Facebook reversed its cryptocurrency ad ban as bitcoin’s price continues to tank amid high-profile hacks and regulatory crackdowns.
Facebook instituted the ban in January 2018, citing the need to protect users from “deceptive and misleading advertising practices.”
In reversing its policy today, the social media juggernaut said advertisers will have to apply and be approved before their ads can run on its massive global platform.
Ban On ICO Ads Still In Place
“Starting June 26, we’ll be updating our policy to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers,” FB explained on its website. “But we’ll continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.”
Facebook believes its restrictions will weed out the many scam artists that have proliferated in the market during bitcoin’s recent bull run.
“Advertisers wanting to run ads for cryptocurrency products and services must submit an application to help us assess their eligibility — including any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business,” FB said. “Given these restrictions, not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so.”
It’s unclear if fellow social-media giants Twitter and Google will also lift their bans.
As the Inquisitr has reported, Twitter blocked cryptocurrency ads in March 2018, two weeks after Google instituted its ban. At the time, a Twitter rep said it made the move to protect its users from scams and fraud.
Similarly, Google defended its decision by saying, “We’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”
Bitcoin prices have fluctuated dramatically since last year. After starting 2017 at about $1,000, BTC prices approached a record high of almost $20,000 in December 2017. They have since plunged to about $6,200.
Analysts say the slump has been exacerbated by several high-profile hacks of crypto exchanges. The most recent attack occurred on South Korean exchange Coinrail on June 10. The next day, the total market capitalization of the entire crypto market plunged $42 billion.
Adding to the industry’s woes is the growing anti-bitcoin sentiment among billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who are convinced that crypto is a passing trend that will implode soon.
“In terms of cryptocurrencies, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending,” Buffett warned. “When it happens or how or anything else, I don’t know.”
In May 2018, the Department of Justice launched a criminal investigation into bitcoin price manipulation, as the Inquisitr has reported.
DOJ Launched Bitcoin Price Manipulation Probe
The DOJ wants to know if traders are manipulating the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by flooding the market with fake orders to manipulate other traders into buying or selling.
Skeptics have blasted bitcoin as a speculative bubble akin to blind gambling due to its erratic price movements.
A recent study by University of Texas finance professor John Griffin concluded that bitcoin prices have indeed been artificially inflated through market manipulation.
In his 66-page research paper titled “Is Bitcoin Really Un-Tethered?” Griffin said at least 50 percent of the increase in bitcoin prices in 2017 was manipulated using tether, a cryptocurrency pegged to the U.S. dollar.
Professor Griffin, who specializes in spotting financial fraud, cited evidence suggesting there was coordinated manipulation designed to keep bitcoin prices artificially high.