Thursday 3 June 2021 12:35 pm

Google slowly opening its doors to cryptocurrency advertising

Internet giant Google is finally edging towards embracing cryptocurrency after announcing the first of what is expected to be a series of updates on its tough crypto advertising policy.

Although a complex and long-winded rule change, it is a foot in the door to one of the world’s biggest tech organisations, and represents a huge shift in mindset that could pave the way to furthering mass adoption of crypto globally.

The changes come into effect in August, with potential advertisers being invited to apply for commercial opportunities in July, ready for the policy switch the following month.

“Beginning August 3, advertisers offering cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets targeting the United States may advertise those products and services when they meet the following requirements and are certified by Google,” a statement read last night.

“This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products.”

Google said the update would “clarify the scope and requirements to allow the advertisement of cryptocurrency related business and services”.

It added: “All prior cryptocurrency exchange certifications will be revoked on August 3, 2021. Advertisers must request new cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets certification with Google when the application form is published on July 8 2021.”

Well received

The announcement has, so far, been well received across the markets, with Bitcoin reacting from $37,220 up above $39,000. Across the board, nearly all major cryptocurrencies have responded positively to the financial products and services policy.

To be certified, advertisers will need to register as a ‘Money Services Business’ with the Financial crimes Enforcement Network, unless they are a chartered bank entity.

All advertisements and landing pages will have to meet relevant legal requirements in order to comply with Google Ads policies, but there will be some prohibited grounds, say the policy-makers.

The platform will, it states, not allow “ads for initial coin offerings, DeFi trading protocols, or otherwise promoting the purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products”.

The prohibition will also include advertising destinations that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products, ICO pre-sales or public offerings, cryptocurrency loans, initial DEX offerings, token liquidity pools, celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements, un-hosted wallets, unregulated dApps, cryptocurrency trading signals, cryptocurrency investment advice, aggregators or affiliate sites containing related content or broker reviews.

While the exhaustive list may appear far-reaching, it is worth noting that in 2018 Google slapped a ban on all crypto-related advertising with no warning and no explanation. It followed a lead taken by Facebook which said it had deep concerns about the number of bad players in the cryptocurrency space.