Bing to ban cryptocurrency ads. Markets not expected to respond

Posted: 16 May 2018 3:10 pm
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Bing is joining the crowd of other providers that have banned cryptocurrency-related advertising.

Earlier this year, Google, Facebook and Twitter all moved to ban cryptocurrency ads with varying degrees of success. Google's ban appears to have been largely successful, but both Facebook and Twitter found the hordes of cryptocurrency scammers to be much more intractable.

Now the Microsoft browser, Bing, is joining in, announcing its own cryptocurrency-related ad ban to commence in late June to early July. Just like Google and Facebook, the ban also extends to unregulated binary options, which have been a similar plague on ill-informed consumers.

While the Twitter, Google and Facebook crypto ad bans were widely, and probably erroneously, credited with causing market drops, it's probably safe to assume that the Bing ban won't be accused of the same.

First, because one doesn't "Bing" things, although its share of the search engine market might be larger than is widely believed. Second, because it's almost certainly a good move for a reputable organisation. Scams are rife, and clicking on paid crypto exchange ads is a good way to get hooked in a phishing attack. Meanwhile, high quality projects themselves hopefully don't need to use paid advertising to attract attention.

Bing is a bit late to the show, however. Part of this might be the result of Google, Facebook and Twitter crypto ad bans forcing scammer and unscrupulous providers to shift their advertising efforts to Bing after losing their preferred avenues. A similar effect has been seen with crypto scams shifting offline and into the real world onto sites like MeetUp in an attempt to find opportunities anywhere they can.

For its part, Bing cites the risky unregulated environment around cryptocurrencies (and unregulated binary options) as the reasons for the ban.

"Because cryptocurrency and related products are not regulated, we have found them to present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers," it said.

"To help protect our users from this risk, we have made the decision to disallow advertising for cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency related products, and un-regulated binary options."

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC and NANO.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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