Google eases up on crypto ad ban
Several months ago, Google joined a handful of social-focused companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, that had instituted a ban on any advertising related to cryptocurrencies. Facebook was the first to relent, announcing in June that it would start allowing certain types of ads. Now, Google has decided that it doesn’t want to lose any more money and has walked back its no-crypto ads ban, at least to a certain extent.
Google will now allow ads by cryptocurrency exchanges from anywhere in the world, but they can only advertise in the US and Japan. In order to be considered, a company must submit a request for certification to Google, which will then be reviewed to determine eligibility. Initial coin offerings (ICO), ads offering trading advice and crypto wallets are still prohibited.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, makes too much money off of advertising for it to ignore the potential. 86% of the company’s profits come from ads and Alphabet earned over $54 billion in ad revenue during the first six months of the year.
In speaking with CNBC, cryptocurrency expert and University of Pittsburgh professor Chris Wilmer asserted that the policy update is a significant step for the crypto industry. He said, "This is a positive step for well-established cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin is a technological breakthrough, with many applications beyond being a new, better form of money. While platforms such as Google and Facebook need to be mindful of false and malicious cryptocurrency ads, simply banning all ads was not the right thing to do."
Things are shaping up for the crypto industry. As we roll into the last quarter of the year, there is the potential to see several advances toward the legitimization of crypto as a true offering in the US, including better recognition at the federal level, new crypto products and a less-volatile market. Google’s new stance isn’t itself a game-changer, but its timing can certainly help the industry grow.