Bing has followed in the footsteps of search giant Google by implementing a ban on adverts for cryptocurrencies.
Google announced its ban a couple of months back – with it due to be enforced in June – and that followed Facebook instigating a similar move back at the start of the year, citing fears over scams related to cryptocurrency.
Like Google, Bing will be kicking off a ban on advertising for cryptocurrency and related products starting in June, with the rollout of enforcement continuing into early July.
In a blog post, Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo, advertising policy manager, commented: “We are always evaluating our policies to ensure a safe and engaging experience for our Bing users and the digital advertising ecosystem.
“Because cryptocurrency and related products are not regulated, we have found them to present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers.”
So again, the obvious fear is folks getting scammed following the massive interest in virtual coinage since Bitcoin caught fire at the end of last year. New currencies and initial coin offerings (or ICOs) are likely a particular concern, but this is a blanket ban over everything cryptocurrency related, as mentioned.
Bing’s financial products and services policies already include a clause which forbids the use of “virtual currencies designed to facilitate illegal purposes”, like tax evasion on money laundering.
How the bans from these internet giants will pan out down the line remains to be seen. Facebook said its cryptocurrency ban was intentionally broad to begin with, and that it may revisit and refine the policy in the future.
Google and Bing may do likewise, although Google said it had seen enough potential for ‘consumer harm’ that virtual currencies are an area that it wants to approach with ‘extreme caution’. And it’s hard to see much changing in that respect, in all honesty.