Initially on Reuters this week, Google is expected to lift an advertising ban on certain regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in the US and Japan from October. This follows a similar decision by Facebook back in June to reverse a blanket ban on ads for crypto exchanges and ICOs.
Several blockchain industry leaders comment on the broader implications of this decision by Google and the likely factors that have influenced it.
Nicolas Gilot, Co-CEO of blockchain-powered gaming distribution platform Ultra, said:
As the market has experienced more stability of late, Google may have seen this as an opportune time to lift its blanket ban on crypto advertising. While this decision signals support for legitimate and regulated crypto exchanges, it also further bolsters Google’s lucrative advertising business. As companies in the industry are mostly operating in a regulation fog, there is understandably a need for Google to ascertain the legitimacy of a company that is advertising on its platform.
As leaders in the online advertising space, the move by Google to allow regulated crypto exchanges to buy ads will help projects promote and sell their products or services, and is fantastic news for the blockchain industry as a whole.”
Gabriele Giancola, CEO and Co-founder of qiibee, the Swiss loyalty token protocol helping brands around the world run their loyalty programs on the blockchain, said:
As revenue from advertising forms the pillar of Google’s business, the search engine behemoth can expect to boost its bottom line by lifting the ban on certain crypto-related ads in the US and Japan. Google is hot on the heels of Facebook who made a similar decision in June to reverse a blanket ban on ads for crypto exchanges. While this might not have influenced Google’s decision directly, it is certainly something they may have taken note of.
While the ban has only been lifted for ads promoting regulated crypto exchanges, this demonstrates how exchanges have come a long way in proving their credibility, with other areas within the crypto space still playing catch up.
Google’s move is a sign that the blockchain space is moving in the right direction, and will entice potential investors to use exchanges that comply with regulation, which could be the catalyst necessary for other crypto exchanges to follow suit. This also means a greater influx of funds, as well as growing interest in, and adoption of, crypto and blockchain.”
Ran Hammer General Counsel at Orbs, a hybrid blockchain that complements and scales base-layer protocols, commented:
The decision by Google, like the earlier decision by Facebook, reflects the maturation of the blockchain/crypto industry and its relationship with regulators and other gatekeepers. The original bans made sense from Google and Facebook’s perspective during the hype of 2017 and early 2018, as unscrupulous “projects” were using their platforms to target retail investors for investments that they were not sophisticated enough to evaluate, and were able to get away with fraudulent activities due to the lack of regulation. Facebook and Google were exposed to fraudulent activity as a result of the general frenzy in the industry.
Since then, however, what we are seeing is that the cool-down of the market has had a silver lining in that the wilder speculation has calmed down, making it more difficult to raise funds in a fraudulent way. The industry players who are left are, as a whole, more legitimate and mature and have a better understanding of what is required from a regulatory perspective (although there are still a lot of issues to be clarified). Serious projects are now much more careful about who they engage with, what sort of claims they make in their advertising and disclosures, and are more likely to implement compliance procedures that make sure token purchases are appropriate.
Also, regulatory frameworks have continued to develop and become more sophisticated and responsive in many different countries, so there is now a critical mass of exchanges and other blockchain companies that are subject to real supervision. This makes it safer for companies like Facebook and Google to allow these projects to operate on their platforms; they can rely on regulators to investigate and make sure that these counterparties are reputable.
While we in the blockchain industry may not agree with all of the decisions that regulators make, and there is still a lot of work to be done in this field, these developments are generally positive. It is better for the blockchain space as a whole for clear regulations to be set by the appropriate authorities, subject to transparency and democratic norms, rather than allowing regulation to be carried out by private corporations operating in an atmosphere of uncertainty.”
Manuel Martin, CEO and Co-Founder of Orvium, said:
The decentralized ecosystem is continuously expanding, with a steady stream of new and exciting initiatives emerging every day, from companies developing new project funding technologies to governments enforcing proper AML policies on exchanges. Google has clearly taken note of the strength and depth of the blockchain and crypto space, reversing its ban that went into effect in June. This decision comes on the heels of Facebook relaxing its crypto ad restrictions over the summer.
Google is deeply in tune with the latest developments in the space, and the company’s decision to lift the ad ban serves as a vote of confidence to the projects that meet its criteria, and for the blockchain and crypto space more broadly. This is a progressive step, one that will help pre-approved ICO projects to reach a wider audience. It is also important to remember that three-quarters of sales for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, come from ads, approximately $54 billion in the first half of 2018 alone. Crucially, the global reach and influence of Google means that this decision will undoubtedly create a groundswell of momentum for crypto-related advertising content, helping projects broadcast their value proposition further than ever before.”
Thomas Schouten, Head of Marketing at Lisk, said
Google’s decision to lift the ban and allow the placement of certain crypto-related advertising content from pre-approved advertisers is a strong indication of the ongoing maturation of the crypto and blockchain sector. There has been a seismic shift away from the noise and speculation that dominated the space towards the end of 2017, and we are now seeing the sustainable projects take centre stage, with teams working tirelessly in the background pursuing new levels of innovation.
Google will undoubtedly have a robust vetting process in place for prospective advertisers, and this provides projects with a standard to strive towards. It also gives groundbreaking projects a great platform to broaden their reach even further, and connect with a wider audience. The lifting of the ban reflects a similar move by Facebook, and further illustrates the steady ascent of crypto and blockchain projects into the mainstream.”
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