In a surprise move on Wednesday, online advertising behemoth Google lifted a nearly three-year-old policy banning cryptocurrency exchanges from using its ad services.
“Beginning 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,” reads a policy update on the company’s support page.
Requirements exchanges have to pass include needing to be either registered with “FinCEN as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter” or “a federal or state chartered bank entity,” potentially opening the door to ads from services like Anchorage and Paxos.
The new policy won’t open the door to the vast majority of crypto institutions, however, as “ads for initial coin offerings, DeFi trading protocols, or otherwise promoting the purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products” all continue to be prohibited. News and chart aggregators as well as “signals” and analysis services also remain on the ad blacklist.
Google’s policies around crypto ads have often been conflicting, and at points, experts have decried them as “unfair.” Throughout 2018, the search giant flip-flopped on an exchange ad ban, at one point had “Ethereum” as a blacklisted word in ads, and despite the strict policies, still occasionally allowed scam projects to slip through.
The new advertisement policy means that United States-based crypto aficionados may soon be bombarded with ads. Binance.US and FTX are currently battling to carve out stateside market share, with FTX, in particular, willing to spend on unconventional advertising venues. Earlier this year, it was announced that FTX bought the naming rights to the home of the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat until 2040, which will soon be the FTX Arena.