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Crypto crackdown: Google bans ads for unregulated currencies

Bitcoin prices plummet

Google has joined the Bitcoin-hating bandwagon with a ban on ads for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings from June.

The move was announced today as part of an update to its financial services policy to crack down on unregulated products.

This will mean companies can no longer serve ads for "cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)."

Google is lagging behind Facebook – the Zuckerborg announced it was canning crypto ads on its platform back in January.

Both firms have been pushed to act by the sudden increase in interest for cryptocurrencies and ICOs amid fears that anonymity and a lack of regulation makes them open to money laundering and other criminal activities.

Scammers can easily make a quick buck without offering anything in exchange, and regulators are growing concerned that people will be ripped off.

Bitcoin prices plummeted after news of the ban emerged, dropping from $9,144 at today's open to a low of $8,700 at the time of publishing – and doesn't seem to be picking up.

Google's announcement comes after Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, added her voice to calls for caution and regulation.

In a blog post yesterday she said that before banks and nations can realise the possible benefits of cryptocurrencies, "we should take a step back and understand the peril that comes along with the promise".

She called on international organisations to "fight fire with fire" and use innovation to create "regulatory technology and supervisory technology [that] can help shut criminals out of the crypto world". ®

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