Search giant Google has recently announced that it plans to ban all advertisements that promote the use of cryptocurrencies and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). The ban on these types of ads will kick in this summer, as of June.
This action was revealed by the Californian company as part of its latest policy updates, which will also see other adverts for risky financial products banned from the search engine. The latest update to the policy states that affiliates are no longer permitted to advertise with content related to cryptocurrencies.
Currently, a Google search for the term ‘Bitcoin’ will deliver ads in the results, with one of the first ads displayed being one that gives users the chance to buy cryptocurrency. This will change once the new policy comes into effect.
The move by Google is similar to one made by social networking site Facebook in January this year, which also actively banned ads for cryptocurrency from appearing on the platform. However, it was previously highlighted by news providers Bloomberg that some ads for Bitcoin are finding ways to get around the ban imposed by Facebook by deliberately misspelling certain words, with a prime example being the substitution of the letter ‘o’ for the number zero in ‘Bitcoin’.
It is believed that Google will attempt to anticipate such moves from sources trying to work around the ban.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has seen a surge in interest and media coverage in recent months. These currencies are considered to be extremely volatile, and for this reason, governments of many countries are clamping down on them. For example, India states that it doesn’t recognise Bitcoin as a legal tender currency. Korea is currently in the process of creating a bill that will see all domestic cryptocurrency trading banned, while China is starting to restrict digital currencies more frequently.
In a separate announcement by Google, it announced that the company successfully took down over 3.2 billion adverts that were in breach of its policies. The Director of Sustainable Ads, Scott Spencer, wrote in a blog post that the removal of harmful and intrusive ads will continue to be one of Google’s top priorities to improve the ad experience for users.
The total of 3.2 billion is nearly double the number of ads that were blocked in 2016, when the company got rid of 1.7 billion adverts. Furthermore, the company blocked around 320,000 publishers, which is three times as many as the 100,000 blocked last year. These were banned alongside 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps, all of which were deemed to have violated current Google policies.