The policy change allows U.S.-registered cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to advertise, but ICOs, DeFi, and buying advice are still barred.
Google today opened its advertising network to cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets, but only if they are registered with U.S. financial authorities.
The policy by Google, which controls almost 30%
of the U.S. digital advertising market, still bans any companies “promoting the purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products,” as well as those offering any type of buying advice.
Announced in June, the new rules
require exchanges and wallets to register with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
(FinCEN), or with a federal or state banking regulator.
The advertisers must also be certified by Google before placing ads, and follow any state or federal laws.
The policy specifically bans ads in two very broad categories.
The first for “initial coin offerings, DeFi trading protocols, or otherwise promoting the purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products.”
This ban includes: initial coin offerings (ICO), cryptocurrency loans, initial DEX offerings (IDO), token liquidity pools, unhosted wallets, and unregulated DApps.
The second category is any ad offering buying advice, which Google described as those “that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products.”
This includes cryptocurrency trading signals or investment advice, as well as “aggregators or affiliate sites containing related content or broker reviews.”
No Celebrities Need Apply
Celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements
were also specifically banned.
There have been plenty of cases of celebrities getting sucked into supporting scams or and being fined for shilling ICOs that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
called illegally unregistered securities offerings.
Among the highest profile of these cases were the SEC’s pursuit of boxer Floyd Mayweather and music producer DJ Khaled
, who paid fines and penalties of more than $750,000 in 2018 for shilling ICOs without disclosing payments.
More recently, actor Steven Seagal, who was fined $314,000
in February 2020 for failing to disclose that he was paid $1 million in cash and crypto for touting Bitcoiin2Gen.