Google Revokes Its 2018 Ban on Crypto-Related Advertising

June 04, 2021, 12:15 PM AEST - 1 month ago

Google is lifting its advertising ban regarding cryptocurrency exchanges and digital wallets. The new policy outlines the hurdles that need to be cleared to allow advertising for cryptocurrency-related business and services.

New Crypto Ad Rules

An official policy update by Google stated that “(from) August 3, advertisers offering Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets targeting the United States may advertise those products and services”. However, they will need to be certified by Google first, through meeting these specific requirements:

  • To be registered with either a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter; or a federal or state chartered bank entity. 
  • Must comply with relevant legal requirements, including any local legal requirements, whether at a state or federal level.
  • Must ensure their ads and landing pages comply with all Google Ads policies.

There are still some categories in the crypto space that will not be permitted to advertise. These include Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Decentralised Finance (DeFi) trading protocols, and “Ad destinations that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products”. For an exhaustive list of restricted financial products, have a look here.

Since all previous certifications will be revoked after August 3, advertisers will need to create a new application using the application form that Google will publish on July 8. This policy will apply to all accounts globally, and will need to comply with local legislation and the laws of targeted territories.

Why Crypto Ads Were Banned

This policy change comes after a three-year ban on advertising cryptocurrencies where at one stage even “Ethereum” was added as a blacklisted word in the ads filter.

Google caused quite a stir back in 2018 when it banned crypto advertising, following a ban implemented by Facebook. Both companies cited the sudden spike of crypto offers coaxing investors into making speculative investments, and the ban was a precautionary measure to protect their customers.

By the end of June 2018, other social media conglomerates, Snapchat and Twitter, also issued crypto-ad bans. However, some critics have long accused Google of not properly addressing crypto ad scams which have claimed various institutional and retail victims.

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