The cryptocurrency explosion has led to a huge amount of interest in this interesting and divergent industry. There are now more coins on the market now than ever (1600) and that number is growing. Thanks to the continued rise of cryptocurrencies it is little wonder that the market has responded in kind, unleashing a concerning amount of scams, dumps n dumps, and Ponzi schemes.
Due to the illicit nature of these products, many sites including the social media giants Google, Twitter, and Facebook have taken a hard line against them, due to the damaging effects that they have on consumer confidence.
Although some platforms are legitimate, like certain ICOs, a good portion of them are operated by criminals, under the guise of a legitimate business. These operations are nothing more than a crude snatch and grab to take people’s money away from them, providing nothing but lies and broken promises.
Twitter’s Scam Problem
The problem with social media and Twitter in particular is that it is very easy for people to fake the names, usernames, and even profiles of high profile influencers in the cryptocurrency market. These people are often impersonated to get people to send bitcoin or Ethereum to one of their wallet addresses.
As the scam goes on, the scammer claims that the person will send back twice, if not triple the amount sent to the scammers address. But once the funds are sent, the scammer disappears, along with the victim’s money.
These scams are all too common. And unfortunately, Twitter has yet to take a hard line against them, but some recent statements released by the company suggests that it may be in the process of addressing this.
The impersonation scam is one of the many ways that people get defrauded out of their money on Twitter, there are plenty of more.
It’s easy to run a sponsored ad on the platform, or to create an account and post a huge volume of content to promote the scammer’s end. This cannot be stopped, even for illegal platforms or known scams in the market.
But something worse is that criminals can get instant access to twitter’s advertising network, exposing millions of people to their ads and funnelled into their websites, where people will lose their money.
This is a severe problem for Twitter, which relies on ad revenue to keep itself liquid in the social media game. So they decided to shut these ads down, in an effort of self-preservation and necessity.
Facebook Has Problems Too
Facebook is one of the largest social media sites in the world, and is presently one of the cheapest display advertising networks. Companies can run ads on Facebook at little cost, targeted to specific demographics that have an interest in cryptocurrencies. The ads are cheap, especially with Facebook’s targeting options to hone into the most likely victims of the scam.
Although Facebook does not have the same impersonation scams as Twitter, its platform is still leveraged for fraud. Facebook pages have sprung up advertising investment opportunities like high yield investment programs (HYIPs) that promise fast returns but in reality, are nothing more than Ponzi schemes.
High yield investment programs are some of the most common platforms seen in crypto advertisements, after initial coin offerings. Many of the HYIPs operate for a few months only to close down, and then resurface under a new name or a different branding. There is no way of stopping these platforms from disappearing and resurfacing, or taking people money. The only thing platforms can do is to refuse to let them advertise on their sites, which is what we have seen with Facebook.
In recent times, Facebook has come under fire for recording too much of its users and advertisers information, which coincides with the explosion of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain tech. These problems are inter-related, and caused a backlash against Facebook users to have them taken down.
Facebook responded with a ban on all cryptocurrency advertisements to protect the interests of its investors and user base, despite crypto ads bringing in a significant amount of money to Facebook through ad revenues.
What About Google?
Google has the largest advertising network in the world, counting the main search engine and its network of display sites that feature ads from its customers. So for Google, protecting its market share from scams and the dangers of crypto ads is the platform’s highest priority.
To combat the scams posed by the cryptocurrency market, Google has reclassified cryptocurrency ads, banning them from the Google display network and the main search engine. These changes are due to be in place in the middle of this year, which will prevent advertisers from placing any cryptocurrency ads, including for wallets, HYIPs, ICOs etc.
Google’s move to ban cryptocurrency ads hit the market hard, with many speculators dropping their bags in fears that that a global crackdown was occurring on the market. The good news is that this didn’t happen, and the market restored its liquidity quickly.
What the future holds for cryptocurrencies remains uncertain, thanks to the ever-changing regulatory market and the fact that advertisers at any moment can pull from their advertising contracts. Not to mention the fact that platforms like Google could take more stringent measures against cryptocurrencies, including delisting them from the search engines altogether.
However, cryptocurrencies are still extremely new in the field of finance, and they are yet to mature into a fully-fledged economy. So there’s still time for advertising networks and social media platforms to revise their positions and take a more moderate stance against cryptocurrencies, which may happen if they continue to be accepted by the mainstream populace.
The next step for crypto is for it to be seen as a positive force and not associated with scams and other get rich quick type hype. This should prove to be interesting for investors when this happens, as this could skyrocket the valuation of their cryptocurrencies, making them more valuable for all.