Facebook Partially Lifts Ban on Crypto

Facebook, it seems, is still trying to figure out crypto. In that regard, the social media giant is no different than, well, essentially everybody. But due to the colossal reach and dominance of Facebook, every decision and consequent action the company takes also creates tremendous ripple effects.

Back in January, Facebook announced the de facto ban of all crypto-related advertisements. Facebook’s Product Management Director, Rob Leathern, explained that the company wants to deliver ads “without fear of scams or deception” and therefore it would stop serving ads associated with “binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.” To be fair, Facebook’s claim was not without merits; anybody who spends a while in the crypto world can notice the aggressive onset of many bad apples.

Yet, an all-encompassing ban on crypto sure appeared like an overreaction.

Now, Facebook decided to loosen its crypto-grip a little, and “allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers”; it’s just a partial lift of the ban, however, as the company will “continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.” In short, ICO advertising is still out, other crypto-related promotions are back in.

If you’re presently considering advertising your crypto products and services on Facebook, please note that the process of running crypto-related ads on the social network is going to be quite encumbering and even arduous at times. You will have to fill out a “Cryptocurrency Products and Services Onboarding Request,” and only thereafter Facebook will determine the eligibility of your crypto ads. Sure, it’s not convenient; but hey, it’s still an open door (or at least a small window).

Why Now?

So why did Facebook opt to re-allow crypto-related ads? Many speculations have been floated around besides the possibility that Facebook rationally concluded that it just cannot keep on ignoring cryptocurrency. There is one conjecture that is especially fascinating in particular, and actually has at least some real basis in reality – the hypothesis that Facebook intends to storm into the crypto world by itself.

On May 5th, the then-head of Facebook Messenger, David Marcus, published a post in which he affirms that he’s “setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” Contributing to the mysterious allure of Marcus’s new Blockchain exploration project, the post was Liked by no one other than Facebook’s top honcho, Mark Zuckerberg.

Less than a week later, Cheddar published a story, alleging that “Facebook is exploring the creation of its own cryptocurrency, a virtual token that would allow its billions of users around the world to make electronic payments.” If indeed the story proves to be true, this is nothing less than an earthquake with potential massive shockwaves that would rapidly spread outside of the crypto world.

Considering that Facebook does explore Blockchain – for the purpose of its own native cryptocurrency or something else – it only makes sense that it would soften its general view of crypto, which would be indicated through its current abatement of crypto-related advertising.