Advertising industry 8,000-pound gorilla Google has clarified its policy on accepting ads from cryptocurrency related business and services.
Effective Aug. 3, cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets targeting the U.S, market will be required to be registered with either the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FinCEN) or a federal or state-chartered bank regulator.
All previous certifications will be revoked as of that date. Qualifying exchanges and wallets will have to reapply when the new application form is published on July 8.
In addition to the registration requirement, all advertisers will have to “comply with relevant legal requirements, including any local legal requirements, whether at a state or federal level” and “ensure their ads and landing pages comply with all Google Ads policies.”
Pretty much anything involving the sale of or trading in cryptocurrencies is banned.
Goggle calls out two areas: anything related to coin sales or decentralized finance (DeFi), and anything that resembles crypto trading advice.
This includes but is not limited to:
· Initial coin offering (ICO) pre-sales or public offerings
· Cryptocurrency loans
· Initial DEX offerings (IDO)
· Token liquidity pools,
· Celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements
· Unhosted wallets
· Unregulated DApps
· Cryptocurrency trading signals
· Cryptocurrency investment advice
· Aggregators or affiliate sites containing related content or broker reviews
The policy will apply globally, not just in the U.S.
Google’s Antitrust Woes
Along with Facebook, Google dominates online advertising to the point that in October the U.S Department of Justice and 11 state attorneys general sued it under federal anti-trust laws over its dominance of the search and search-based advertising market.
In announcing the case, then Attorney General William Barr said, “millions of Americans rely on the Internet and online platforms for their daily lives. Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s challenge against Google — the gatekeeper of the Internet — for violating antitrust laws is a monumental case both for the Department of Justice and for the American people.”
Comparing the case to the 1974 suit that broke up AT&T and the 1988 Microsoft case, Barr added, “This lawsuit strikes at the heart of Google’s grip over the internet for millions of American consumers, advertisers, small businesses and entrepreneurs beholden to an unlawful monopolist.”
In November, the EU fined Google almost $10 billion for anti-trust violations.