Microsoft’s Bing To Block Crypto Adverts

Safety concerns drive Bing to block crypto ads.

by Kalina Tekelieva
16 May • 2.5 min
In News

Bing, the search engine operated by software giant Microsoft, stated on Monday it will prohibit advertising for cryptocurrencies, related products and unregulated binary options by July due to security concerns.

The decision resonates with the potential of the virtual currency space to allow bad actors to engage in harmful activities, according to advertiser policy manager Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo. As a reason for this tendency she named the absence of regulation of digital coins and crypto-related products. “[W]e have found them to present a possible elevated risk to our users,” Alsoszatai-Petheo said.

In an effort to prevent any harmful consequences for its customers, Bing Ads, the search engine’s advertising service, has decided to update its financial products and services policy. The crypto advert ban will be implemented in the policy worldwide in June and is due to have come into effect by early July.


Social networks’ anti-crypto measures

With this move, Bing joins a number of major social media actors that have recently altered their advertising strategy to put an end to advertising for cryptocurrencies.

Facebook blocked adverts which promote virtual currencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and binary options. The news came on January 30 and cited concerns over deceptive practices.

Google followed suit in mid-March by prohibiting cryptocurrency-related advertising across all its platforms. The policy update affects campaigns for ICOs, Bitcoin (BTC) exchanges, wallets and trading advice and is due to take effect in June.

Two weeks later, Twitter moved to impose a global ban on ICOs and token sales, and also blocked advertisements for crypto market places and wallet services, unless provided by public companies listed on major stock exchanges. Concerning the Japanese market, Twitter only allows ads for officially regulated exchanges.

Meanwhile, Snapchat had also decided to block ICO advertisements.


Bing market share

Microsoft's search engine does not seem to be widely used, especially in Asia, which is a huge cryptocurrency market. Its market share in Europe and North America is 3.7% and 7.0%, respectively, and considerably lower, around 1.2% in Asia, according to Statcounter data for April 2018.