Google Reverses Ban on Crypto Ads, But Only For Regulated Exchanges

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Google has announced that it is lifting the ban on cryptocurrency advertising through its ads platform, but only for regulated exchanges.

Earlier this year, Google announced a blanket ban on cryptocurrency advertising through its services, in a move that was criticized at the time for its impact on legitimate businesses in the sector.

On the grounds of preventing “consumer harm,” particularly in light of cryptocurrency scams and certain ICOs, the search engine giant’s decision had a prohibitive effect on businesses, including regulated institutions operating in the cryptocurrency space.

Now, according to a policy update from the firm, some cryptocurrency ads could be back up and running from as early as October for regulated exchanges operating out of Japan and the United States.

“The Google Ads policy on financial products and services will be updated in October 2018 to allow regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan.

“Advertisers will need to be certified with Google for the specific country in which their ads will serve. Advertisers will be able to apply for certification once the policy launches in October. This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products.”

In particular, Japan and the United States have licensed some cryptocurrency exchanges, introducing regulatory oversight that was much less prevalent at the time of the original ban.

Back in May, Google joined several other tech giants in announcing restrictions on cryptocurrency advertising, including Facebook. The decision came at a time of increasing scrutiny of the sector from the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators.

At the time, senior executives were quoted as saying they didn’t have a “crystal ball” in order to determine whether cryptocurrency advertisers were legitimate, or would subsequently be found in breach of securities laws by regulators.

Now, with the position around regulated exchanges clarifying, it looks like the momentum could be shifting back toward permitting cryptocurrency ads for regulated businesses.

In June, Facebook announced it was relaxing its restrictions on cryptocurrency ads, with today’s move bringing Google back into line with its rivals.