'Russia's Facebook' Eases Restrictions on Cryptocurrency Ads

The most popular social network in Russia is loosening restrictions on advertisements related to cryptocurrency.

AccessTimeIconAug 9, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:48 a.m. UTC
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The most popular social network in Russia is easing restrictions on advertisements related to cryptocurrency.

According to local news source Novaya Gazeta, VKontakte – a regional social media platform akin to Facebook – had previously barred ads related to digital currencies and mining. The primary factor for the ban was cited as uncertainty over the legal status of such services in the country.

VKontakte has now reportedly reversed that policy following legal consultations and, from August 8, clients will be allowed to place ads for cryptocurrency exchanges, blockchain services and educational platforms, as well as for industry media sites.

A representative for the social network said:

"For a while, we really did not miss advertising these services because of the uncertain status of the cryptocurrency in Russian law. However, after a number of legal consultations, we revised the risks associated with the presence of such advertising on our site."

Online figures peg the number of registered users of the service at around 400 million. According to data provider Alexa, VKontakte is the most popular website in Russia and the 16th highest-ranked site in the world.

Notably, VKontakte has reported big increases in search traffic focused on bitcoin, ethereum and similar search terms. For example, the site told Novaya Gazeta that searches for "cryptocurrency" are up over 300 percent year-on-year.

The representative went on to clarify that the site wouldn't throw the door open to cryptocurrency-related ads completely, and those that offer sky-high returns on investments will continue to be blocked.

VKontakte image via An147yus/Shutterstock

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