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Google is revamping its ad policy for crypto exchanges and wallets

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Google is expanding the scope of its crypto-related advertisement policy, the latest development in a years-long back and forth from the tech giant.

In a policy statement published Wednesday, Google said that "[b]eginning August 3, advertisers offering Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets targeting the United States may advertise those products and services when they meet the following requirements and are certified by Google."

To qualify, exchanges and wallets need to "[b]e duly registered with (a) FinCEN as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter; or (b) a federal or state chartered bank entity," "[c]omply with relevant legal requirements, including any local legal requirements, whether at a state or federal level" and "[e]nsure their ads and landing pages comply with all Google Ads policies."

The new certification process will replace one that has existed for crypto exchanges since late 2018. 

In March 2018, Google made waves when it banned crypto advertising from its search engine, a move that came after Facebook undertook a similar policy shift earlier that year. Yet in September 2018, Google walked back that strict policy somewhat, allowing for crypto exchanges to become certified advertisers on the platform for the U.S. and Japanese markets. Elsewhere, critics have long accused Google of not adequately addressing crypto-related ad scams

Per Google's new statement, it will not allow advertisements for "initial coin offerings, DeFi trading protocols, or otherwise promoting the purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products." Cited examples include "initial DEX offerings, token liquidity pools, celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements, unhosted wallets, unregulated DApps."

Further, "Ad destinations that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products" are also not allowed.

"As a reminder, we expect all advertisers to comply with the local laws for any area that their ads target. This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products," Google concluded.

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