Tech companies like Facebook and Google, have recently announced that they’re banning ads for digital currencies. It turns out that Reddit has been banning cryptocurrency ads since early 2016, but just never announced it outright in a press release, as first spotted by Motherboard. Today, Reddit extended its policy, to block cryptocurrency-related Google cached ads as well.
The banning might seem odd, given that Reddit is a burgeoning platform for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and given its nature as an anonymous open-discourse forum. There are many subreddits that discuss the various cryptocurrencies and nuances behind mining, investing in different currencies, accessing the dark web, and even posts by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and Litecoin founder Charlie Lee on updates to the currencies.
Reddit told The Verge in a statement, “Ads for cryptocurrencies and ICOs have not been allowed on Reddit since early 2016…Sections II.5 and II.6 of our advertising policy prohibit ‘improbable, or unsubstantiated financial products and services’ and ‘the promotion or advertisement of single securities or other tradeable financial assets.’”
Still, for a time that only meant ads served by Reddit and it didn’t apply to Google-generated ads that are personalized to your cookies. So if a user had browsed a lot of initial coin offerings and investments, those services could appear in a Google-served ad on Reddit. Now that Google has banned cryptocurrency ads and Reddit has blocked those cryptocurrency advertisers, the social media market for digital coin ads is shrinking.