Friday 4 June 2021 8:47 am

Google's melting crypto ice is a welcome birthday treat

Today, Angelina Jolie and I will be celebrating together. It’s something we do once a year and it’s always great fun. At the end of the day we feel adored and special. We love it.

Unfortunately, we are yet to do it in person because what we have in common is that we share the same birthday. I await the invitation from Angelina with relish and I presume it will come next year.

More pertinently, there is a beautiful woman in crypto who I have shared my birthday with and that was three years ago at Money 20/20 in Amsterdam when I had an early meeting on June 4 with Smart Valor’s Olga Feldmeier.

Not only were we surprised and delighted at the coincidence, Olga promptly ordered champagne for breakfast and that set the scene for a gloriously messy day that I don’t remember too much about. There was something about a party on a barge with a white owl and a Bald Eagle and I know that actually was true, but nothing else in the rabbit-hole comes back to me.

So, I’m writing this column early so I can have a similar day today. Lunch on Brighton seafront with some great friends and then anything might happen; as it should be.

Somewhat remarkably after the crazy events since my last birthday, it’s been a very quiet week for crypto. The market is subdued, like sailing through the doldrums in the Atlantic Ocean expecting a storm or lightning at any time.

Well may we wish for weeks like this, when nobody bothers checking their exchange portfolio or worth.

No experts on both sides of the divide making gloom-or-moon predictions, no volatile price movements, no Muskisms, no McAfeeisms and there was even the AIBC UAE Summit, a physical crypto conference in Dubai last week that was intelligent and controversy-free.

However, there was something important that did happen that was reported in this publication earlier this week and something that I think could be extremely positive for the industry.

The arrogant gateway that doesn’t mind evil as much as it used and is commonly known as Google is allegedly loosening its attitude to crypto advertising on its platform.

While apparently happy to take advertising money from just about anybody including many who allegedly do a lot of evil, Google has been notoriously anti-crypto… unlike Instagram and TikTok that lets anybody bang on, often in extremely puerile terms, about cryptocurrencies.

Mooted changes

Nothing is happening straight away because it won’t be August until these mooted changes take place, but on July 8 ‘advertisers must request new cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets certification with Google when the application form is published’.

As the previous Crypto Am piece reports, potential advertisers will need to be certified by registering as a ‘Money Services Business’ with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Sounds great so far.

However, not all is rosy in the Google walled garden because it will not allow ads for ‘ICOs, DeFi trading protocols, or otherwise promoting the purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products’.

DeFi trading protocols seem like a really weird thing to ban advertising about and it sounds as if it’s going to be a difficult and Kafkaesque process to obtain certification, so the big crypto girls and boys are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries, a word that now has me subconsciously sing the Bare Necessities of Life from the Jungle Book.

And bearing in mind my plans for today’s birthday, that may just be the song I sing all day as I send wishes to Angelina Jolie and Olga Feldmeier and look forward to seeing them both next year in Jerusalem or at my next birthday, which I intend to hold in Goa, funded completely by crypto profits of the next 12 months, so thanks Google in advance for that.

Happy birthday to me, but I would also add that I asked you to pray for me and Brentford last week in the EFL Championship final at Wembley. It was an amazing day and I cried my eyes out. If tomorrow’s birthday is anything like that experience, then I’ll be a very lucky man although unlikely to survive the day.

But thanks for the prayers, you made all the difference. We are Premier League, we are Premier League!