back to article Crypto crackdown: Google bans ads for unregulated currencies

Google has joined the Bitcoin-hating bandwagon with a ban on ads for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings from June. The move was announced today as part of an update to its financial services policy to crack down on unregulated products. This will mean companies can no longer serve ads for "cryptocurrencies and …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Can they ban tulips and devops ads too

    ^Subj. Please. Pretty please.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Can they ban tulips and devops ads too

      Just ban ads from non-regulated advertising agencies...

      1. PNGuinn
        Megaphone

        Re: Can they ban tulips and devops ads too

        "Just ban ads from non-regulated advertising agencies..."

        Just ban ads. ?

        Please?

        The right to be forgotten - by ad slingers?

    2. handleoclast

      Re: Can they ban tulips and devops ads too

      That's a very, very, very bad suggestion.

      Tulips are pretty. I like tulips. I bought some once. Didn't have to buy any more, because they reproduce underground by offsets, so they're slowly taking over the garden. Mind you, the raspberry runners are giving them a damned good fight.

      So don't ban tulip ads. You initially have to buy some bulbs. Tulip ads are fine.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Can they ban tulips and devops ads too

        You initially have to buy some bulbs

        Yeah - but have you seen the prices? People betting their entire fortunes on a single bulb!

        (Voices off: "It's the 21st century you know")

        Ah. OK. As you were.

  2. simonb_london

    Here we go again

    Something else effectively censored for our own "safety".

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Here we go again

      It's not censored. Google are just choosing not to profit from it. Which given that at least 90% of ICOs are probably scams, seems fair enough.

      The coin exchanges have a distressing tendency to disappear with peoples' money too.

      Put simply, this isn't an area for ordinary consumers to be messing around. If you've got decent IT knowledge and an ability to secure your own wallet, then your main risk is the exchanges going pop. Which you can mitigate by not using them for large transactions. You also need to have a decent understanding of risk, given that there have been large gains made by some, but also lots of large losses.

      If you're a company that makes a large majority of its profits from dealing with consumers (Google and particularly Facebook), then your reputation is at stake if lots of them start losing money because of stuff you advertise.

      1. tip pc Bronze badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Here we go again

        ""If you're a company that makes a large majority of its profits from dealing with consumers (Google and particularly Facebook), then your reputation is at stake if lots of them start losing money because of stuff you advertise."

        i really don't think Goggle are doing this to save their public reputation else they would have done the same for normal pump and dump scams. They are coerced into doing this to avoid other restrictions somewhere else.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Here we go again

          It's a hell of a lot harder to stop "pump-n-dump." You've got to research each advert individually to deal with it. And Google don't like spending money on this sort of thing. They're only a publisher when it suits them.

          But stopping all bitcoin stuff is just a matter of a few keywords. Easy.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Here we go again

            And that is the problem, all other forms of advertising have to do some form of due diligence, before they can publish the advertisements.

            Unfortunately Google uses the "we are too big" or rather they do advertising at such scale, that normal rules shouldn't apply to them, because they would need to employ thousands of extra people to validate the adverts, before they can be posted online and that would drastically reduce their profits.

      2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: Here we go again

        "Which given that at least 90% of ICOs are probably scams, seems fair enough."

        That's a wee bit harsh, but you're point is valid. It's pretty much impossible to know if an ICO is a scam, since there is rarely any formal paperwork or actual product.

        What I have noticed is that there are plenty of "Bitcoin investment" or equivalent ads, which aren't pump-and-dump schemes, but are impossible to tell if they are Ponzi schemes or not*. One hopes that they get banned too, since they are pretty much all clearly bollocks.

        "The coin exchanges have a distressing tendency to disappear with peoples' money too."

        Indeed. In fact, these still occur with alarming regularity, and I've yet to see any MSM mention them. Since they are often the only way to speculate in the multitude of shitcoins, and they are often impossible to trace, then they form another part of the speculative risk.

        I'll note that I've not seen a fiat-crypto exchange that I'd use disappear for a while, but they the reputable ones seem to be taking their KYC and AML shit seriously.

        but BTC-shitcoin exchanges aren't regulated, and quite possibly won't be for some time.

        * some of them aren't, they are just relying on people being very bad at math. As an example, invest x amount, get 0.03x per day for 30 days. Or for those who don't like doing a sum, invest x, get 0.9x back.

  3. tip pc Bronze badge

    Innovate

    so they are now advocating innovation instead of trying to ignore the demand. It will be interesting to se how long it takes them to react and what their innovation will be. I've got this feeling that no matter what they come up with it'll end up missing the key aspects that make crypto currencies attractive, namely digital cash replacement that is as notionally as untraceable as cash. The various G8 treasuries will not like it if they cannot trace their citizens transactions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Innovate

      "The various G8 treasuries will not like it if they cannot trace their citizens transactions".

      Nail, head, hit.

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Innovate

      "namely digital cash replacement that is as notionally as untraceable as cash."

      I dont think ive heard from one person yet who wants to use BC as a currency. They all want to get rich by buying and selling it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Innovate

        Well let me be the first :-) Having said that, this was about 7 years ago when out of curiosity and to play with some new hardware I did a little mining, with the expectation that they might have some value as a currency and then forgot all about them - not many BC markets here in Scotland. I sold them all about 5 months ago, so I morphed from one to the other (although I never actually used hard earned gelt to purchase them). Although I only morphed into one part of the buying/selling pair.

