- Google’s policy change
- A strict ban
Advertisements for Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have begun to surface on Google’s search engine.
This change, which took effect on Jan. 29, marks a pivotal moment for the cryptocurrency industry as it gains more mainstream advertising platforms.
The move aligns with Google’s policy update announced in December 2023, which clarified the advertising guidelines for cryptocurrency trusts and opened the door for certified advertisers to target audiences in the U.S. with their products and services.
Google’s policy change
In early December, the tech giant updated its cryptocurrency policy, specifically addressing cryptocurrency trusts.
These financial products, which allow investors to trade shares in trusts that hold substantial amounts of digital currency, now meet Google’s criteria for ad certification.
To be eligible, advertisers must comply with the local laws in the areas they target and obtain certification from Google.
The policy, which took effect this Monday, applies globally, signifying a more inclusive approach to cryptocurrency-related advertisements on the platform.
A strict ban
Google’s recent decision to allow cryptocurrency ads signifies a notable departure from its past policy. Back in 2018, the company implemented a comprehensive prohibition on ads related to cryptocurrency, motivated by concerns about the potential risks these speculative financial instruments posed to consumers.
This move was in step with similar actions taken by other leading tech companies of the era, forming part of a larger clampdown within a crypto market that was largely unregulated and prone to significant price swings.
Looking back, Google’s earlier policy was perceived as a safeguard designed to combat fraud, various scams, and the perilous financial activities that were often associated with the burgeoning crypto sector. The blanket ban encompassed a wide array of crypto-centric content, spanning from initial coin offerings (ICOs) to cryptocurrency exchanges, digital wallets, and investment advice. Google’s intention with these restrictions was to protect its user base from the potential for misrepresentation and the real risk of monetary losses during times of heightened scrutiny and market instability.
The reintroduction of crypto ads, with stringent certification requirements, shows the maturation of the cryptocurrency industry and a greater degree of regulatory clarity. It also signals a growing acceptance of digital currencies as a legitimate asset class.