Facebook announced earlier this year that it was banning all cryptocurrency ads, but the company seems to have changed its mind, at least partially. It will now allow “pre-approved” cryptocurrency ads, but will still block ads for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and binary options (a financial option in which you can either win or lose all of your money).
Facebook and Cryptocurrencies
Back in January, Facebook announced a new policy to “prohibit ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.”
That was around the time when cryptocurrency values were near their peak. The company was trying to prevent advertisers from scamming people into investing in high-risk cryptocurrencies that may not have real development behind them.
Facebook may have been trying to get ahead of potential backlash that could come from major cryptocurrency scandals. However, if cryptocurrencies, in one form or another, are indeed a technology of the future, then a blunt ban on cryptocurrency was never going to last anyway. It would also limit Facebook's ability to make any money from the rise of cryptocurrencies.
Alternatively, Facebook may have changed its mind on the cryptocurrency advertising ban because it may launch its own cryptocurrency soon, and it doesn’t want people to think that it uses the ban as an anti-competitive advantage.
Cryptocurrency Ads From 'Pre-Approved' Companies
Facebook noted in its announcement that only companies that are “pre-approved” would be able to advertise their cryptocurrency projects on the social networking platform. These companies will have to submit an application so Facebook can assess their eligibility. This assessment includes verifying any license the companies may have, whether or not they are traded on the public stock market, as well as other relevant information.
Facebook also asked its users to keep reporting ads if they see ads that might violate the companies’ policies. It also noted that over time it might revise the restrictions for the cryptocurrency ads at it improves its verification process and learns more about the industry.