Google Mentions Crypto in Ad and Everyone Tries to Guess What It Means

Internet giant Google made an ad for its new service, the call screen, and promptly took a swing at crypto. Now, the community is torn between whether this mention is good or bad for the industry as a whole.

The woman in the video tells the man that the electric company is calling, “they say that your bill is super high.” He replies, “Right, well, cryptocurrency mining takes a lot of energy.” And she follows up with, “Cryptocurrency – that money’s not real.” After the man replies that “money isn’t real”, the woman asks whether he’s going to “live that lie”.

One part of the community is firmly in the “all publicity is good publicity” ring. The main takeaway for them is that this ad shows cryptocurrency cannot be ignored anymore. In a way, it shows that Google recognizes that most of their viewers will recognize the terms “cryptocurrency mining” without additional explanation, and tries to be relatable with the debate of whether cryptocurrency is real money or not.

Perhaps expectedly, the bigger group consists of those saying Google is opposed to crypto. Earlier this year, Google banned cryptocurrency ads in an attempt to weed out potential scams and misleading services. Now, Reddit user u/jam-hay points out, “Bitcoin was one of the most searched terms last year and Google opted to leave it out of their end of year video.” User u/Hanspanzer didn’t waste their time mincing words: “[G]oogle is now officially on the hit list.”

However, in September, Google said it has once again opened up for ads with crypto-related content in the US and Japan, after placing a ban earlier this year. Meanwhile, in July, Google co-founder Sergey Brin expressed his interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Google missed its chance to be a leader in blockchain, while he has been mining Ethereum and making “a few pennies and dollars since,” he said. Also in July, the most popular browser added new cryptos to its currency converter.

However, in the current discussion over the add there is a third group: those who think the video is actually funny. u/FudgieThaWhale doesn’t understand why everything has to be such a big deal, saying, “I’m still here after finding crypto [two and a half] years back and honestly it’s the people and the toxicity that put me off more than any of the projects or companies in the space.” Meanwhile, u/Arnoud1987000 says what we all believe: “Lol wtf, they bought the dip.” Well put, u/Arnoud1987000.

Whether this mention is good or bad is hard to tell by people, but looking at the market, the prices don’t seem to have moved too much since the video was published yesterday. Bitcoin – currently the butt of jokes in the community as the “new stablecoin” thanks to its pretty stable price lately – doesn’t seem to care whether it’s real money or not. As u/Kukri4321 puts it, “Uh huh, well one of my ‘not real’ coins is worth six and a half thousand of your ‘real’ coins.”

Author: Sead Fadilpašić
Image Credit

Google to Allow Regulated Crypto Exchanges to Buy Ads in U.S. and Japan

On Tuesday (25 September 2018), CNBC reported that Google, from October, will end its outright ban on all crypto-related advertising, and allow regulated crypto exchanges to buy ads on its platform in the U.S. and Japan.

On 14 March 2018, Google announced that it had updated its financial services related ads policy to disallow all crypto-related advertising; this included ads related to initial coin offerings (ICOs), crypto wallets, crypto trading advice, and even crypto programming courses. Crypto companies of any kind would not be allowed to advertise via any of Google’s ads products. This ban would go into effect in June 2018.

Back then, Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads, Scott Spencer, told CNBC:

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”

What Google seemed to be doing was following in the footsteps of Facebook, which had announced its own ban on all crypto-related advertising on 30 January 2018. Ads that violated Facebook’s ads policy would be banned not only on the Facebook app, but also “in other places where Facebook sells ads, including Instagram and its ad network, Audience Network, which places ads on third-party apps.”

Google announced today’s change in policy via the Advertising Policies support section of its website in a Change Log post titled “Update to Financial products and services policy (October 2018)”:

“The Google Ads policy on Financial products and services will be updated in October 2018 to allow regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan. Advertisers will need to be certified with Google for the specific country in which their ads will serve. Advertisers will be able to apply for certification once the policy launches in October. This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products. For more details, see About restricted financial products certification. The Financial products and services page will be updated once the policy goes into effect.”

This new policy is applicable to advertisers located anywhere, but the ads can only be run in the U.S. and Japan.

Google seems to be once again copying Facebook when it comes to crypto-related advertising. On 26 June 2018, Facebook announced that it was going to relax the ban it had introduced in January, saying that from this date, it would be allowing “ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers” (while continuing to “prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings”).

Author: Siamak Masnavi
Image Credit