Canadian Official Wants Google to Ban Ads for Crypto, ICOs

A top official from the Manitoba Securities Commission praised Facebook's ban on ads for ICOs and cryptocurrencies and said Google should follow suit.

AccessTimeIconFeb 7, 2018 at 3:05 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:32 a.m. UTC
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A senior investigator at the Manitoba Securities Commission in Canada has said that the country's regulators are "very pleased" with social media giant Facebook's decision to ban ads for bitcoin and initial coin offerings (ICOs),

Jason Roy, who is also the chairman of Canada's Binary Options Task Force, said that regulators have been in conversations with Google regarding their concern that "these types of ads are leading people to becoming victims."

He suggested that Google should take a similar course to Facebook, and restrict ad content for binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

"There's just been an explosion of different ICOs and new tokens and crazy offerings. You're seeing ICOs that are raising large amounts of money and there's nothing behind them in certain cases, but members of the public are so hyped that they're throwing money at them," Roy told The Times of Israel.

Facebook announced its ban on cryptocurrency-related ads in a Jan. 30. blog post. The company's product management director, Rob Leathern, wrote at the time:

"We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith."

Roy's comments to the Israeli news site coincide with with more general regulatory chatter from authorities who are increasingly seeking to reign in cryptocurrencies.

On Tuesday, the chairmen of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission testified that ICOs must be treated, and therefore regulated, more like securities than they are at present.

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