Facebook Lifts Crypto Ad Ban; Bear Market Aids In Easing Scam Fears

Facebook has lifted crypto restrictions connected to advertising on its platform today – partially. The change in policy has removed the ban on all cryptocurrencies but left language connected to ICO’s and their advertising.

Today’s announcement says the company has been looking into the best way of “refining” its blanket ban on cryptocurrency-related advertising “over the last few months,” in order to “allow some ads while also working to ensure that they’re safe.”

Facebook’s revised “prohibited products and services policy” now states: “Starting June 26, we’ll […] allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers. But we’ll continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.”

The newly updated policy requires advertisers wanting to run ads for cryptocurrency products and services to submit an application to allow Facebook to assess their eligibility. Applicants are instructed to include “any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business.”

Given these restrictions, Facebook concedes that “not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so.” The company says it will listen to feedback and “if necessary” revise its policy over time. It also states it will continue to “study” the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies as it continues to develop its policy.

Facebook first introduced its ban in January 2018, which it said was designed to prevent “ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

At the time, Facebook stressed that its initial policy was “intentionally broad,” to allow the company time to hone measures to detect and prevent unscrupulous promoters.

One could make the case that the timing of the ban lift is perfect. The 2018 bear market has washed out all sorts of bad actors who had flooded the space to make a quick buck. Given Facebook’s ability to collect data and manage messaging, it would seem that they see crypto ads as less of a threat than they were six months ago.