Google to ban cryptocurrency and ICO ads from June 2018

Google will ban all advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) from June 2018. This means after the social media giant Facebook, Google is the second technology giant to put a lid on the promotion of anything related to the cryptocurrency business.

Google earlier today stated that advertisements and promotions related to cryptocurrency wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency, and trading advice will not be allowed. For instance, by typing Ethereum or Bitcoin on Google, users can see Google Adwords slots advertising regarding buying, selling trading and investing in cryptocurrencies.

From June this year, these ads will no longer be available.

Google to ban cryptocurrency and ICO ads from June 2018

Other than this, Google also plans to ban promoting Contracts for Difference (CFD), Rolling spot forex, Financial spread betting and Binary options and synonymous products. If advertisers want to offer the aforementioned services they will have to be certified by Google before they can advertise through AdWords. The certification, however, is limited to certain countries.

Currently, despite the ban, advertisers on Facebook are tricking the site into promoting cryptocurrencies by using numbers in the promotion such as for Bitcoin the advertisers are using Bitc0in where the digit “o” is replaced with “O” (zero). The same goes for Monero and other cryptocurrencies.

Google, on the other hand, vows not to be tricked and provide users with smooth ads experience. “Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that’s removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us,” said Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads Scott Spencer.

While the new policy will work in both positive and negative ways it will definitely put an end to the fast-growing cryptocurrency scams in which scammers bought top ads slots on Google search engine through Google Adwords to offer better cryptocurrency prices but in reality, the advertisements redirected users to phishing sites, stole their login credentials and emptied their online wallets.

One of their victims were users and investors at Blockchain.info where hackers stole $50 million in Bitcoin after buying Adwords slot on Google for a fake domain Block-clain.info.

According to Wall Street Journal, Google banned over 130 million ads used by hackers and cybercriminals for cryptojacking, a technique used to mine cryptocurrency.

Nevertheless, the new development is already impacting the price of Bitcoin which at the time of publishing this article dropped from $9,300 to $8,665. At the same time, it is a bad news for legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges and investors, therefore, it will be important to see their reaction.

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.