In an interesting turn of events, Google quietly made a change in its 3 years-old policy of not allowing any crypto ads on Google and its associated websites. Retracting from its old position, Google now has updated the policy page on its support website. Now, crypto exchanges & wallet companies can target the United States market, albeit after clearing a few rigorous regulatory hurdles.
Efforts to Combat New Threats for Ad Policy for Crypto Exchanges
Google’s recent financial products and services policy update on cryptocurrency advertising is big news for crypto advertisers. The new rules will be applicable in August, with all existing crypto exchange Google certifications to be revoked. Advertisers may have to request new cryptocurrency exchanges and new wallet certification with Google.
The internet giant mentioned, “This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products.” Further, the company mentioned several ways to advertisers, with all details regarding its certification policy, that need to be fulfilled.
Firstly, the advertiser must comply with crypto rules and must be duly registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) “as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter.” Alternatively, the advertisers can be “a federal or state-chartered bank entity.”
Some Crypto Ad Bans are Still Prohibited
Several crypto institutions are worried as it would restrict their entry as new advertisers for cryptocurrency ads. Likewise, initial coin offerings, Defi trading protocols, purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products” all continue to be prohibited. Also, news and chart aggregators, as well as signals and analysis services, remain on the ad blacklist.
In addition to that, the internet giant mentioned some examples of the ads, including “ICO pre-sales or public offerings, cryptocurrency loans, initial DEX offerings, token liquidity pools, celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements, unhosted wallets, unregulated Dapps, cryptocurrency trading signals, cryptocurrency investment advice, aggregators or affiliate sites containing related content or broker reviews”, are also prohibited.
In March 2018, Google initially banned crypto advertising from its search engine. The initiative came into effect immediately after Facebook undertook a similar policy shift earlier that year. Later in September 2018, Google revised that strict policy to some extent, allowing crypto exchanges to become certified advertisers on the platform for the U.S. and Japanese markets. In 2018, the internet giant had blacklisted the “Ethereum” word for running ads on Google and its partner network sites. However, some experts have criticized Google for not adequately addressing crypto-related ad scams.
Fighting Controversial Content
According to a recent study, to better protect the advertisers by removing Google ads from individual pages on a website that violate the policies, around 2 million pages for policy violations were removed each month in 2017 to control the rising cases of inappropriate and controversial content. In addition to that, in April 2017, to cover additional forms of discrimination and intolerance, Google ads were removed from 8,700 pages that violated the expanded policy.
To combat the new threats and improve the ad experience, Google has formulated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets, and contracts for difference (or CFDs).
The new advertisement policy will allow United States-based crypto experts to get well versed with ads. Binance.US and FTX are currently battling to carve out stateside market share, with FTX, willing to spend on unconventional advertising venues.
Lastly, Google concluded their update by mentioning, “As a reminder, we expect all advertisers to follow with new local laws for any area that their ads target. This policy remains applicable globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products”.