Google updates its crypto ad policy ahead of possible bitcoin ETF approvals

Google’s newest crypto ad policy targets products where investors can “trade shares in trusts” holding crypto

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Asif Islam/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Google has announced an update to its crypto ad policy.

The update will allow advertisers to offer US ads for “Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts” starting Jan. 29 of next year. 

Google defines the trusts as “financial products that allow investors to trade shares in trusts holding large pools of digital currency.”

In an email to Blockworks, Google said that the new policy will allow “crypto coin trusts to serve ads targeting the United States provided they complete our certification process and have voluntarily registered with the SEC by filing Form 10-12g.”

Google further said that crypto trusts are funds “that only invests in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. These funds are closed-end. They own bitcoins for investors, and their shares are traded over-the-counter.”

Right now, Google’s policy allows ads for NFT games, companies that accept crypto and licensed providers of crypto exchanges and wallets. 

Initial coin offerings (ICOs), gambling ads and staking NFT games are prohibited. 

Back in September, Google loosened its policy around NFT game ads with the above exceptions.

Google clarified that crypto trusts are not ETFs, and are “only available to investment companies, accredited investors or high-net-worth individuals and are not accessible to the general public.  

The updated policy coincides with the much-awaited ruling on spot bitcoin ETFs.

The language used by Google could suggest that spot bitcoin ETF advertising is allowed, if the US Securities and Exchange Commission gives the 13 bitcoin ETF applications a green light.

Read more: Lucky 13? Where spot bitcoin ETF proposals stand ahead of judgment day

The timeline, as set out by ETF analysts, targets a period in early January for an SEC decision, with some eyeing the multitude of conversations being held by the regulatory agency and the ETF hopefuls as a sign that the Commission is inclined to approve applicants. 

BlackRock, Ark, Fidelity, and Franklin Templeton are among those aiming to get funds out the door. BlackRock’s entrance into the race boosted the possibility of a bitcoin ETF getting approved since the asset manager has a nearly perfect record of launching its funds. 

Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart expects the window for a possible approval to be between Jan. 5 to Jan. 10, with potential approvals coming in the last three days. Part of the reasoning is due to the SEC’s deadline to decide on the proposal put forth by Ark and 21Shares. 

The SEC recently initiated Franklin Templeton’s comment period earlier than expected, prompting avid ETF watchers to see it as a hopeful sign.

Updated Dec. 11, 2023 at 3:10 pm ET: Added comments from Google.


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