Bing became the latest search engine to announce the ban of cryptocurrency-related ads on its platform. The company, owned by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), joins a growing list of internet giants issuing similar bans. According to the announcement, the ban will take effect as early as July 2018.
Various internet companies have been boycotting crypto-related advertisements on their platforms. Barely 5 months ago, social media giant Facebook made a similar decision. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) also decided to ban advertisements for cryptocurrency and other “speculative financial products.” Soon after, Twitter followed suit and confirmed a ban on cryptocurrency, token sales, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
The fact cryptocurrency and related products are largely unregulated seems the utmost reason driving companies to enforce bans. Bing’s advertiser manager, Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo, believes cryptos present a possible elevated risk to Bing’s users because they are not regulated. She also shared there was potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors or otherwise scam consumers. Hence, they had to disallow the crypto advertising.
This does not come as a surprise since Microsoft has been on the forefront in safeguarding its users. In the past, Microsoft has banned what it termed as, “legally questionable business opportunities.” Among the list of such activities includes pyramid schemes, investments that depend on adding participants to a scheme and Ponzi schemes. Such activities are singled out by the nature of how they are usually framed. It is not uncommon to find ads like, “Save your money today,” followed by, “learn this money-saving tip to save more,” or “sign up for this secret or risk losing your money today.”
Other banned activities fall under Microsoft’s Bing Ads policies. For example, Bing bans money laundering related activities. It also does not allow adverts designed to allow illegal activities. Some examples would be how to avoid applicable taxes or the promotion of forged virtual currencies.
Though Bing’s popularity is not anywhere near Google’s, the news still sent shock-waves in the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin, which is the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has already lost close to 7% of its value since the announcement.