Microsoft, Snap and Twitter are exceptions — for now.
Google, the world’s biggest online ad company, announced last week it would no longer show ads related to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. That move followed Facebook’s January ban on cryptocurrency and ICOs ads, joining Chinese web giants Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, which haven’t allowed these kinds of ads for much longer.
That means companies like Coinbase or Gemini, which serve as marketplaces and exchanges for virtual currencies, and advertisers promoting an ICO or encouraging the purchase of a particular cryptocurrency, are effectively shut out of 70 percent of the world’s digital ad market.
So where can cryptocurrencies — which currently have a combined market value of $ 331 billion — still advertise?
Microsoft, which owns search engine Bing, is the biggest ad platform to allow cryptocurrency ads. The company booked $ 6.97 billion in advertising revenue last year.
“We continually review our policies, and ongoing monitoring of this emerging model may lead to later changes that best meet the interests of our users, partners and network,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. “In that context, we are currently evaluating our position on cryptocurrency advertising.”
Twitter and Snap both still show cryptocurrency ads, though Twitter might soon change its policy. Twitter booked $ 644 million in ad sales in the most recent quarter, a 1 percent gain over last year, and Snap generated about $ 277 million in advertising, a 72 percent rise.
As always, there are exceptions.
While Snap allows cryptocurrencies ads, it bans ads for cryptocurrency ICOs. Here’s a recent ad for crypto investment advice:
FB and Google have banned crypto ads. Snap has not. Just saw this one for a James Altucher investment guide. pic.twitter.com/Bgrc8MQozS
— Kurt Wagner (@KurtWagner8) March 15, 2018
Though Facebook banned ads for cryptocurrency “financial products and services” and ICOs, it still allows ads related to the industry, like the one below for an equity offering in Bitzumi, a cryptocurrency marketing platform. If the ad were for Bitzumi’s crypto exchange itself it would be prohibited, according to Facebook.
— Alex Skatell (@AlexSkatell) March 14, 2018
Oath, the Verizon-owned umbrella company that houses AOL and Yahoo, told Recode it doesn’t allow ads for ICOs or “specific currencies.” “We also don’t allow ads which are misleading or promote themselves as get-rich-quick schemes,” an Oath spokesperson said.