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Google is now allowing ads for cryptocurrency-related businesses and services

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

In August 2021, Google will update the Financial products and services policy to clarify the scope and requirements to allow the advertisement of cryptocurrency-related business and services. 

“Beginning August 3, advertisers offering Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets targeting the United States may advertise those products and services when they meet the following requirements and are certified by Google. To be certified by Google, advertisers will need to:

Be duly registered with

(a) FinCEN as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter; or 

(b) a federal or state chartered bank entity. 

Comply with relevant legal requirements, including any local legal requirements, whether at a state or federal level.

Ensure their ads and landing pages comply with all Google Ads policies”

Therefore, beginning today, advertisers offering crypto-currency exchanges and wallets targeting the United States may advertise these products and services.

In mid-2018, Google banned crypto and initial coin offering (ICO) related ads, but regulated entities are now allowed to market their services.

The new policy will apply to Google search and its third-party sites, including YouTube and Gmail.

Advertising sales generate $147 billion in revenue, or more than 80 percent of total revenue for Google’s parent company, Alphabet. And with the public’s interest in crypto-currencies, this reversal could help further increase its ad sales.

According to the updated Financial Products and Services Policy, Google allows ads for crypto-currencies and related products and services in limited circumstances due to the “complex and evolving nature of the regulations” related to them.

The tech giant allows crypto exchanges and wallets to advertise on its platform if the account is certified by Google and the advertiser is an approved provider registered with FinCEN or a federal or state banking entity.

The products advertised with the ad must also comply with local laws and industry standards.

Meanwhile, businesses that do not relate to buying, holding, or trading crypto, such as those that accept crypto payments, crypto mining hardware, and platforms that rely on the blockchain for their operations, are subject to other Google Ads policies.

What is not allowed are ads for ICOs, promoting the buying, selling or trading of crypto, or DeFi trading protocols. In its non-exhaustive list of not-allowed examples, Google also mentions crypto loans, initial DEX offers, token cash pools, celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements, unhosted wallets, unregulated DApps.

Advertising destinations that aggregate or compare crypto issuers such as trading signals, investment advice, aggregators, broker reviews, or affiliate sites containing related content are also not allowed.

Last month, popular social media platform TikTok announced a ban on investment promotion, including crypto-currency ads. While its advertising policy stated that financial services could be advertised to users over the age of 18, crypto-related ads are completely banned on the platform.