Google will ban online advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings starting in June, part of a broader crackdown on the marketing of a new breed of high-risk financial products.
The move follows an earlier decision by Facebook which banned such ads in January after finding that too many of its customers were being misled by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
The internet-search giant is also restricting ads for financial products including binary options, a risky derivative with an all-or-nothing payoff.
LONDON - Google plans to ban all cryptocurrencies and binary options adverts, and is cracking down on ads for other speculative financial instruments.
In 2017 Google took down more than 3.2 billion ads, removed 320,000 supposedly bad publishers from its ad network and blocked almost 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps for policy violations. In addition, the restriction will apply to Google's both proprietary and affiliated advertisement platforms.
Cryptocurrencies have exploded in popularity over the a year ago thanks to a surge in the price of bitcoin at the end of 2017. Also included were 66 million "trick-to-click" ads in 2017 and 48 million ads that were attempting to get users to install unwanted software.
CFDs and spread bets are financial instruments that allow people to bet on the price movement of assets without actually owning them. Providers typically offer leverage - borrowed money to invest with - of up to 50:1.
It's unlikely that the 3.2 billion ads pulled in 2017, nor the coming cryptocurrency ban, will have a serious impact on sales.
As Google implement these new changes, the Google ad's network becomes a lot safer, resulting in websites and blogs not having to worry about the ads that appear via Google's Adsense program.
Online ads enable all sorts of free services online, including search and social networks and the article you're reading now, but Google is working harder than ever to keep the bad ones at bay.