Google ban crypto, or at least this is what it is going to happen soon. From June, there should be a total ban on advertising, even indirect, to digital currencies, token sale or trading services on the crypto world. But this also affects those who offer useful services.
The first mystery is to understand what really Google intends to do. In fact, since the beginning of June, the search engine has had to ban every ADV related to bitcoins and cryptocurrencies. For now, however, June 4, the ban already announced in March with adv still active that appear in the foreground is still not fully active.
We’ll see what will happen, but in the meantime, several industry experts say that the ban could be “not ethically correct” and above all “badly conceived”.
At the time, Scott Spenser, director of sustainable advertising at Google told CNBC:
“We do not have a crystal ball to know what the future of cryptocurrencies will be, but we have perceived damage to the consumer, or rather a potential damage, and we want to tackle this with extreme caution”.
Not only Google bans the crypts: also Medium, Facebook, Twitter and Bing have followed the example of Google by banning the cryptocurrency ads.
The decision for Google to ban crypto was announced in a blog post in March, stating:
“The ADV will no longer be authorized for … cryptocurrencies and related content, including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency portfolios and cryptocurrency trading tips”.
On the other hand, Facebook has done the same in a statement: “We have introduced a rule that prohibits ads on financial products and services that are frequently associated with deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offers and cryptocurrencies.”
Lack of consistency?
But there are criticisms, even considering that Google and Facebook have expressed interest in blockchain technology. A fact that makes fear other objectives, not declared, the giants of the web, perhaps to favor themselves.
There are those who point out that Google and Facebook are under pressure to regulate what users see and read.
For example, according to Phillip Nunn, the CEO of Blackmore Group, the two giants “are still advertising gambling sites or other practices that are certainly not ethical”. Also according to Nunn, the ban would be linked to the intention of companies to introduce their cryptocurrencies on the market: “I suspect that the ban has been implemented … to introduce its cryptocurrency soon, and then remove other announcements”.
The suspicions were born when some statements from Business Insiders were released from the top of Google: “As we do for new technologies, we have internal groups that explore the potential use of blockchain.” However, it was also added: “It’s too early to speculate on possible uses or plans “.
Also, in May Vitalik Buterin revealed on Twitter that he had been contacted by Google who wanted to recruit him into the company.
And Facebook has announced, in the same period, the creation of a team dedicated entirely to blockchain technology.
If Google ban crypto, get around the ban
Moreover, despite the ban, several marketing experts have come up with methods to circumvent it, for example by using a zero in the word “bitcoin”.
There is also a delicate political aspect. Many governments have expressed themselves several times, warning about the risk of ICO scam, while the WSJ has conducted research where it turns out that about 80% of ICOs raise the red flag.
“Unfortunately, this generalized ban will involve every cryptocurrency and any project that already provides valuable services to users,” said Ed Cooper, the head of the mobile sector at the digital banking startup Revolut.
“A more targeted approach would be preferable. It’s like putting a general ban on all job ads on antivirus software or charities, just because consumers are sometimes used to scammers.”
According to Gareth Malna, a fintech lawyer of the British law firm Burges Salmon “worrying given its vast commercial power”.