  4. TomChaton

    Bitcoin prices plummeted after news of the ban emerged...

    To be fair, bitcoin prices plummeted in early February after I'd had a particularly nice sandwich.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Kipling's advice to crypto miners

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

    And lose, and start again at your beginnings

    And never breathe a word about your loss

  6. Anne-Lise Pasch

    Hold the door, hold the door, hodor, hodor, HODL, HODL, blee

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Make money FAST!

    For people who feel the need to get out of Bitcoin, can I suggest a safer and more reliable way to make money?

    "Total Recall" in the 3.30 at Cheltenham tomorrow. Currently at about 16/1

  8. JohnJacob

    Funny that....

    ... on this very article about Google banning crypto coin adverts, there's one on my right side from AdSense stating '"Next Bitcoin nets $1.8M What's Next Cryptocurrency To Hit Big? (Click For Details)'.

    Why's that Alanis Morissette song playing in the background?

  9. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Coat

    Feels vaguely familiar...

    Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I can't help but wonder what would have happened if Google had created their own crypto coin at some point in the last year or so...

    Just like Microsoft missed the massive disruption that the internet caused in IT, so it feels like Google might have missed a similar disrupt - and are now doing what they can to limit the damage it might do to them...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Greater Fool

    Bitcoin prices haven't really plummeted: they are down but only by a fraction of last months plummet. As Bitcoin has no intrinsic value its price is determined solely by what people will pay for them. Basically people buy them knowing they are really worthless but expect some even greater fool will pay even more for them when they want to sell. It's a good strategy as there are a lot of fools in the world but this ban will stop some of the greatest fools getting into Bitcoin etc. However unless the people who already have bought want to sell there won't be a downward pressure on the price. The exception to this is the miners who need to sell their freshly minted coins to pay huge electricity bill. The stats show Bitcoin levels of trading getting thinner and thinner, so perhaps we might be close to the end state with all of the worlds greatest fools owning all of the Bitcoins, and being wealthy on paper as long as they don't try to sell them.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      being wealthy on paper as long as they don't try to sell them

      There is of cause another way to cash out. Get a loan and use the nominal value of the bit coins as collateral. default on the loan and hand over the bitcoins. Problem solved.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: being wealthy on paper as long as they don't try to sell them

        Or you can just use them to buy stuff. Well, a year or so ago it was relatively easy anyway.

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: being wealthy on paper as long as they don't try to sell them

        If you default on a loan, and the collateral doesn’t cover it, you owe the rest.

      3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: being wealthy on paper as long as they don't try to sell them

        "Get a loan and use the nominal value of the bit coins as collateral."

        The 2008 mortgage backed security mess x10. Or x100. Nobody has a good idea what these are worth. And once the banks end up with these on their books* their capital reserves go to hell.

        *I can see people putting Bitcoin up as collateral for a loan and then 'going bankrupt' as a way to cash out of a Bitcoin position without going to an exchange. Banks should run away screaming.

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: being wealthy on paper as long as they don't try to sell them

          Nobody has a good idea what these are worth.

          I bet I do!

      4. veti Silver badge

        Re: being wealthy on paper as long as they don't try to sell them

        If anyone is fool enough to accept BTC as collateral for a (real money) loan, they deserve everything they get.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Greater Fool

      Bitcoin is very thinly traded so the price is largely a fantasy when people start talking about bitcoin's "market cap". If even a tenth of all outstanding coins were offered for sale, the price would probably drop to $500 in an hour.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Greater Fool

      As Bitcoin has no intrinsic value its price is determined solely by what people will pay for them.

      That is also true of commodities that do have intrinsic value. A price is either what someone will pay for something, or a pointless label.

      ITYM the value of Bitcoin is determined by what people will pay, or barter, for them. In other words, Bitcoin has no use-value, only exchange-value.

      (Even this is not entirely true. Bitcoin potentially has some use-value, because the blockchain can be used for some purposes. But I digress, and to be honest I'm really not interested in Bitcoin.)

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Greater Fool

        the blockchain can be used for some purposes

        Someday, someone might even demonstrate one...

  11. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Bitcoin prices plummeted...

    ...after news of the ban emerged, dropping from $9,144 at today's open to a low of $8,700 at the time of publishing – and doesn't seem to be picking up.

    Moving by 5% is a normal hour or two for bitcoin.

  12. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

    Loose translation

    Both firms have been pushed to act by the sudden increase in interest for cryptocurrencies and ICOs amid fears that anonymity and a lack of regulation makes them open to money laundering and other criminal activities.

    Scammers can easily make a quick buck without offering anything in exchange, and regulators are growing concerned that people will be ripped off.

    If there is any money laundering and ripping off to be done, it should be done by the 'regulated' banks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Loose translation

      "If there is any money laundering and ripping off to be done, it should be done by the 'regulated' banks."

      This x1000 times!!! The longer people don't see the irony on such pronouncements from the likes of Lagrande and the bankers who caused the issues that lead to the 2008 collapse (and have been flooding the markets with cheap debt ever since), the more we deserve the financial systems we are stuck with.

  13. PaulFrederick

    may I just say,

    Hey hey hey hey

    Bitconeeeeeeeeeect!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vabXXkZjKiw

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