In a decision that is likely to affect cryptocurrencies and their trading, Facebook has banned their advertising on its platforms, saying that these “financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices”. The ban includes offerings like binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.
“There are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith,” Facebook said in a statement.
Ads that violate the company’s new policy will be banned on Facebook’s core 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.
The broad nature of this policy was intentional, Facebook added, as it worked to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices. The policy and its enforcement will be revisited as “signals improve”.
“This policy is part of an ongoing effort to improve the integrity and security of our ads, and to make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook,” the company said.
Facebook has been working to fight the spread of misinformation through its platform by putting controls and bans in place. In August 2017, it banned ads from the pages that repeatedly share fake news. It has also hinted at paying fact-checkers to combat fake news on the platform.
Scams in buying and selling of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been reported in India, with atleast eight ponzi schemes and scams reported to the Delhi Police since October.
The increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies has come along with criticism. Most recently, India’s Union Ministry of Finance issued a warning on Bitcoin trading and other virtual currencies which are not backed by a government fiat. It also said that the price of Bitcoin is a matter of speculation and likened the trading of virtual currencies to Ponzi schemes.
The Reserve Bank of India has also cautioned citizens, saying that any user, holder, investor, or trader dealing with cryptocurrencies would be doing so at their own risk. The Income Tax Department has been struggling to track bitcoin and other crypto currency investments as well, in spite of sending out about 5 lakh notices to HNI individuals.
It is to be noted that even though Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the government, they are not illegal in India.