Google Ad Ban Draws Strong Reactions From Cryptocurrency Community

Google‘s decision to ban ads for cryptocurrencies and “speculative financial products” across its advertising platforms starting in June has drawn strong reaction from the digital community.

In an interview with CNBC, Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads, said the company is updating its financial services-related ad policies to ban any advertising about cryptocurrency-related content, including initial coin offerings (ICO), wallets, and trading advice. Google would also restrict the advertisement of contracts for difference (CFD), rolling spot forex, and financial spread betting.

“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,” said Spencer.

Here are some comments on the decision:

Christopher Slaughter, Co-Founder and CEO of Samsa, simple crypto investment platform that automatically trades index strategies across multiple exchanges

“In the short term, this may benefit the crypto community, which is overflowing with fraud and scams. Longer term, it would be good to have all channels available. Hopefully regulation and self regulation can make it safe and in Google/Facebook’s interest to offer crypto ads in the future. Social media, crypto trades and thought leadership articles are all effective in the crypto community. These channels have more trust with consumers depending on who is writing.”

Craig Sproule, Crowd Machine Founder and CEO, a platform helping companies adopt blockchain by enabling anyone at a company to build apps faster without code:

“This decision can benefit the crypto community in the long-run amidst the hype, current regulatory climate and the mainstream perception of the community given the pervasive amount of scams we’re seeing. As a company with a legitimate offering, it’s crucial to recognize the underlying power of blockchain technology and how it will impact the world beyond the current price of Bitcoin and the bad actors out there taking advantage of the excitement. Crypto-specific media, social media, with Twitter being the most active, and communication tools like Telegram and Discord, are all effective ways for the community to connect and grow in the meantime. The hope is all platforms will allow ads down the road for the good projects with potential.”

Daniel Duarte, CTO of Auctus, the world’s first retirement plan platform powered by blockchain:

“It’s easy to set up a cryptocurrency wallet, create a fake website, publish the wallet’s public address and collect money from people with little knowledge about this market and about cryptocurrencies in general. 

Since Google can’t analyze on a case-by-case basis and filter the scams, we believe it’s better to ban them all. This will not hurt the crypto community, and ultimately is a good thing for less experienced investors.

Good projects using blockchain technology will still gain awareness without paid marketing on Google or Facebook. 

Reputable projects will still be featured in trustworthy media outlets. These projects will be actively engaged with their communities on social media and specialized channels like Reddit and Telegram.”

Trey Ditto, CEO of Ditto, a crypto and ICO PR firm, whose clients include Monero, CoinList and SFox:

“Today’s decision to ban ads on Google feels like they’re throwing the baby out with the bath water. We use Facebook and Google to educate potential investors and users about a range of topics and opportunities. I worry this punishes the good actors in this fast-growing space and will thus hurt the consumers and investors who are looking for information to make smart crypto investment decisions.

But all is not lost, as this creates opportunities for growth hacks and community referrals. After all, this industry was started on the idea of community and decentralization.

Joe McCann, CEO, NodeSource:

Google’s ban on cryptocurrency-related advertising is only more validation for this new asset class.  Governments and now media outlets are attempting to “protect” the public from this burgeoning asset class when in reality, the global populous is moving forward without them.  Scam artists exist everywhere including highly regulated industries as noted with the Bernie Madoff scandal.  With moves by startup unicorn Coinbase into areas like custody ( and many institutional investors vying for access to the cryptoassets market, stopping the flow of information via advertising is analogous to putting a band-aid on a crack in a dam.”

Nick Spanos, CEO, and founder of the Bitcoin Center: 

Cryptos should not support centralized behemoth organizations anyway. Our ICOs will make platforms like Facebook and Google obsolete, and we should not fund them, especially when ICOs and cryptocurrencies are coming of age and are essentially like IPOs.”

Marcus Taylor, CEO, BrokerNotes: 

“The cryptocurrency market is taking a battering at the moment. It’s being viewed by consumers and big businesses as a wild west environment riddled with risk and instability. Google’s move to ban cryptocurrency ads, following Facebook’s decision last month, will light a fire under the industry to introduce the regulation needed to make the crypto market one consumers can trust in the long term.

“But what about the short-term impact? A recent report shows that 58% of online cryptocurrency traders are millennials and it seems logical that removing advertising from social media channels like YouTube and Facebook should have a major impact on their overall interest in the market. The reality will be different though.

“Although 18-30s represent a huge chunk of the market, 52% identify as experienced traders. The ban will simply serve to protect the ill-informed making bad decisions and bring market stability, rather than put a stranglehold on cryptocurrency trading.”

Arran Stewart, Co-Owner of blockchain powered recruitment platform

“I think the market is reading this all wrong; the fact that Google is banning advertising related to crypto and ICOs is a great thing.  There’s a lot of fraudulent and misleading information out there, with misinformed users and investors losing money. This step from Google only empowers good and genuine crypto, ICOs, and token raise blockchains on the market.

This market is niche and it doesn’t take long to find accurate information on trustworthy sites. If someone looking to get involved in the crypto space is foolish enough to begin their investment search via Google, it shows that they clearly haven’t done enough homework yet.  This is for their own safety and something we should embrace. ”

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