Google Ads has implemented new cryptocurrency policies allowing a small group of registered financial entities to advertise their services.
Cryptocurrency scams have been running wild on the internet. According to the federal trade commission, in 2020 alone almost 26,500 scams were reported to the US government.
What aggravates these numbers, even more, is that only 62% of the people targeted by a cryptocurrency scam reported it to the authorities. 2021 is also about to become a record year for investment fraud: 14,079 investment scams were reported to the FTC in the first quarter of 2021 alone, and victims lost $215 million in this quarter alone.
Now, Google is taking steps to prevent its search engine from serving as a vehicle for these scams. As of last week, Google Ads will allow cryptocurrency ads only from advertisers that are registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a money services business, or a federal or state-chartered bank, and that comply with relevant legal requirements.
This is a particularly significant step in a virtual space where scammers have been promising fraudulent Bitcoin giveaways, in some cases even pretending to be Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak – a famous scam resulting in a lawsuit directed at Google and YouTube in 2020.
It goes without saying that the advertisers will have to comply with Google’s Ad Policies like any other advertiser, but the internet services company has also set up a new set of rules specific to the sector last month.
In those rules, Google added a new Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets verification process and revoked all prior Cryptocurrency Exchange certifications on August 3rd.
This certification process will increase the accountability of companies advertising financial services related to cryptocurrencies by requiring legal documentation for the business, as well as personal identities.
Even with Google’s new stringent verification process, not all crypto ads are allowed.
For example, promoting ad destinations that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products is not permitted, even if the advertiser has cleared all previous registration steps.
Initial coin offerings are also off the table, as is promoting the purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products, or any product related to DeFi trading protocols.
So if you got all excited about DeFi, think again before setting up your business or direct your marketing strategy efforts elsewhere.
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