Search engine turned tech behemoth Google is adjusting it’s advertisement policy around cryptocurrency wallet and exchange services, according to a web announcement from the company today. Changes are set to take effect in August. Let’s take a look at the brass tax around the new policy, and how it differs from Google’s stance over the past few years:
The Google Policy: What’s Changing?
Effective August 3rd, crypto exchanges and wallets targeting U.S. consumers “may advertise those products and services when they meet the following requirements and are certified by Google”, according to the published statement. The adjustment is part of Google’s broader Financial products and services policy.
The aforementioned requirements in the initial report include registration with both “FinCEN as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter” or “a federal or state chartered bank entity”. Previous Cryptocurrency Exchange certificates that were issued will be revoked, and crypto wallet and exchange firms must request new certificates as early as July, once applications are made available.
Additionally, advertisers will still need to comply with any relevant local, state, and federal legal requirements, and comply with broader Google Ads policies.
Notably, the update also specifically excludes “initial coin offerings, DeFi trading protocols, or otherwise promoting the purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products” from being advertisers. Additionally, “ad destinations that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products” will also not be allowed.
Google’s History With Crypto Ads
The policy change is the first since 2018, when cryptocurrency advertising was broadly banned early in the year. By September of 2018, the search engine relaxed their policy and allowed exchanges to become ‘certified’ with Google in order to advertise. Certification was applicable only for advertisers targeting U.S. and Japanese markets.
This has led to unique challenges, particularly for exchanges looking to build rapport in the U.S. market.
Increased crypto adoption has likely been in a factor in influencing Google’s recent policy adjustment | Source: CRYPTOCAP on TradingView.com
What It Means
The move suggests that Google is warming up to allowing crypto exchanges and wallets advertise, while still implementing substantial regulatory hurdles in order to do so. Despite going unchanged for years, today’s adjustment in policy certainly wasn’t anticipated by most crypto advertisers. While the door will still remain closed for a good portion of crypto institutions, the policy is undoubtedly more lenient than it’s predecessor from 2018.
Despite strict guidelines to date, the firm has still faced past scrutiny for allowing scam projects to slip through company advertising rules; how that is impacted moving forward remains to be seen.