Earlier in 2018, Facebook, Twitter, and Google banned cryptocurrency related advertisements in an effort to reduce crypto scams. According to Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, Facebook has partially reversed its blanket ban of all cryptocurrency ads by whitelisting Coinbase, the top cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States. This is positive news for the crypto space, since this sets a precedent for additional legitimate crypto companies to be whitelisted by Facebook in the future.
It appears Coinbase is the only crypto company able to advertise on Facebook, for the time being, giving them an unprecedented advantage to advertise to Facebook’s 2.2 billion users. Perhaps the fact that the Head of Facebook’s Blockchain team, David Marcus, is on Coinbase’s Board of Directors helped Coinbase become the first crypto company to be whitelisted since the crypto ad ban began.
This news that Coinbase can now advertise on Facebook comes about a month after Facebook made their crypto ad regulations a bit more lenient to allow pre-approved cryptocurrency advertisers. This opens the door for reputable and properly licensed cryptocurrency companies to regain their ability to advertise on Facebook after a review process. However, Facebook is adamant that they will not be allowing any initial coin offering ads.
When the blanket ban of crypto ads was instituted, Facebook’s ad policy said: “prohibit 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”. It is good news that Facebook is now recognizing that some cryptocurrency companies are legitimate, and providing an avenue towards whitelisting.
Although the blanket ban on crypto ads on Twitter, Facebook, and Google was met with outrage from the crypto community, it was done to protect the reputation and finances of those companies. Unfortunately, many crypto related ads on those platforms ended up being scams, which has the potential to tarnish the platform’s reputation and scare away legitimate advertisers. People who became victims because of advertisements could potentially file lawsuits as well. For example, YouTube is the defendant in a class action lawsuit, for negligence in allowing tens of thousands of hours of BitConnect promotional material to be published.
Perhaps Facebook can set a trend where advertising platforms find a balance by creating an application process to weed out crypto scams while allowing legitimate crypto companies to advertise.
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