Google announced today that it is set to disallow all advertisement of cryptocurrency-related companies or services on its platform, as was first revealed by Finance Magnates last week. The decision will be effective from June 2018.
With the ban, Google joins Facebook in taking an extremely hawkish stand on cryptocurrencies, as part of a broader move against other financial trading industries.
“It seems to be the case that in June, Google will be taking a similar stance as Facebook on ICO, crypto coins, exchanges, wallets and any other blockchain based project.” said John Lewis, CMO of tokentarget.
In a post named “Financial Services: New restricted financial products policy (June 2018)“, Google states that its advertisement platform, AdWords, will no longer serve the industry, and specifically names entities such as ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets.
Trading advice services (such as trading education, technical analysis and signal advisors) will also be banned from the platform.
Affiliate marketing companies will suffer collateral damage, as the policy states that aggregators and affiliates providing services to the cryptocurrency space will not be able to advertise either.
— Jaime NM ⚡ (@jaimenm) March 14, 2018
The first to report
Finance Magnates was the first to report on Google’s intentions last week, and even assessed that such an action will take place in March. At the time, Google refused to acknowledge its plans for a complete ban, in its reply to our query, and denied claims of it targeting crypto company ads and profiles.
The publication lead to a series of follow-ups by industry outlets, such as Cointelegraph and Bitocoin.com. Other outlets, such as BTCmanager and Trustnodes, who followed up on the story even claimed that Google is being pressured by the FBI to act against the industry (even though there was no evident confirmation about this story).
The publication caused a lively discussion amongst crypto communities on Twitter, Telegram and Reddit, and led to concerned anticipation by industry leaders and enthusiasts.
A rotten apple spoils the barrel
Google has been fighting scams and other malicious activity based on blockchain technology (such as cloud mining) from mid-2017. But its decision will not only affect this minority, but countless legitimate companies too – companies that use blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in a positive way.
“It does seem that the best way to block or get an industry banned is to allow unscrupulous marketing activity go on and it does seem to be the case again. It is unfortunate that the bad apples are really spoiling the bunch. It is a shame because there are so many great blockchain projects that do have the capacity to change the world for the better,” said Lewis.
Sure. I can understand Google’s concern regarding certain ICOs, however banning all businesses within the Crypto space is overkill. Especially when Barclays today announced it is going to be supporting an Exchange .
— Iqbal V Gandham (@IqbalGandham) March 14, 2018
The cryptocurrency and blockchain industry relied heavily on Google for advertising, but alternative channels will now need to be found to reach the public.
“We do believe the sector will continue to utilize other channels such as crypto portals, ICO listing/review sites, video influencers, social influencers and more to market their projects. It also seems that Google will be blocking binary options an industry that has been on a decline based on some similar fraudulent activity,” said Lewis.
It seems that Google had been contemplating this move for the last few months, while quietly restricting and reducing the crypto advertising on its AdWords platform. According to evidence exclusively revealed by Finance Magnates, marketing companies have been reporting a dramatic drop (in some cases up to a 99%) in their Google AdWords performances. In other cases, ICOs and other crypto companies reported cancellations of their ads and even their accounts being blocked.