Facebook Relaxes Rules on Cryptocurrency Ads, Upholds Ban on ICOs

The move allows start-ups to use advertising to promote their crypto offerings, but only after they apply to assess eligibility.

Facebook on Tuesday lifted a six-month-old ban on adverts promoting cryptocurrency products and services, a move that could fundamentally change the way that internet giants treat the emerging digital asset. The relaxed rules will begin to ramp up across Facebook, Instagram, and its off-platform Audience Network.

The company added the new rule to its advertising policies in an update to its list of “prohibited content.”

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In a blog post on the company’s website, Facebook’s product management director Rob Leathern said the company has been open to new technologies, “so it looked at the best way to refine this policy.” But as part of its effort to guard against potential abuse, the social network will uphold its ban on companies that are promoting binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

It further explained: “In the last few months, we’ve looked at the best way to refine this policy — to allow some ads while also working to ensure that they’re safe. So starting June 26, we’ll be updating our policy to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers. But we’ll continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.”

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The move allows start-ups to use advertising to promote its crypto offerings, but only after they submit an application to assess their eligibility. Those applying to qualify are required to attach “any licenses they have obtained,” and explain “whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business,” according to the newly updated policy.

Finally, Facebook said that it encourages the community to report content that violates the rules, as it may not catch every ad that should be removed under this new policy.

Earlier in January, Facebook has banned all advertising for cryptocurrencies citing “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

Previous examples of banned ads offered by Facebook include “Click here to learn more about our no-risk cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world” and “Use your retirement funds to buy Bitcoin.”

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