Facebook bans cryptocurrency adverts to curb scams—and possibly wipe out future competition
The ban comes shortly after Zuckerberg said he’s exploring how Facebook can use cryptocurrencies in its services.
In an effort to curb scams and ill-informed investments which have become severely rampant as the cryptocurrency boom progressed, Facebook has announced that it is banning all cryptocurrency-related advertisements on the social media platform—regardless of whether the organizations behind them are dubious or legitimate.
“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith,” product management director Rob Leathern wrote.
The ban covers anything promoting cryptocurrencies, ICO’s (initial coin offerings), and binary options. This means a full cryptocurrency ad blackout not just on your Facebook newsfeed but also on Instagram, as well as all third party apps and websites that are monetized by ad revenue using Facebook’s Audience Network (FAN).
It can be noted that at the beginning of the year, Mark Zuckerberg wrote that he is looking into cryptocurrencies and encryption, and pondering how these can be used for their services.
While joining the fight against scams and hyped up pump and dump schemes is a noble and exceedingly necessary move these days, the ban actually hits two birds with one stone. It also helps Facebook phase out competition in the future, and position their cryptocurrency ahead—if it ever comes into culmination.
With two billion active monthly users on Facebook alone, this would give them a substantial advantage. Add their other platforms to the pile, and they can effectively dominate. In an interview with Futurism, Investing.com senior analyst Clement Thibault says this isn’t surprising.
“They have seen the enormous mainstream attention and amounts of money pouring into cryptocurrencies in 2017,” Thibault said. “Positioning yourself to take advantage of a new tool, new technology, and a potential new business opportunity just makes sense.”
Thibault points out that Facebook already rolled out their own peer-to-peer payments in India through messaging app Whatsapp, which they acquired for $19 billion in 2014. “We know they are interested in facilitating transactions between people, which is what cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are aiming to do.”