Cryptocurrency Advertising Bans: What does this really mean?

Jago Sherman, from the Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Marketing Team at Goat weighs in on recent social media marketing bans.

Twitter has announced this week that it will be joining advertising giants Facebook and Google on their stance of banning cryptocurrency and ICOs from using their paid advertising services.

What do the tech giants think about blockchain & cryptocurrency?

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter is also the CEO of Square, a debit card app that allows users to easily purchase cryptocurrencies. He is also an investor in Lightning Labs, a start-up focusing on making cryptocurrency transactions faster, cheaper and easier.

In a recent interview with The Times of London, Dorsey said  “The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin”

Google recently reported that it is working on blockchain-related technology to support its cloud business in a challenge to emerging blockchain startups.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said he plans to study encryption and the blockchain to “see how best to use them in our services.”

Why the ban if they like the tech?

Clearly the technology is not the issue here as it undoubtedly has potential to have a positive impact. The issue is in the risk associated with ICO investing.

What is an ICO?

ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering which is a fundraising event that trades future tokens tied to a project in exchange for cryptocurrencies of immediate, liquid value.

This allows blockchain & cryptocurrency projects to raise large funds enabling them to develop their projects and hopefully in turn increase the value of the tokens.

This unregulated form of fundraising unfortunately attracts a number of “scams” who intend to raise vast sums of money and deliver nothing in return. This does not mean however that all ICOs offer no value as many of these projects are fronted by hugely credible and talented teams who are using the latest technology to tackle real world problems and will no doubt help to shape the future.

This however, does raise some obvious issues.  Over 450 ICOs have successfully raised nearly $7 Billion since the start of 2017, so how does one determine which of these projects is worth investing in?

The answer to this is that no one knows. In the same way that you can’t guarantee the success of a business for a multitude of reasons.

Through extensive and thorough research, communication with team members and an understanding of blockchain technology & cryptocurrency one can make informed decisions as to how to invest their money. Just like in any other industry.

It is important that these investors understand the associated risks and do not invest more than they are willing to lose. Many uneducated investors have rushed to the space and eagerly fronted their money with little to none of the aforementioned due diligence.

Talking to Reuters, Director Zennon Kapron of financial consultancy Kapronasia said:

“With the increasing number of ICOs coming to market, it is an impossible task for… platforms like Twitter or Facebook, to keep on top of which ICOs and Cryptocurrencies are genuine versus frauds…”

It is clear that these tech giants intend to protect these casual investors from risking their funds on unworthwhile or fraudulent projects by banning advertising of the topic altogether.

Where does this leave the legitimate worthwhile projects? Does this mean the end for ICO marketing?

With these platforms taking a step back due to their concerns, the responsibility now lies with the community. Specifically the online crypto community. Hundreds of thousands of people have formed communities across all major online platforms; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, etc. where cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are researched, discussed and invested in. Here is where projects are scrutinised and questioned. Scams and fraudsters are called out and quality projects are praised and shared.

These bans must therefore be great news for blockchain & cryptocurrency as it gives the quality projects a chance to separate themselves from the scammers, giving the industry a greater chance of legitimising itself on a wider scale. Building a credible reputation, being transparent and developing communities will be key factors in the success of any of these projects.

With traditional online paid advertising methods now unavailable, how does a legitimate project get discovered on social media? The only remaining option is to use Influencer Marketing. With a carefully strategised Influencer Marketing campaign, working with a variety of influencers across the relevant social platforms, the correct audience can be targeted with the desired content, encouraging further discussion and raising brand awareness.

Here at The Goat Agency, our Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Department take great care in researching and vetting projects before agreeing to help them in being heard within these communities. We are working hard to grow our crypto influencer network and have already successfully delivered strategic campaigns to the right audiences for clients at the ICO stage.

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are definitely here to stay and by working closely with legitimate quality projects and leading community members we hope to be key players in the growth of the industry.

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