Google To Ban All Crypto and ICO Related Ads In June

A recent update by Google to their Financial Services policy will see all crypto-related ads being banned as from June 2018. Just a few days ago, frustrated crypto advertisers took to the Adwords support pages to lament the low number of views on their advertisements. Many claim the recent update played a role in the low views. The search engine giant on the other hand, rebutted this claim saying the update to their Financial Services regulations had nothing to do with the low views.

The newly updated Financial products policy states that cryptocurrency related content will not be accepted for advertisement. The statement is broad and covers most facets of the crypto space, from ICOs to wallets: 

“Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice),”

Financial products policy

The ban will be a sweeping one cutting across Goggle’s ad products and services and other third parties on its vast network. Speaking to CNBC today March 14, Scott Spencer, the Director of Sustainable Ads at Google said:

"We don't have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we've seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it's an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”

Scott Spencer

Google isn't the only tech giant on a banning spree. In January, social media giant, Facebook banned crypto related advertisements on its site. Facebook said its reason for the ban was to rid the platform of “deceptive promotional practices”.

Governments are also using the same kneejerk reaction of banning crypto-assets and their related entities. Last year, China made it clear it wanted nothing to do withs cryptos or ICOs in the country, banning all related activities. Perhaps, as a result, some persons have claimed that crypto related advertisements have been disappearing from Chinese social media sites.

Just as crypto and ICO promoters have found some way around Facebook ban by using terms such as ‘Bloomchain’ the community will attempt to circumvent the latest Google ban. It is uncertain how severe the impact will be, if not a positive one for reducing the cases of scams in the space.

Unregulated Crypto Derivatives Exchanges Dominate Regulated Alternatives

Trading volume on unregulated Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives exchanges is growing rapidly, and continuing to far outpace their regulated-institutional counterparts, according to the most recent (March) CryptoCompare Exchange Review.

unregulated exchange volume(source: CryptoCompare)

Both OKEx and bitFlyer exchanges hosted an average daily derivative trading volume worth well over a billion dollars during March - $1.5 billion and $1.14 billion respectively according to CryptoCompare. It seems then that the older derivative stalwart BitMEX, at $645 million daily average volume, has been rapidly eclipsed by the newer exchanges.

regulated exchange volume(source: CryptoCompare)

Institutional, fiat-dealing (regulated) exchanges hosted a fraction of this volume, the highest being $70.5 million on the CME exchange. CryptoGlobe reported last month the CME’s primary competitor, the CBOE, was shuttering its Bitcoin futures products citing low demand. CME volume spiked last month, but is down this month below to January levels.

However, despite the relatively low average volume, the CME did have one bumper day of record-breaking Bitcoin futures trading volume, trading nearly $550 million worth of bitcoin on April 4th - days after Bitcoin’s unbelievable breakout from its $4,200 resistance.

Outflanked

The ease of onboarding new customers may explain why the unregulated exchanges get more attention.

In a recent interview, BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes underlined his exchange’s ability to “onboard a [new] customer within 10 minutes,” by accepting Bitcoin and only Bitcoin for funding. In addition, no KYC/AML checks are required to trade on BitMEX, merely an email address; whereas OKEx offers margin trading only after basic KYC/AML checks. These exchanges are registered in Seychelles and Malta, respectively, specifically to avoid such onerous accounting requirements for their customers.

As CryptoGlobe covered early in 2019, however, BitMEX and other derivative exchanges including OKEx officially exclude certain citizens from trading on their platforms due to regulatory concerns, most notably US citizens.

Hayes also intimated at the upcoming launch of an interest bearing Bitcoin-only bond, which he speculated could be used to leverage credit into future Bitcoin-denominated economic activity.