Microsoft's Bing Bans Bitcoin Ads

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) announced this week that its Bing search engine will ban cryptocurrency advertisements on its platform.

In a company blog post, Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo, advertiser policy manager at the Redmond, Washington-based software giant, said Microsoft is constantly evaluating its policies to ensure consumers and digital advertisers have a safe and engaging time searching on Bing. She said the company has determined that crypto ads present a “possible elevated risk” with the potential for “bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers.” As a result, the software giant said it will disallow advertising for cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency-related products and unregulated binary options. The policy will roll out in late June and early July, noted Alsoszatai-Petheo.

Microsoft Late to the Crypto Ad Ban

When it comes to search engines banning crypto ads, Microsoft is a bit late to the party. In March, Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google announced that starting in June it will stop allowing advertising related to digital tokens from all of its online platforms. That news sent the price of bitcoin down 7%. In a blog post at the time, it said it won’t allow ads for initial coin offerings, crypto exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets and cryptocurrency trading advice. Earlier in the year, Facebook Inc. (FB) announced similar plans and reports have surfaced that Twitter Inc. (TWTR) is doing the same. (See also: Google Bans Advertising Related to Cryptocurrency Products.

The moves on the part of the technology firms come at a time when regulators around the world are looking at ways to stay on top of the cryptocurrency market, which has not only sent the price of Bitcoin surging but also spawned an entire digital token mining industry that has boded well for graphics chipmakers NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

Microsoft Focused on Blockchain Tech

It also comes as Microsoft is plowing ahead with its efforts in blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrency, as are many other technology and financial services players. In February, Microsoft announced plans to create a new form of a digital identity on the internet. “Rather than grant broad consent to countless apps and services, and have their identity data spread across numerous providers, individuals need a secure encrypted digital hub where they can store their identity data and easily control access to it,” wrote Ankur Patel, principal program manager at Microsoft’s Identity division in a blog post back then, adding that the “self-owned identity” would be easy to use and provide users with “complete control” over how and when it is used. (See more: Bitcoin Could Hit $64,000 in 2019: Fundstrat.)

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns no bitcoin.

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