Google Has Reversed its Ban on Crypto Ads- Here’s Why This Matters
Google has loosened its ban on crypto ads. Since this October, regulated crypto exchanges can once again buy advertising on the search engine, although only when you go through their application process and only in the United States and Japan.
The news comes as a relief for crypto enthusiasts and investors alike. Facebook shocked the crypto world in January this year by banning all forms of crypto advertising on its platform, in an attempt to “improve the integrity and security of our ads, and to make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook.”
Google followed suit in March to implement a full ban as well. And unsurprisingly, after a few high-profile frauds and scams, Twitter and Snapchat banned crypto ads too, although only for ICOs and token sales.
After all that, the stakes are back on the table and crypto can wrestle for ad space once again.
It’s Bad, But Not That Bad
The restrictions came after a stern warning on ICOs from the US’s Securities and Exchange Commission, which suggested that many crypto tokens could be considered unregistered securities. Selling or trying to sell unregistered securities is considered a felony.
As if bad news should only be followed up with bad news, the Federal Trade Commission found out that consumers lost $532 million to cryptocurrency scams in just the first two months of 2018. They warned that the total figure could rise to more than $3 billion before the end of the year.
So some form of regulation is desirable.
But it’s important to realize that the vast majority of crypto trading is entirely legitimate and that the crypto industry is full of innovative startups looking to change the world in a meaningful way.
In fact, if we take today’s market cap of around $208 billion, $3 billion in crypto scams would still only signify 1.44% of the total market cap.
As such, Facebook seems to have realized not everything in the crypto industry is bad. It reversed its policy in June this year, allowing crypto ads and related content from pre-approved advisers to be displayed on the platform. And now Google has done the same.
There could be several reasons why they loosened up their restrictions, but it’s likely to do with the declining crypto market cap and inactivity. Daily trading volume is down 70% from the most active periods of last year. Market cap dropped from around $815 billion to today’s $208 billion. The hype has slowed down considerably.
Additionally, the economic incentive for allowing at least some crypto ads through cannot be ignored. Google’s parent company Alphabet earns 86% of its total revenue from ads. Facebook earned $40 billion revenue in 2017, of which a staggering $39.9 billion from digital ads. Suffice to say both companies have an incentive to at least somewhat dip into the highly lucrative crypto market.
Work Hard With Good Intentions and You’ll Do Just Fine
If you’re thinking of starting your own crypto company, be encouraged. Consider that Facebook and Google are willing to work together with legitimate crypto companies.
As such, you shouldn’t give them any reason to see you as unprofessional. Make sure your copy, design, and product are all top notch. This isn’t any different from startups in any other industry, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Additionally, make sure that you keep up with the laws in Japan, the US, and any other regions you’re looking to target with your startup. Stay nimble and try to have some financial buffer to cope with sudden changes or bans that might be (re)introduced.
If you’re a crypto exchange, make sure you register with FinCEN as a Money Services Business or with the SEC as a broker-dealer, exchange, or alternative trading system. And as a broker, keep your licenses and books in order. In other words, make sure that you are trustworthy.
And don’t forget that you don’t even have to buy ads. But it’s still a nice option for building awareness.
I still believe that developing organic traffic by creating excellent content is among the best long-term strategies for you — whether you’re a crypto entrepreneur or any other startup. Use your expertise to build an active blog with easy-to-understand articles, guest post articles in popular magazines like Hackernoon or Forbes, send a newsletter that updates your readers on what’s happening in the industry, build social media profiles that creates community, and so on.
Bottom line: Be an authority in your field and a reason to be found on the Internet. It will take time and effort to build up this reputation, but the wait is worth it.