Google announced on Wednesday that in June company will ban ads for cryptocurrencies and related products like Initial Coin Offerings, largely unregulated crowdsales that can raise millions of dollars from investors.
Google’s ad network, AdSense, is a giant in the online advertising industry and paid out $12.6 billion to publisher partners last year, the company stated in a report accompanying the policy announcement on Wednesday. An AdSense blockade is yet another big hit to the cryptocurrency industry, which lost access to a marketing goldmine in January when Facebook banned ads for virtual currencies and ICOs on its platform.
The ban covers cryptocurrencies and ICOs—some of which have turned out to be scams that fleeced investors of their money—as well as trading advice (sorry, James “Crypto-Genius” Althusser) but it also covers exchanges and wallet services. Exchanges like Coinbase are where cryptocurrencies are bought and sold, and digital wallets are often distributed for free and have open source code.
Notably, Google’s policy follows Facebook’s lead in banning ads for risky financial services like binary options as well as futures exchanges and speculative contracts for difference alongside cryptocurrencies.
Facebook’s announcement for its cryptocurrency ad ban stated that the policy was “intentionally broad” and that the company is open to tweaking it as needed in the future. Google’s announcement makes no such caveats, suggesting ads for open source digital wallets may stay lumped in with get-rich-quick ICOs.
With two of the biggest digital advertisers banning cryptocurrency ads, the industry now has to find other companies willing to help them hawk their wares.
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