Google is bringing back crypto ads — but is leaving a lot of crypto companies out of the loop.
- Google is allowing crypto companies to advertise on its network again starting today, August 3.
- The largest ad network in the world had banned crypto ads in March, earlier this year.
- The new policy is only open to crypto wallets based out of the US and registered with the FinCEN.
Crypto ads are back on Google’s advertising platforms after the company revised its policies in June, but it’s not nearly as open as before.
The tech giant had banned all advertising related to crypto companies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in March this year. The policy imposed an overarching ban on almost every crypto product, including exchanges, wallets and more.
Come June, Google revised that policy to allow select companies to back onto its advertising network — the largest in the world — in a sign that the crypto and blockchain industry had somehow matured over the span of three months.
All prior Cryptocurrency Exchange certifications will be revoked on August 3, 2021. Advertisers must request new Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets certification with Google when the application form is published on July 8, 2021.
Statement by Google in June.
The new policy allowing crypto ads on Google’s network again goes live today, on August 4.
Only crypto companies based out of the US will be able to place ads on Google.
The new policy applies to crypto wallets based in the US only. The ads, however, will be displayed globally.
Google also required crypto businesses to be registered with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a Money Services Business with at least one state as a money transmitter.
This lends some more credibility to businesses advertising on its network. They also have to be registered with a federal or state chartered bank entity, and comply with “relevant legal requirements” and of course, Google’s own advertising policies.
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) and decentralised finance (DeFi) trading protocols will have to wait their turn
The new policy isn’t without its limitations. While crypto wallets and exchanges are in the clear, Google still won’t allow advertising about ICOs and DeFi trading protocols. The company said it will also prevent the advertising of products that are “otherwise promoting the purchase, sale or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products”, and provided a non-exhaustive list for what this might include.
“ICO pre-sales or public offerings, cryptocurrency loans, initial DEX offerings, token liquidity pools, celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements, unhosted wallets, unregulated DApps,” are some of the examples of products that are still banned, according to the tech giant.
This means that crypto trading signals, crypto investment advice and aggregators or affiliate sites which contain related content — or broker reviews — will be banned from advertising. Essentially, Google doesn’t want companies that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptos to advertise on its platforms.
While the crypto community may take the change in Google’s policies as a shot in the arm, the tech giant may be right to keep the above limitations. “Facebook ads are plastered with crypto scams. Not sure this is good news,” said one Redditor, in what is a common concern cited by experts and users around crypto ads.
Taking a phased approach to allowing crypto advertising on its platforms may give Google more time to gauge the industry and understand its nuances. Crypto exchanges have gained prominence over the past year, during Bitcoin’s bull run, leading to more regulatory scrutiny and better understanding amongst users. Many other crypto products remain in the grey area though.