BY OSCAR NAVARRETE
Photo Courtesy of AP Images
Facebook has banned the advertisement of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin across their services, citing security concerns for their users.
Facebook recently announced that it was going to enforce a ban on cryptocurrency advertisement. According to Facebook, “ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” Businesses that are also legitimate are also affected by the ban. The ban does not only affect Facebook itself but other services such as Instagram.
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be used to make purchases. Encryption is used to regulate the generation and verify the transfer of funds. They operate independently from a centralized bank. One of the most famous crytpocurrencies is Bitcoin, which made headlines in December over its constant price gains, rising thousands of dollars in a few days. Currently sitting at around $8,000 dollars, Bitcoin nearly reached $20,000 at its all time high. According to CNN, the crypto market is expected to rise to $2 trillion in 2018.
Scams have increased advertising cyrtocurrencies such as Bitcoin. According to the Australian Watchdog, there where 1,289 reports of scams relating to cryptocurrencies in 2017. In total it cost Australians around 1.2 million Australian Dollars (AUD). Prodeum was a cryptocurrency startup that was around for only a few days. It was marketed as being vegan-friendly. After collecting a small amount of money, the startup disappeared and its professional website was replaced with a single word: “penis”. While not all startups are scams and some are legitimate, scams are fairly common due to the widely unregulated market of cryptocurrencies.
While Facebook implemented these bans, the company says they are not permanent. According to Facebook, until they can better protect their user base in identifying advertisements that are possibly scams or harmful, they will continue to enforce a cryptocurrency ad ban.