Twitter recently joined Google and Facebook in a move to ban cryptocurrency related ads. By not classifying differences between ICO related ads and legitimate crypto-related business ads, this decision blanket bans all crypto-related products from promoting on these two internet giants.
While Bing and Snap currently allow cryptocurrency ads, LinkedIn has also stated that it bans the “sale of virtual currencies” but does not outright say that it forbids everything related to crypto.
Combined with increasingly stiff banking biases against crypto-related businesses, it would seem that platforms in the digital space are pushing cryptocurrency into a dead end.
Here’s why this development may be a surprisingly good thing for the industry:
1. It reduces emotional bias and forces more due diligence
It’s understandable why market hype has led to an exponential influx of new retail investors. Who wouldn’t want to benefit from the massive bull market increases seen in 2017? Yet as savvy investors realize, buying on market-hype and trading on emotion almost always leads to poor decision making and lost investment.
The Twitter, Facebook, and Google bans on crypto-related products mean that yes, while the baby is thrown out with the bath water – some good, honest, legitimate companies will no longer be able to advertise – investors as a whole will have to do their due diligence to find and assess the cryptocurrencies they’re interested in.
Forcing investors to look into fundamentals rather than making decisions based on catchy advertisements and emotional ads will almost certainly reduce some of the emotional biases that plague new-investors, and will serve to remove some of the pump-and-dump ‘buy while it’s hot’ mentality.
2. It encourages legitimate go-to-market strategy
There’s no denying that advertising works. It is a powerful tool to leverage in any go-to-market strategy. While the ban doesn’t eliminate opportunity-seeking cryptocurrency companies from finding innovative ways to extract resources from investors – removing one of the easiest, and most powerful methods to reach an audience will help encourage legitimate business building and go-to-market strategies.
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Blockchain-based companies that are building, or who have built audiences or followings through great content will still succeed in raising capital and building great businesses. Likewise, those who build working versions of their ideas, have live users on their platform and who build real B2B partnerships, will have little to no problem attracting investment and building great companies.
3. It encourages regulation – self imposed or external
While it may be seen as a counterintuitive move by companies, it may be viewed as an encouraging one by regulators worldwide as companies are now far quicker to take actions to protect their users and revenue streams.
A look at a list of 17+ industries that Google currently bans from advertising reveals that near all of them have some form of industry-government regulation.
When large platforms push to protect users from malicious intent it may force either blockchain companies to increasingly self-regulate, as many are, or may speed up the process by which government bodies create frameworks for safe operation.
4. It shifts responsibility to creators
Perhaps it is the investors complete and utter responsibility to assess the products and services they decide to invest in. Perhaps it is the company’s complete and utter responsibility to fully assess who they’re targeting and how they portray their services.
While the debate on responsibility continues to unfold it is safe to say that the increasing bans on advertising by popular platforms imply that it is at least in part – the blockchain company’s responsibility to assess how and what they’re communicating to investors. SEC regulation on traditional markets would imply similar sentiment.
The moves that have been taken in this regard reinforce this perspective, and should serve as a reminder to blockchain companies.
5. Bringing structure to the Wild West
While the California gold rush may have made many investors rich, the foundations that were laid, the growing communities, and the subsequent rules and regulations, helped pave the way for far greater impact and wealth. Think Silicon Valley and Hollywood.
Much could be said about the blockchain and cryptocurrency rush. As Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others move to ban crypto-related marketing and advertisements, it may just help bring structure to this notoriously unregulated industry and help build the foundation for a bigger, brighter blockchain future.