At 4am this morning, Google announced that, as of June 2018, it would no longer permit advertisements which service cryptocurrencies and related content (including initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets and cryptocurrency trading advice). The ban will cover both Google’s AdWords as well as Youtube.
No reasons were given in Google’s announcement, however, the ban follows a similar ban from Google’s rival Facebook in January. At the time, Facebook explained that this was due to the fact that many companies that advertised ICOs and cryptocurrencies were not “operating in good faith”.
It also follows the IMF’s announcement on Tuesday about the ‘peril’ of crypto-assets and calling for greater consumer protection internationally. The value of bitcoin fell 4.1% to below $9,000 following the announcement.
This is the latest example of an established firm distancing itself from cryptocurrencies (another recent example being Lloyd’s ban on the use of its credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies) to protect themselves against commercial or reputational damage by association with the technology. It is unlikely that Google will be the last firm to do so.