Facebook has today announced a relaxing of its advertising ban on companies promoting products and services relating to crypto. The move comes as the social media giant is ramping up its own efforts to create a stablecoin to use within some of its applications.
Many in the crypto community argue that a Facebook-promoted digital asset would be in competition with the US dollar and other fiat currencies rather than Bitcoin. Meanwhile, others have stated that the company’s efforts to create its own digital currency could prompt loads of new users to enter crypto.
Social Media Giant Further Slackens Crypto Asset Advertising Guidelines
According to a blog post by Facebook today, the social networking website will be further loosening its previous ban on advertising relating to both crypto and blockchain tech. The post reads:
“We’ve listened to feedback and assessed the policy’s effectiveness. While we will still require people to apply to run ads promoting cryptocurrency, starting today, we will narrow this policy to no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education or events related to cryptocurrency.”
According to Facebook’s Advertising Policies and Community Standards, some products and services fall onto a prohibited list – such as ICO offerings – and others fall onto a restricted list – such as exchanges. All prohibited advertising is immediately rejected, whilst restricted content will still require approval, which reportedly involves a review process:
“This process will continue to take into account licences they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange (or are a subsidiary of a public company) and other relevant public background on their business.”
The Facebook crypto advertising ban was first announced in January 2018. This initial policy was to simply block all advertising relating to crypto or blockchain technology on the grounds such adverts could be potentially harmful to the site’s users. The ban was slackened initially in June of the same year to include the clause about written approval being required for certain products or services.
The news of the further slackening of the Facebook advertising ban comes as the company is exploring launching its own digital asset – supposedly a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. Since it appears to lack the properties that make Bitcoin a good potential store of value, many analysts have argued that the Facebook not-so-crypto asset will represent competition for the dollar, rather than Bitcoin.
In fact, some crypto industry analysts believe that the launch of a currency by the social network will ultimately be a boon for Bitcoin and other digital assets. Appearing on Bloomberg earlier today, Spencer Bogart, of Blockchain Capital, posited that the project could see a huge influx of new users keen to explore truly decentralised digital assets:
— Bloomberg Crypto (@crypto) May 8, 2019
“It’s like being on the internet; so people can spin out and they can start owning bitcoin, they can start owning ether. Some percentage of the user base is likely to do so, and again I think that’s gonna be a dramatic catalyst.”
He also argues that the news of Facebook’s plans has “lit a fire” under financial institutions that were considering working on crypto-like products and services. Many have reportedly been inspired to take the plunge themselves following the social network’s lead. An example provided by Bogart is TD Ameritrade’s recent announcement to start offering exposure to crypto assets.
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