From January 29, 2024, Google will open its doors to crypto ads.
The search engine giant revealed a policy change intended to increase openness and disclosure following a five-year prohibition on crypto product marketing.
This change hinges on new, stricter criteria for advertiser certification.
Google wants to ensure that crypto users have access to accurate and reliable information to make informed decisions.
Under the new policy, Crypto Trusts, which Google defines as financial products letting investors buy shares in trusts holding big pools of digital currency, can finally run ads on Google.
However, direct promotions that involve buying, holding, or swapping crypto are still a no-go.
Businesses that accept crypto payments or sell mining equipment are also welcome to advertise on Google. Additionally, they have to follow the existing Google Ads rules.
The good news for crypto enthusiasts is that educational content about crypto is also allowed on the platform.
The policy shift is due to Bloomberg’s ETF division experts foreseeing a high probability of permitting a particular type of Bitcoin investment before January 10, 2024.
Thirteen entities are vying for approval for this specialized Bitcoin investment, but there’s limited public information on how far along they are in the approval process.
The SEC is in discussions with major financial firms, including Fidelity, Grayscale, and BlackRock, regarding the specifics of their applications. Those within the cryptocurrency realm anticipate these requests gaining approval.
In essence, this policy shift signals a cautious embrace of the crypto world from Google.
While some restrictions remain, the move opens up new avenues for legitimate crypto businesses to reach potential customers and for educational content creators to share their knowledge with a broader audience.
Key Points from Google’s Statement
Google stressed in its policy update that marketers need to follow its rules and also the local laws of the particular regions their ads are targeting.
Here are vital key points from Google’s statement:
- Financial Responsibility and Protection: Google’s policy emphasizes providing comprehensive information to users, enabling them to make well-informed financial decisions. Consequently, the policy provides users with the necessary data to evaluate costs linked to financial products and services while safeguarding them from deceptive practices, including management, investment, and cryptocurrency-related services.
- Adherence to Local Regulations: Advertisers promoting cryptocurrencies and related products must comply with local regulations in targeted regions. Google offers some country-specific requirements as a reference. Advertisers are responsible for thoroughly researching and complying with the local laws of their targeted locations.
- Advertisement Guidelines for NFT Games: NFT-based games and platforms can advertise on Google but with limitations. Google permits blockchain-based games that offer in-game purchases of items, characters, weaponry, or armor with enhanced attributes, provided these purchases are used exclusively within the game.
Why did Google Ban Crypto?
In March 2018, amid growing concerns about fraudulent activities, Google comprehensively banned all crypto-related advertising across its platforms. This decisive step followed a similar move by Facebook earlier that same year.
Google’s updated Financial Services Policy explicitly barred ads for cryptocurrencies and associated content, including initial coin offerings (ICOs), crypto exchanges, digital wallets, and investment advice tied to these highly unpredictable digital assets.
The move helped reduce consumer risk and promote responsible financial behavior within its digital realm.
The widespread emergence of cryptocurrency scams, combined with the natural volatility and regulatory uncertainty surrounding this budding industry, led Google to take proactive measures to shield its users from potential harm.
By cutting out crypto-related ads, Google aimed to reduce the spread of false information and protect its users from deceptive marketing strategies employed by unethical individuals in the cryptocurrency sphere.
This stance positioned Google as a responsible leader in digital advertising, prioritizing user safety and ethical advertising practices over immediate financial gains.