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Google to ban cryptocurrency and ICO ads from June

After social media titan Facebook’s move to prohibit ICO and cryptocurrency advertisements earlier this year, recent reports suggest that Google is also going to impose a ban on the same.

According to Bloomberg, Google will ban online advertisements on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The company said that it will update its Financial Services Policy in June 2018 to restrict the advertisement of Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex, and financial spread betting.

In addition, Google said that ads relating to “Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)” would no longer be allowed to serve. Ads for aggregators and affiliates for cryptocurrencies and related content would also be prohibited.

"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," Google's director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, told CNBC

When Facebook banned cryptocurrency ads in January, some businesses exploited a shortcoming by intentionally misspelling words like “bitcoin” in their advertisements. A Google spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company’s policies will try to anticipate such workarounds.

In a blog post, Spencer wrote that last year Google took down over 3.2 billion ads that violated its advertising policies, removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network for violating its publisher policies, and blacklisted nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps. He said:

“As consumer trends evolve, as our methods to protect the open web get better, so do online scams. Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that's removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us.”

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