Twitter bans cryptocurrency ads

The social media site will start banning cryptocurrency ads from Tuesday, including initial coin offerings and token sales.
Written by Jonathan Chadwick, Contributor

Twitter has followed the leads of Facebook and Google by banning cryptocurrency advertising on its platform.

The ban, which comes into effect on Tuesday and will take 30 days to be rolled out, covers advertising of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and token sales, the company told Reuters on Monday.

It will also cover ads by cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency wallet services, unless they are public companies listed on certain stock markets. In Japan, this will be limited to crypto exchanges regulated by its national financial regulator, Twitter said.

Twitter's ban comes after action taken by Google, which announced a ban on cryptocurrency ads earlier this month that will come into effect in June.

Google said its updated financial services policy will ban "cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)."

Google added that to be certified by the company, aggregators and affiliate companies will need to be licensed by local financial authorities, ensure their ads and landing pages comply with AdWords policies, and comply with local laws when speculative financial products are involved.

Facebook had banned cryptocurrency ads at the end of January in an effort to make it harder for scams to succeed on its platform, the company said.

"We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception," Facebook product management director Rob Leathern said in a blog post.

See also: Cryptocurrency ICOs: It's impossible to police what you can't see

Twitter had said earlier this month that it was taking measures to prevent crypto-related accounts from "engaging with others in a deceptive manner".

But despite Tuesday's ban, the company's CEO Jack Dorsey suggested earlier this week that bitcoin would be the leading currency within 10 years.

"The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin," Dorsey said, speaking to The Times.

Dorsey also allowed bitcoin transactions through Square, his mobile payments company. The Square Cash app allows for up to $10,000 worth of the currency to be purchased per week, with no limit on the number of bitcoin that can be sold.

"We support bitcoin because we see it as a long-term path towards greater financial access for all. This is a small step," Dorsey tweeted at the time.

The price of bitcoin has skyrocketed and plummeted many times over the past year, and other "alt" coins such as Ethereum or low-liquidity assets including Ripple are not stable, either.

While some cryptocurrencies are legitimate, many have turned out to be scams, leaving investors out of pocket by millions of dollars. Many threat actors and fraudsters are also operating malicious websites masquerading as legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges.

With AAP


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