ASA, the British regulator on advertising standards, has recently had to deal with several complaints related to a BTC (Bitcoin) ad from the crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX. The ASA representatives claim that starting from January 2019, the internet resource demonstrated BTC graphs with inappropriate dynamics of price. And this is not the first case of a strict attitude regarding crypto ads. Let us consider the ways cryptocurrencies are currently advertised.
At the very beginning of 2018, Facebook prohibited placing any advertisements of ICOs, cryptocurrencies, or binary options on its platform. This rule was included in the social network’s advertising policy to enhance the security of ads and get rid of frauds on Facebook.
The next company to pick up the torch was Google. In March of the same year, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) announced the upcoming amendments to its advertising policy. Just like Facebook, starting from June 2018, it was going to block any ads related to cryptocurrencies, binary options, and ICOs.
Twitter joined the initiative and in March 2018 implemented a blanket ban on crypto-related ads. However, an exception was made for public companies with listings on major Japanese stock exchanges.
Following the example of these corporations, China started implementing limitations on crypto advertising on social networks.
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However, it didn’t take long until the fight against such bans and limitations broke out. In March of the same year, blockchain and cryptocurrency associations of China, South Korea, and Russia declared their intention to counteract IT companies banning crypto-related ads. A specialized body, the Eurasian Blockchain Association (EBA) has been established to file a lawsuit against Google, Yandex, Twitter, and Facebook. In April 2018 crypto-related organizations from Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Switzerland also swelled the ranks of crypto ad supporters.
One more $500bn lawsuit was filed in August 2019 by an Australian litigation funding firm JPB Liberty against the above-mentioned Twitter, Facebook, and Google. According to the company’s CEO, IT giants are to cover all of these huge losses.
Is There a Course Change?
Half a year later, the situation changed a bit. In autumn 2019, Google provided permission for official Japanese or US cryptocurrency exchanges to use Google AdWords. Seven months later Facebook also canceled its ban on advertising blockchain and courses related to cryptocurrency education. However, binary options and ICOs still remain prohibited, and in the case of advertising cryptocurrencies one will need to receive special authorization from Facebook.
Such changes in companies’ policies are not surprising since their main investors are favorable to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Before announcements concerning Libra, Facebook was allegedly said to create a system by means of which people could earn stablecoins simply viewing ad videos and posts. According to Mark Zuckerberg, Libra is aimed at setting up a simple global financial infrastructure to provide billions of people with unlimited opportunities.
Under the Ban
Both ICO projects and crypto exchanges are still able to find some ways and tools in order to overcome the limitations and promote their products.
For instance, crypto ads are allowed on such content platforms as Medium or Telegram. Therefore, anyone is able to create a blog, cooperate with authors, and use internal website advertisements.
The country where the cryptocurrency industry is developing faster than anywhere is, undoubtedly, Japan. It even resulted in the creation of a local pop group called Virtual Currency Girls aimed at popularizing and promoting electronic currencies via their music.
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The crypto community was severely affected by the ads ban since it’s the online advertising that is the most widespread and brings the most significant profit for companies. However, crypto supporters have already demonstrated their desire to keep struggling via court institutions and other unconventional ways.
As mentioned earlier, a new start-up company, specializing in cryptocurrency fraud prevention, has been established in Great Britain.