On Wednesday, Google announced that it will no longer play host to any cryptocurrency-related ads on its platform, beginning June 2018. This comes as no surprise, as the company has chosen to follow in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, who recently announced they too, are prohibiting any and all cryptocurrency-related ads on their platforms.
While Google and Facebook control approximately 60-70% of the online advertising market, making enemies with these platforms isn’t on the top of anyone’s priority list.
Google has issued a statement in its Trust and Safety Ads report, indicating that the ban includes any and all promotions of “Cryptocurrencies and related content, including, but not limited to initial coin offerings (“ICOs”), cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice.
Arguably, this is a positive step forward in Google’s attempts in limiting their network of misleading information, potential scams, and other propaganda that the U.S. or other financial institutions are not yet on board with.
Countering that, this could hurt many companies entering into the crypto market, who do have legitimate cryptocurrency offerings. This is still an unregulated and unknown space, and these platforms are aiming to protect its users from foolishly spending money. In turn, this could be an incentive for companies entering the crypto-realm to really do their homework, and ensure that they are truly prepared to enter into the market.
While cryptocurrency in itself doesn’t mean fraudulent transactions or misleading information, there is still a great deal of risk associated with investing in it. But why is there such a high risk? One, you’re talking about the volatility. Two, you’re looking at a currency that does not physically exist. Three, the appeal is there, leading consumers to impulsively invest without doing their homework. “There is no such thing as a ‘guaranteed investment’, there never has been,” said Joseph Borg, the Director of the Alabama Securities Commission. In my conversation with Borg, he also indicated that people are willing to buy into the appeal, without asking the proper questions. This allows new attackers to come out of the woodwork, and prey on that appeal.
The majority of ICO’s don’t survive, because most of these companies just aren’t prepared to execute. I spoke with Dean Sutton, the founder of BlockTech Ventures, Inc., on why their company, is unique to the industry. He indicated that it’s important for consumers and potential investors to ask the right kinds of questions. “You’ll come to find out, that many of these companies, don’t have the answers to the questions you’re asking, if they are the right ones,” said Sutton. “They may have a great white paper, or a great “plan”, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about execution.”