Google lifts cryptocurrency ad ban in the U.S. and Japan

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Online giant Google has announced that it is ending its ban on crypto-related advertising and intends to allow regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to buy ads in the United States and Japan, CNBC reports. The new policy starts in October.

Google’s original restrictions, which were announced in March and were rolled out in June, intended to protect consumers and included initial coin offerings (ICOs), wallets and trading advice, which are still not allowed.

Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat have also banned cryptocurrency ads, due to similar reasons, such as an abundance of caution around an industry where there’s so much potential for consumer harm.

We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution,” Google’s Scott Spencer told CNBC at the time of its original ban.

Google’s updated policy applies to advertisers all over the world, though the ads can only run in the U.S. and Japan and interested parties will need to apply for certification to serve ads in each country individually. Google’s move follows Facebook, which started allowing pre-approved cryptocurrency advertisers in June.

Google parent company Alphabet makes around 86% of its total revenue from advertising. The company booked over $54 billion in ad revenue in the first half of 2018.

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