The Bitcoin boom has given rise to a number of alternative cryptocurrencies and also to the many advertisements that urge you to buy Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency every time you open your Facebook or Instagram account. But, thanks to Facebook's new advertisement policy, you may not see these advertisements anymore.
Facebook, the world's largest social media network, has added a new advertising policy on January 30 which restricts any ads that promote "financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency."
What this means is that you won't be seeing those "Use your retirement funds to buy Bitcoin!" or any other ads that promote binary trading options, that have a risky all-or-nothing payoff policy. In short, Facebook and Instagram won't be showing ads that promise lucrative returns on your Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum investments.
Although Facebook wants people to discover and learn more about new products and services through Facebook ads, it does not want to run the risk of carrying such ads by advertisers who are "not currently operating in good faith," and get its users into trouble.
Many of fraudulent advertisers put up ads that promote ponzi schemes claiming unbelievably huge returns on bitcoin investments on Facebook and other social media platforms.
"We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception," Rob Leathern, Product Management Director, wrote in a blog post.
"That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and crypto-currencies that are not currently operating in good faith," he added.
An ICO or initial coin offering are basically cryptocurrency investment funds that encourage people to buy new cryptocurrencies before they launch at unregulated rates, in the hope that one day they will be worth a lot more money as the cryptocurrency becomes popular.
Many companies have used ICOs as a way to raise a lot of funds without regulation associated with raising cash through more traditional forms of investment. Due to this, a lot of ICOs have simply disappeared leaving the "investor" with little or no returns, since the investor does not typically get a genuine stake in the new company.
Raising money through an ICO has been banned in several countries including China and South Korea, in fact, China had banned cryptocurrency trading in the country in September last year.
Facebook says that it will revisit the policy over time and make improvements to the policy as it receives signals. In the meantime, the social media site is encouraging people to report content that violates its policy.
"This policy is part of an ongoing effort to improve the integrity and security of our ads, and to make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook," Leathern wrote.
Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he was studying cryptocurrencies and other technologies that decentralize power as part of an effort to correct problems on the social network.
Facebook's new advertising policy can be seen as the company's latest move to preserve the integrity of its advertising platform, especially after the Russian propaganda controversy.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin is having a mad run with its prices spiralling skywards, followed by steep declines. Last year, the cryptocurrency touched an all-time high at $20,000 and currently it trades at around $10,000.