Google said Wednesday it will ban cryptocurrency adverts from across its networks from this summer, a move that prompted a $600 drop in the price of bitcoin.
The decision comes weeks after Facebook announced a similar ban. Google’s ban will be imposed across its search and display-advertising network, as well as YouTube.
Scammers have sought to capitalize on the combination of a growing interest among the general public in cryptocurrencies and a lack of technical understanding of how they work.
Google said from June it will no longer allow ads for “cryptocurrencies and related content, including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice.”
“Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that's removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us,” Scott Spencer, director of sustainable ads said in a blog post.
Spencer said Google removed 3.2 billion ads that violated its policies, which equates to more than 100 bad ads every second. It was more than double the amount removed in 2016.
He told the Wall Street Journal the company removed more than 130 million ads that were used by hackers to mine for cryptocurrency, a process known as cryptojacking.
The announcement had an immediate impact on the markets.
Bitcoin’s price fell from almost $9,300 to below $8,650 in a few hours, with the rest of the cryptocurrency markets — with a couple of exceptions — following suit.
However some bitcoin enthusiasts believe linking the two may be flawed:
When Facebook implemented its ban at the end of January, enterprising advertisers found workarounds, including purposely misspelling bitcoin. Google said it is policy will attempt to anticipate these tricks.
Cover image: The picture shows Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin. (Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)