Google’s Updated Advertising Policy now Supports Crypto Related Services and Exchanges

This change is the first since 2018, as Google has a very strict policy on cryptocurrency advertising

One of the most widely used search engines, Google has updated its advertising policy regarding cryptocurrency and exchanges. 

Change is Upon Us

The previous policy in 2018 is no longer relevant after the crypto industry has evolved. In 2018 which is also the end of the previous bullrun, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) grabbed the limelight. The exuberance in the mania resulted in the collapse of the crypto market. Many things have changed. Legitimate projects today seek listings through Integrated Exchange Offering (IEO) or Initial DEX Offering (IDO). The main difference is on the due diligence and regulatory compliance compared to the haphazard listing methods in 2017 and 2018. 

In March 2018, Google announced that they are banning cryptocurrency related advertisements including ICOs. This decision followed Facebook’s ban in January, 2019 citing fear of widespread scams and deception. Today the crypto market is more certain, definitely better regulated than in the past. To that effect, mainstream institutions have to move in tandem with the change. 

Of late, we have seen institutions and regulators making a stand on cryptocurrencies. We are no longer at the stage where one can stand by the sidelines to see how things progress. Banks such as JP Morgan and Standard Chartered are not shying away from declaring their bullish views on Bitcoin. Regulators around the world are taking steps to regulate the industry. Payment gateway solutions are adopting crypto payment as settlement. Google is no exception. 

What the New Policy Dictates

Google in its announcement declared that starting from 3rd August, 2021, advertisements by cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets will be allowed. These will be targeted at the United States if they meet the requirements and are certified by Google. Certification by Google will require the advertiser to be registered with Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) or alternatively, be registered as a federal or state chartered bank entity. The second condition is to be legally compliant to state and federal laws. 


Google in its update announced that potential advertisers can fill in the form that will be made available from July 8, 2021. It also clarified that certain types of advertisements related to ICOs and DeFi projects will still be prohibited. 

Companies Acting Cautiously

Taking a closer look at the caveats imposed from an outright ban, Google has left the door slightly ajar to not lose out to its competitors. The conditions are requirements that would generally be applied to any advertisers when they operate within a regulated industry. Whether the service offers falls within the purview of the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) or through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), unlicensed institutions are not allowed to operate. This would definitely mean that taking up advertisements through any platform is equally prohibited. Even if these institutions are licensed but the products advertised are not within the approved scope of product or services, such advertisements will also be prohibited. 

Google merely stated the obvious. Over and above the legal requirements, Google retains the discretion to disallow the advertisement through conditions that they may impose in the form to be released on June 8, 2021. 

The Silver Lining

The need to behave progressively and recognise the market’s needs is a reason to be optimistic for players in the crypto space. Institutions are slowly opening their doors and recognising the need to be inclusive. A regulated space is what this industry needs to grow.

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