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Google cracks down on cryptocurrency ads

Bitcoin is just all over the place, isn’t it?

(Image Courtesy: Pixabay)

Over the past couple of months, the markets have been flooded with all sorts of news on cryptocurrencies along with advertisements, promising to give people all the info on bitcoins and how to get rich fast by investing in them. Now, Google has decided to step in to check this barrage of crypto info-blitz.

It is a well-known fact that cryptocurrencies are not properly regulated, and therefore inferred by many as a medium of multiple inherent risks. Dealers have been arrested for scams and exchanges have been hacked causing investor losses.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, called bitcoin a ‘fraud’ while Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates accused cryptocurrencies of ‘killing people in a direct way.’

No, not a nice picture at all.

(Image Courtesy: Robert Scoble/Flickr)

Google, now, feels it is time to do its bit by banning all advertisements on cryptocurrencies and other financial instruments which involve risky speculation. The company has changed its policies to help protect users from online scams.

The ban covers high-risk products such as binary options, contracts for difference (CFDs) and spread bets, with Google claiming that CFDs were akin to gambling. The tech titan will ask for registration and licenses from providers of financial instruments as requirements to display advertisements. Google will also ban advertisements from affiliates associated with this market.

Google joins Facebook, which recently banned cryptocurrency ads on its platform. Google’s action comes after Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, cast her own aspersions on cryptocurrencies.

Google has long been criticized for not taking effective measures to curb the content on its platform and for giving priority to advertisement revenue. Social media companies like Twitter and Facebook, too, have come under fire for not tackling fake news and hate speech efficiently enough on their websites.

Google said it removed 3.2 billion ads that were misleading and offensive, and blocked 320,000 publishers for content policy violation last year. The search giant also said it is seriously evaluating the quality of the videos posted to its YouTube platform.

Considering advertising makes up for a significant portion of Google’s revenue, the impact of this decision on its profits remains unclear.

The banning of cryptocurrency ads seems like a step in the right direction, since it curbs the spread misinformation through the medium of advertisement.

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