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


Asif Islam/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


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.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2023

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Cover Vertex.jpg


The proliferation of new perp DEXs has led to fragmented liquidity across various DEXs and chains. Vertex, known for its vertically-integrated DEX that includes spot, perpetual, and integrated money markets, is now tackling cross-chain liquidity fragmentation through horizontal integration with the launch of new Edge instances. Vertex's integrated offerings and cross-margined account structure amplify the benefits of new instances: native cross-chain spot trading, optimized cross-chain basis trading, consistent interest rates, reduced bridging friction, and more.


Partnering with EtherFi and Angle, the fully on-chain perp DEX features bespoke collateral



Gavin Wood introduced the next evolutionary step for the Polkadot network: the Join-Accumulate Machine, or JAM


The side events were the places to be at Consensus 2024, according to attendees


Also, who’s come out swinging in the spot ether ETF fee war — and who could undercut them


I know it is not in their nature, but US regulators could learn a lot by researching the digital asset frameworks that overseas regulators have already gotten right


Also, the ETF hype train can count out at least one member