On January 30, social media giant, Facebook updated its ads policy, prohibiting adverts that promote cryptocurrency and ICOs. While many believed that Facebook’s decision is an unforced decision made to eradicate scam ICO schemes, the latest report has emerged, revealing that the FBI actually pressured Facebook to ban crypto-related adverts. Now, the federal authority is trying to force Google to do same.
Facebook’s advertisement policy update that imposed a ban on all crypto-related adverts was not a genuine decision by the company but a result of constant FBI pressure on the social media heavyweight. The same forces that pressurized Facebook into changing its policy are also trying to make Google do same.
A senior investigator at the Manitoba Securities Commision and chairman of Canada’s Binary Options Task Force, Jason Roy, disclosed that:
“What happened is that Canada’s Binary Options Task Force, as well as the FBI, explained to Facebook what the concerns were and that these types of ads are leading to people becoming victims. We’ve been talking to Google and had similar discussions and are waiting for them to take similar action.”
The official noted that it took several months to persuade Facebook to ban crypto ads.
“We’re very pleased,” he said, adding that, “My hope is that Google will enact a similar policy, where they specifically name products like binary options, ICOs, and cryptocurrencies.”
Google Not Ready to Play
Roy and the FBI have been making consistent efforts to make Google follow the paths of Facebook, but Google is not ready to play such dirty games. “We already ban and enforce against misleading ads and misrepresentation (across all categories),” a Google representative said.
These security watchdogs do not seem to understand the fact that there are thousands of legit ICOs and cryptocurrencies out there. Explaining the reason why they think banning crypto ads by Google was the best thing to do to curb ICO scams, Roy said:
“There’s just been an explosion of different ICOs and new tokens and crazy offerings. You’re seeing ICOs that are raising large amounts of money and there’s nothing behind them in certain cases, but members of the public are so hyped they’re throwing money at them.”
Cryptocurrencies not Securities
There is still a whole lot of confusion as regards the classification of blockchain cryptocurrencies and tokens.
While the SEC believes that all tokens are securities, and must, therefore, get registered under it, the Wyoming state legislature does not share same views with the SEC and has clearly stated that digital tokens are not securities.
The cryptocurrency industry is worth nearly $370 billion (at press time), with over 1,500 altcoins and digital tokens. It is a fact that the industry is still largely unregulated, but pressuring social media platforms and online search engines to function as law enforcement agencies is surely not a way to regulate this industry in its nascent stages.