Google's Ban on Bitcoin Why Is This Unfair?
Experts suspect that the ban is made on the basis of Google's own crypto ambitions. They argue that the new policy is heavy-handed and unethical.
The new policy will come into effect this June, similar bans have been enacted on Facebook and Twitter platforms.
Google announced the ban as early as March and was specific when it said: “Cryptocurrencies and related content such as ICOs, exchanges, wallets and even trading tips”.
The paradoxical thing about this is that both Google and Facebook have recently revealed their interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, which has led one to believe that the ban on advertising is not motivated solely by a desire to deal with the acts of crypto fraud that occur on a daily basis.
Phillip Nunn, CEO at Blackmore Group, Manchester-based firm, told The Independent:
“I understand that Facebook and Google are under a lot of pressure to regulate what their users are reading, but they are still advertising gambling websites and other unethical practices.”
One of the many possibilities is that these companies (Google and Facebook), may have decided to ban virtual currencies to leave their platforms opened for their own crypto-related projects. Which company would not like to have a free way to promote their products and services without competitors?
A Google spokesman told Business Insider in March that they were investigating blockchain technology and everything created so far.
“Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring potential use of blockchain, but it’s too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans” the spokesman said.
What About Social Networks?
Facebook also alluded to its blockchain ambitions in May, announcing the biggest reorganization of its history management. Mark Zuckerberg, has previously expressed his interest in cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology that bitcoin popularized.
David Marcus, former director of Facebook Messenger, also announced that he is now leading a blockchain exploration group that will report directly to Mike Schroepfer, CTO at Facebook Messenger.
But Facebook hasn't had it easy with attempts to block ads that promote anything related to cryptocurrencies because sellers are always innovating new strategies to circumvent such bans.
As cryptocurrencies have become more popular, scammers are increasingly using Facebook and Google to promote suspicious cryptocurrencies and exchanges, and to defraud customers.
Fewer Ads, Fewer Scams
A recent specialized research on initial coin offers (ICOs) revealed that up to 80% of ICOs are fraudulent. It is for this reason that the reduction of this type of advertisement is seen as something positive for the ecosystem, as the proliferation of these ads damages the perception of space in general.
However, most enthusiasts believe that the nature of this ban is unfair to the emerging industry.
“Unfortunately, the fact that this ban is a blanket ban will mean that legitimate cryptocurrency businesses which provide valuable services to users will be unfairly caught in the crossfire” Ed Cooper, head of mobile at digital banking startup Revolut, told The Independent.
It definitely brings uneasiness to the community that the approach to the next ban is extremely selective and discriminatory. For example, there is currently no ban on advertisements of other things that can also be the subject of bad intentions by fraudsters, bringing down others through so-called job advertisements, antivirus or charity.
Gareth Malna, a fintech lawyer at the British law firm Burges Salmon, goes so far as to suggest that Google's ban contradicts the very purpose of the world's largest search engine:
“For Google to step in and block that market may sound like consumer protection, but is potentially overstepping its perceived role as gatekeeper to information”