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Google to ban cryptocurrency, initial coin offering ads

Policy change comes with report on ‘bad ads’ crackdown.

Google will ban online advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings starting in June, part of a broader crackdown on the marketing of a new breed of high-risk financial products.

Alphabet’s Google announced the decision Wednesday night in an update to its policy, which says it will begin to block ads for “cryptocurrencies and related content.” Facebook Inc. took a similar step in January, leaving the two largest web-ad sellers out of reach of the nascent digital-currency sector.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, pared an advance of about 2% after Google’s announcement, trading little changed at $9,099 as of 1:04 p.m. in Hong Kong. Rival coins Ripple and Ether also pared gains.

Bitcoin

The internet-search giant is also restricting ads for financial products including binary options, a risky derivative with an all-or-nothing payoff. Right now, Google queries for terms like “binary options” and “buy bitcoin” produce four ads at the top of the results.

Facebook, Google’s primary rival for ad dollars, banned ads for cryptocurrencies in January. Some aggressive businesses found a loophole: purposely misspelling words like “bitcoin” in their ads. A Google spokeswoman said the company’s policies will try to anticipate workarounds like this.

Google’s updated policy came with the release of its annual “bad ads” report, a review of the number of malicious, deceptive and controversial ads Google scrubs from its massive search, display and video network. In 2017, Google said it removed more than 3.2 billion advertisements from the web. That’s up from 1.7 billion in 2016.

Last year, for instance, Google pulled 79 million ads for luring online clickers to websites with malware. Google is also accelerating a push against misleading content. The company suspended 7,000 customer accounts for ads that impersonated a news article — what Google calls “tabloid cloaking” — and blocked more than 12,000 websites for copying information from other publications.

It’s unlikely that the 3.2 billion ads pulled in 2017, nor the coming cryptocurrency ban, will have a serious impact on sales. Last year, Google generated $95.4 billion in ad revenue, up 20 percent from 2016.

© 2018 Bloomberg

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“So you think that money is the root of all evil? […] Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?”

Ayn Rand

……it makes you think, doesn’t it?

It’s the love of money that is the root of all evil….

Atlas Shrugged is the greatest book of all. The monologue on money is spot on.

Google becoming more and more prescriptive. Banning also certain political opinions. Connect the dots, the establishment wants total control over ideas and money.

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