People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken Sept 27, 2013. Source: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Twitter too decides to ban cryptocurrency ads

TWITTER is looking to ban a range of advertisements on cryptocurrencies, following similar recent moves by several internet giants to set restrictions on promoting online trading of digital money.

The microblogging site’s move comes as Facebook and Googles placed restrictions on financial advertisements in a bid to protect their users from scams and being linked to illicit activities.

Sources familiar with Twitter’s plan told Sky News that the new ad policy would take effect in two weeks. The ban will be implemented on initial coin offerings (ICOs), token sales, and cryptocurrency wallets globally.

When the policy is launched, Twitter may include ads for cryptocurrency exchanges in its ban.

Twitter’s move also comes amid a regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies in a range of countries, including the UK which wants to regulate the digital currency ecosystem to combat illicit activities.

“There are issues for authorities who deal with money laundering, terrorist financing, and price fixing. There have been a number of incidents of theft – not just big crimes but also steady thefts from people’s wallets,” Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, was quoted as saying.

ICOs have stoked fears that they could be hiding scams. Source: Shutterstock

On Wednesday, Alphabet Inc’s Google announced a ban on cryptocurrency-related advertising in a move that would cut off promotions for initial coin offerings and exchanges amid growing concerns about scams.

Interest in cryptocurrencies has surged in the last year as their prices rocketed. That growth has spawned online advertising used by hundreds of companies trying to raise funds by launching new coins or encouraging people to trade the virtual currencies.

“Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that’s removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us,” said Scott Spencer, director of sustainable ads at Google, on the company’s official blog, The Keyword.

In January, Facebook Inc said it would ban ads promoting financial products and services tied to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings because of the risks to users.

Google’s ban sent the price of the best-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, down more than 10 percent to its lowest in a month.