As Facebook’s own plans for cryptocurrencies continue to falter, the company is once again allowing ads for other crypto companies. It does, however, put a stop to it.
Facebook banned cryptocurrency ads in January 2018. There has been a very slight easing since May 2019, but in general, you could not or hardly advertise on Facebook as a digital wallet or provider of a cryptocurrency.
That changes now. Meta, the company above Facebook, says itself that the market has become more mature and stable. Companies that want to advertise can also indicate on Facebook whether they are listed on the stock exchange or share other public information.
However, Facebook will not continue to allow anyone. Advertisers in this sector must have certain licenses from regulators. The number of licenses that Facebook accepts will be increased from 3 to 27.
This usually concerns licenses from bank regulators. For France, this is AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers). For the Netherlands, the central bank (Nederlandsche Bank, DNB for short). No authority is listed for Belgium (in principle, the FSMA).
Apart from that, it remains to be seen how thoroughly Facebook will check ads. Political advertisers are allowed to advertise lies on the platform anyway. But also obvious scams are still circulating on the social network. The chance seems small, especially in non-English speaking areas, that Facebook will provide sufficient security and control there.
Meta’s now easing comes shortly after it also announced that David Marcus, head of crypto initiatives at Meta, is leaving at the end of this year. So it seems that Facebook is limiting its plans for its own crypto activities and is, therefore, again open to advertising revenues from possible competitors.
A few years ago, Facebook announced its own digital wallet for cryptocurrencies under the name Nova, with its own cryptocurrency Diem, which is not yet publicly available. But the plans were met with fierce criticism worldwide. Moreover, given Facebook’s reputation for data and privacy, some also feared that Meta’s current position in combination with such a currency would become even more entrenched in users’ digital lives.