Facebook Eases Up on Crypto Ad Ban, But Cracks Down on CFDs


Facebook on Wednesday decided to reverse yet another part of its restrictions on cryptocurrency-related advertising but will continue its sweeping ban on those tied to ICOs and binary options.

Effective today, the social networking giant will narrow its policy to no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education, or events related to cryptocurrency.

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Facebook has already eased its sweeping ban on adverts promoting cryptocurrency products and services back in June 2018. The move allowed start-ups to use advertising to promote its crypto offerings, but only after they submit an application to assess their eligibility.

Those applying to qualify were required to attach “any licenses they have obtained,” and explain “whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business,” according to the previous policy.

Facebook’s original restrictions were announced in January 2018 and rolled out in June, citing “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

Previous examples of banned ads offered by Facebook include “Click here to learn more about our no-risk cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world” and “Use your retirement funds to buy Bitcoin.”

Facebook’s updated policy comes amid reports that the company may launch its won cryptocurrency later this year.

Sources have suggested that Facebook is working on a stable coin, but the cryptocurrency will be pegged to a basket of different foreign currencies, rather than just the US dollar.

Facebook follows Google in banning ads for CFDs

Meanwhile, Facebook is cracking down on ads for other speculative financial instruments, including contracts for difference (CFDs).

The new policies, which come into force in June, ban adverts for the high-risk product which its entire industry has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny across Europe over the past year.

Facebook’s ban comes nearly one year after Google moved to ban adverts that promote contracts for difference (CFD) products, binary options and financial spread betting from its platforms. The search giant required the provider of these products to be licensed in the country they are targeting.

“We will update our Prohibited Financial Products and Services Policy to no longer allow ads promoting contracts for difference (CFDs), complex financial products that are often associated with predatory behavior. These products, due to their complexity, often mislead people,” Facebook said in its updated policy.

Starting from June 5, the new rules will begin to ramp up across Facebook, Instagram, and its off-platform Audience Network. The newly-banned product will be added to its advertising policies in an update to its list of “Prohibited Financial Products and Services,” which currently lists binary options and initial coin offerings.

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