In January 2018, Facebook placed a ban on cryptocurrency and ICO advertising on its platform, when Bitcoin prices were more than double what they are today. There was speculation that this could be in preparation for a Litecoin integration with Facebook, or that a new “Facecoin” was on the horizon. In addition to the Facebook ban, Google, Twitter and other platforms initiated similar policies and banned cryptocurrency advertising. Now Facebook is reversing part of this decision. Although ICO ads will continue to be banned, Facebook is allowing other types of cryptocurrency ads, with approval.
The platform will now allow certain pre-approved advertisers to promote businesses related to digital assets and cryptocurrencies. Among the first group of websites expected to be approved are the various digital currency exchanges. The publicized reason for the ban was an attempt to prevent people from promoting “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
With this reversal, it appears as though Facebook has been rethinking this decision, and has realized that painting the entire industry with a broad brush as one filled with scammers was shortsighted. This partial lift is a good start, and we can reasonably assume that they will continue to relax their guidelines in the coming months.
Ads promoting binary options and ICOs are still banned. However, advertisers looking to promote various other types of cryptocurrency-related products may go through an application process. This may include showing proof of various “licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business.” With more clarity coming from the SEC and other regulators recently, and more exchanges getting licensed in different states and countries, this seems feasible for a number of businesses. Besides bitcoin and other cryptocurrency exchanges, we may examine derivatives platforms such as CME and Cboe. These platforms for Bitcoin futures and other more traditional financial instruments tend to be backed by large financial institutions that are very familiar with regulations, and which have too much to lose by engaging in activities that would risk the core of their businesses. As such, they would be perfect candidates for Facebook ad approval.
It’s not hard to understand why Facebook would want to open its advertising platform back up for at least some cryptocurrency ads. The industry is growing, and the investors are regaining their excitement about this modern and versatile technology. In addition, Facebook has an internal blockchain team. If they are indeed thinking of developing a new “Facecoin,” they may have realized either that they could collect useful data from their advertisers, or that development of internal projects will be slow, meaning that any delay in allowing other companies to advertise would result in a substantial loss in potential revenues.
Cryptocurrency-related companies that meet the eligibility requirements may submit their applications using a Cryptocurrency Products and Services Onboarding Request. Facebook will review the submitted information for approval. This request includes qualifying questions, and requests for information such as a website URL, active licenses, whether the company is publicly traded, and where the company is located. We can expect that cryptocurrency companies will rush to submit their applications, and ads will start reappearing soon.
Daniel is an experienced and dynamic entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of launching and operating successful businesses. Skilled in Business Strategy, Technical Consulting, Coaching, Sales, Entrepreneurship, Team Building, and Public Speaking.
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