Microsoft’s Search Engine Bing Joins Google, Facebook in Banning Crypto-Related Ads

  • Microsoft-powered search engine Bing has announced it's going to ban cryptocurrency ads by July.
  • The search engine is following similar moves made by Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
  • Despite the ban, Microsoft itself still accepts bitcoin payments.

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.”

Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo

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.

Hackers Hijack Major UK Supermarket’s Twitter Account to Promote Bitcoin Scam

Hackers have recently hijacked the Twitter account of a major supermarket in the UK, Tesco, and used their access to promote a bitcoin scam that saw them pose as Bill Gates to try and get users to send them BTC.

According to Bleeping Computer, the hackers compromised Tesco’s official Twitter account, which has over 540,000 followers. The hackers started urging users to send them over BTC, purportedly to celebrate the cryptocurrency’s price rise, claiming they’d double their money.

Later on, they changed the handle to @Billgatesmsc and replaced its profile picture with one of the Microsoft co-founder, before continuing their bitcoin scam attempt. While no customers appear to have fallen for the scam, Tesco briefly lost its verified status on the microblogging platform over the ordeal.

The hackers notably also replied to some Tesco customers, requesting personal information such as full names, addresses, postcodes, and more. This, while still impersonating Bill Gates. Tesco’s customers realized something was amiss, and it’s believed no one fell for the requests.

At press time, Tesco has regained control of its Twitter account, which has gotten its verified badge back. It’s unclear how the hackers managed to compromise the supermarket’s account, and the firm hasn’t issued any statements on it.

Notably, scammers trying to get cryptocurrencies on Twitter with these schemes have been around since last year. As CryptoGlobe covered, the scammers kept on hijacking verified Twitter accounts, and then used them to promote fake cryptocurrency giveaway links.

In a famous case they impersonated Tesla founder Elon Musk, and managed to rake in over $39,000 from unsuspecting victims.