Google announced on January 29, 2024, that advertisers offering Cryptocurrency Coin Trust can now promote their products on the platform. This move marks a reversal from five years ago when Google implemented a ban on advertisement of all crypto-related products.
The updated policy, revealed in a recent release, is based on new criteria established through Google’s certification process. The aim is to provide crypto users with sufficient information to make well-informed decisions. Once the policy is in effect, Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts can create and display ads on Google, though direct promotions involving purchases, holding, or swapping are strictly prohibited.
The tech company defines Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts as financial products that allow investors to trade shares in trusts holding diverse digital currency pools. Additionally, businesses accepting virtual currencies for payments or selling mining hardware may advertise on Google, as long as they adhere to existing Google Ads regulations.
Notably, educational content related to cryptocurrency is permitted on the platform.
Google’s stipulation for crypto advertisers
In the policy update, the tech giant emphasized that, alongside its guidelines, all advertisers must adhere to local laws in the targeted regions for their ads. The company’s focus is on ensuring users have ample information for informed financial decisions, with policies crafted to provide insights into the costs associated with financial products and services, including cryptocurrencies.
The company specified, “When promoting cryptocurrencies and related products, you must comply with state and local regulations for any region or country your ads target.” While referencing a non-exhaustive list of country-specific requirements, the tech company highlighted the expectation for advertisers to thoroughly research local regulations in their targeted locations.
NFT games and hardware wallets: Google’s expanded advertising scope
Under the updated policy, the tech company now permits advertisements for NFT-based games and platforms, with certain limitations. Blockchain-based games allowing in-game purchases of items, characters, weaponry, or armour with enhanced stats are acceptable, as long as these transactions remain within the gaming environment.
Furthermore, the big tech company clarified that the promotion of games involving the wagering or staking of NFTs for real-world value, including other NFTs, is allowed. The policy extends to hardware wallets safeguarding private keys for cryptocurrencies and NFTs, permitting advertising under specific conditions. Detailed requirements for advertising cryptocurrency exchanges and software wallets stress the importance of licensure and compliance with local laws and industry standards.
Google’s crypto ad reversal: A look back at the 2018 ban
In March 2018, Google took a decisive step by imposing a ban on all crypto-related advertisements on its platform, mirroring a move made by Facebook earlier that year. The action was prompted by escalating concerns about cryptocurrency scams, prompting major platforms to reevaluate their advertising policies.
At the time, Google clarified that it had updated its Financial Services policy to explicitly prohibit ads for cryptocurrencies and associated content. This sweeping ban involved various aspects of the crypto landscape, ranging from initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency exchanges to cryptocurrency wallets and trading advice. The move aimed to address potential risks and protect users from fraudulent practices within the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency space.