Bing, a search engine powered by tech giant Microsoft, has recently joined Google, Facebook, and Twitter in banning cryptocurrency-related ads from its platform. The move, according to the company’s announcement, is set to protect users from scammers.
Per Bing’s blog post, the crypto market is unregulated, which to the company means cryptocurrencies “present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers.”
The announcement, published by Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo, reads:
"To help protect our users from this risk, we have made the decision to disallow advertising for cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency related products, and un-regulated binary options. Bing Ads will implement this change to our financial product and services policy globally in June, with enforcement rolling out in late June to early July.”
The move sees cryptocurrencies join various legally questionable products and services Microsoft has banned. These include Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, and investments in which it’s necessary to add other participants.
Reportedly, the company already policed cryptocurrency ads to block those designed to facilitate illicit activities, including money laundering and terrorist financing. Now, the ban is presumably going to affect all crypto-related ads, including those created by legitimate businesses.
It mimics a similar ban introduced by social media giant Facebook in January, which blocked ads that “promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, and cryptocurrency.”
As covered, search engine monopoly Google followed Facebook’s footsteps, as it is set to ban cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) ads in June. Microblogging platform Twitter then revealed a similar move.
Various cryptocurrency associations have since stated they’re planning on suing these companies, alleging there’s a “cartel collusion” being enacted against cryptocurrencies, in an attempt to manipulate the market. Google itself saw other lawsuits, as a disgruntled Russian entrepreneur sued the company, alleging it was hurting his business.
Despite Bing’s ban, Microsoft itself has been accepting bitcoin payments since 2014, and still has a how-to page on its website walking users through the process of adding money to their accounts using the cryptocurrency.