Google has put its foot down and banned all advertising relating to cryptocurrency products and services.
The Financial Services: New restricted financial products policy will be put into effect by Google in June this year.
It bans all advertising relating to cryptocurrencies, including initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets and cryptocurrency trading advice.
“We updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference,” said Director of Sustainable Ads, Scott Spencer, in a statement.
The changes come as part of Google’s push to create “an advertising ecosystem that works for everyone,” with foreign exchange markets and gambling ads also facing tightened regulation.
The announcement was made as Google released its annual ‘bad ads report’, which revealed the search engine removed 3.2 billion ads in 2017 that violated its policies.
Cryptocurrencies have attracted a great number of scammers in recent times, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealing it received 1,289 complaints about Bitcoin related scams in 2017.
The cost of these scams in Australia was $1,218,206.
“As consumer trends evolve, as our methods to protect the open web get better, so do online scams,” said Spencer.
“Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that's removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us.”
Google is not the first major site to crackdown on cryptocurrency scams.
Chinese sites Weibo and Baidu have banned all advertisement for cryptocurrencies recently, as has Facebook.
It is now expected that Twitter will follow the trend in the coming weeks.
As was the case earlier this year when Facebook banned crypto ads, cryptocurrency prices dropped after the announcement.
Bitcoin dropped 9.1% on Wednesday to US $8,238 (AUD $10,571) – it’s lowest price since 12 February.
Prices have continued to fall since, with Bitcoin trading at US $7,729 (AUD $10,016) on Monday.
Ethereum has also seen a 26% drop in the past week.