization soaring by 35% from October to November 2023. The majority of top-10 coins by market capitalization culminated the month on a successful note.
While this shift in Google’s advertising policy presents opportunities for select advertisers in the crypto space to expand their reach, it still delineates limitations for a significant portion of industry participants due to the stipulated constraints on permissible ad types.