Google plans to ban all cryptocurrencies and binary options adverts, and is cracking down on ads for other speculative financial instruments.
Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads, said in a blog post on Wednesday that the company has “updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets.”
The new policies, which come into force in June, ban adverts for binary options and “cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice).”
Google follows Facebook in banning concurrency related advertising on its platform. Spencer said in his blog post that the crackdown is part of Google’s efforts to protect consumers from “online scams.”
Cryptocurrencies have exploded in popularity over the last year thanks to a surge in the price of bitcoin at the end of 2017. This coincided with a boom in so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), where startups issue their own cryptocurrency in exchange for money to build their business.
But the entire space is unregulated in most markets and has attracted scammers looking to make quick money. Business Insider reported last year on the proliferation of “pump and dump” scams in the market, while sham ICO projects have become commonplace.