Mia Gardner | 19 Mar 2018
Google’s new restricted financial products policy includes a solid ban on all cryptocurrencies and related content, including cryptocurrency exchanges, digital currency wallets, initial coin offerings (more commonly known as ICOs), and cryptocurrency trading advice. Of course, any advertising of binary options trading and other crypto-related products and services will also be barred from Google platforms.
The company did not offer any reasons for the ban along with its posting of the new rules. However, reports from the BBC’s official website state that Google decided to make the move because it believed that there was a ‘lack of appropriate consumer protection’ for extremely complicated and speculative trades relating to cryptocurrencies.
Google’s decision has come mere weeks after Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, called for cryptocurrencies to be regulated on the same terms as the rest of the services offered in the financial services industry.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde agreed with this view in a recent blog post, which stated that the rapid growth, value volatility, and ill-defined connections of cryptocurrencies could easily form ‘new vulnerabilities’. Lagarde has urged the financial industry to welcome the potential of these currencies, but also to recognise the risks they pose to consumers.
In addition to Google’s new ban, all affiliates and advertisers that offer contracts for rolling spot Forex, difference and financial spread betting will be forced to acquire certification from Google itself before they can market their products through AdWords. Certification will also only be available in specific countries.
In order to obtain this certification, advertisers will need to gain licensing from their countries’ relevant financial services authorities, as well as those of the countries they will be targeting. They will also need to ensure their landing pages and adverts comply with the policies of AdWords and meet all other legal requirements, including those that pertain to ‘complex speculative’ financial products like cryptocurrency trading.