Tech giants Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report and Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report have both acted to ban ads for cryptocurrencies, causing prices to fall. But some Bitcoin experts say the move could wind up helping cryptos in the long run.
"This year, we updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs)," Scott Spencer, Google's director of sustainable ads, wrote in a blog post on March 14. The news caused the price of Bitcoin to fall almost 4% that, and followed a similar announcement by Facebook in January.
Despite the short-term impact on its value, the bans are a good thing for Bitcoin, said Arran Stewart, co-owner of the blockchain recruitment platform Job.com.
The advertisers promoting cryptocurrencies would be "trying to prey on new movers into the market," Stewart said. And for new consumers, not only would investing in a cryptocurrency based on a Google ad be reckless, "it's dangerous," he said.
Cryptocurrencies need to mature in order to become legitimate assets, Stewart and others argue; Google and Facebook's policies are a step toward legitimacy for Bitcoin.
"You don't see a lot of advertisements to buy stock," said Joshua Gordon-Blake, vice president of product at Pangea Money Transfer.
Given that part of the draw of cryptocurrencies is that they're not tied to any government, Gordon-Blake said other parties such as Google and Facebook will have to step in "to try to have a moral compass."
Bitcoin's price was up 3.5% at $8,556.57 during Friday trading. Since the beginning of the year, the asset's price has risen almost 8%.