Google GOOG +1.5% is revising its advertising policy to let cryptocurrency wallets advertise with them, along with exchanges, starting August 3rd provided that they are either registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) or a federal or state chartered bank entity. The new policy will apply globally to Google search and its third-party sites, including YouTube, Gmail, or Blogger..
The expanded policy comes three years after Google banned all crypto-related advertising in March 2018. However, Google walked-back the policy five months later, allowing regulated cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase to advertise in the United States and Japan in September 2018. While expanded to allow cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to advertise, ads for initial coin offerings (ICOs), decentralized finance (DeFi) trading protocols, or promotions of specific cryptocurrencies are not permitted under the new policy.
It remains to be seen how this reversal in the policy will lead to a further loosening on other major advertising platforms that have placed restrictions on crypto firms. In 2018, Facebook banned all ads promoting cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and initial coin offerings.
A few months later, Facebook edited the policy to introduce an eligibility review process for those looking to advertise certain cryptocurrency products or services; applicants should submit any licenses, listings on public stock exchanges, or other relevant public background.
Twitter, similarly to Facebook and Google, prohibits the advertisement of initial coin offerings or crypto token sales but allows exchanges or wallet services provided by a publicly traded crypto company to advertise with them provided as long as they comply with local laws.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google, the world’s largest digital advertising seller, will let companies offering cryptocurrency wallets run ads beginning in August.
In 2018, Google barred ads for cryptocurrencies and related products, following a similar move from Facebook Inc. But Google soon peeled back that restriction for digital currency exchanges. Starting in August, Google will let wallets run ads on search, YouTube and other properties as long as they go through the company’s certification process.
Google is making the change “in order to better match existing FinCEN regulations and requirements,” a spokesperson said Wednesday in a statement.