Facebook, Google, Twitter: Why Social Networks and Ad Platforms No Longer Tolerate Cryptocurrency?

In the first quarter of 2018 many social networks and search engines nearly with one accord announced they would ban ads related to cryptocurrency, ICO, wallets, digital currency services and other.

Google plans to enforce that ban starting June, 2018. The company has changed its ad policy and stated the necessity of such actions in their annual safety and security ads report. Scott Spencer, Google`s director of sustainable ads, told CNBC that the company doesn’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but they have seen enough consumer harm to approach that issue with extreme caution.

In 2017 the company had to ban more than 3 billion ads due to the breach of Google advertising rules, whereas in 2016 it was only 1.7 billion. Interestingly, the parent company Alphabet that owns Google corporation makes more than 80 percent of its total revenue from advertising, so obviously strict ad rules and safe ecosystem is very important.

Facebook has not stayed away from crypto-ban. The company claimed digital currencies are “financial products frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices”. One of Facebook’s ad tech directors Rob Leathern wrote that these approach is not final and can be reconsidered depending on how the situation will be changing. Interestingly, at least to investors at Facebook board of directors – Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel – are known to be quite active cryptocurrency backers.

Actually, there are not only crypto-related things facing these restrictions. Binary options ads have also been banned. A binary option is a financial option in which the payoff is either some fixed monetary amount or nothing at all, depending on a particular performance of parties.

Nowadays Google and Facebook are one of the largest online advertising platforms, so the decision to ban all crypto-related ads has already influenced the cryptocurrency industry and will continue to do so. The digital currency market has been facing recession and these news are likely to cause even more harm to many projects. On the other side of the barricade Google will probably miss some profit too, however, the company has not reported on that issue yet.

Twitter also joined that anti-crypto march. The company announced the ban of all ICO and token sale-related advertising and accounts. The same measures were introduced by media-giant Snap Inc. that operates a popular multimedia messaging social network SnapChat.  

So, these global attack on digital currencies aims to safe users from untrustworthy, scam and fraud projects, that have really infected the market and use social networks resources to spread their advertising. The ban will certainly become another serious threat to the cryptocurrency market that has already been doing not very well. However, this policy may also eradicate crypto-fraud and as follows, make the cryptocurrency market more reliable and trustworthy, attracting even more people to really deserving projects.

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BitPay Transactions Surpasses $1B in 2018, B2B Payments Records 225% Increase

BitPay is a US-based bitcoin payment provider which has recently announced its financial results of the past year. The company has processed over $1 billion in transactions alone. Moreover, its B2B payments record 225% increase in compare to 2017.

The main reason of such a lift-off is that Bitpay added a lot of new clients, like Dish Networks, HackerOne, and the State of Ohio, as well as many other law firms, data center providers, and IT vendors.

The CEO of BitPay, Stephen Pair, commented on this development:

“BitPay’s B2B business continues to grow rapidly as our solution is cheaper and quicker than a bank wire from most regions of the world. To process over a $1 Billion for the second year in a row despite Bitcoin’s large price drop shows that Bitcoin is being used to solve real pain points around the world.”

BitPay mostly supports Bitcoin transactions, however, it also supports payments with Bitcoin Cash, Gemini, and Paxos. During that year a lot of companies had to lay off their employees due to the market situation, yet, Bitpay conversely increased its manpower by 78 percent in the past year.

In addition, BitPay is attractive to the investors, in 2018, it raised $40 million in Series B funding round taking the total raised capital to $70 million.

We remind you

Two European Finance Regulators Urge the EU To Adopt Crypto and ICO Rules

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Google Is Removing Apps That Require User Info

It is already 2019, and this year cyber criminals and scammers are working on their evil plans for this year. Meanwhile, companies tend to pay more attention and allocate more funding for cyber security and strengthen the protection on the people’s information.

Google is also quite concerned with the privacy of its users. It is going to remove all applications from its Play Store that require the users to provide their personal information, like SMS and call log data.

According to the official blog post:

Our new policy is designed to ensure that apps asking for these permissions need full and ongoing access to the sensitive data in order to accomplish the app’s primary use case, and that users will understand why this data would be required for the app to function.”

This new policy was first announced in October of 2018, and all app developers were given 3 months to alter the applications or submit the Permissions Declaration Form.

The restriction will concern not only “foreign” apps, but also the applications developed by Google itself.

We remind you:

Google Play Store Banned App For Mining Cryptocurrency

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A Video Gamer Received a 20-Bitcoin Donation on Twitch

A video game player under the nickname Sick Nerd received a donation from an anonym in the amount of 20 Bitcoins when playing the game RuneScape and streaming it on the platform Twitch.

Sick Nerd mentioned this on his Twitter:

At first, the streamer received only 4 BTC. He didn’t take it seriously right away, but kept receiving new donations in cryptocurrency. Overall, Sick Nerd became richer by over 20 BTC during his streaming session.

This is the largest crypto donation sent to a video game player ever, and, of course, the largest donation ever received by Sick Nerd (more than 70 thousand dollars).

Cryptocurrency keeps making its way into every sphere of human activity, and video games are no exception. We remind you:

Cryptocurrency Games: Bitcoin Game Review

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“There Is No Need”: Japan Refuted Rumours About Approval of Bitcoin ETF

Some services including Bloomberg reported several days ago that Japan considered a possibility of the approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). It allegedly would be used as an alternative to Bitcoin futures.

However, the representative of the FSA claimed that Japan was not considering of giving green light to the Bitcoin ETFs, saying:

“There is no such fact that we are considering approving ETFs which track crypto-assets at present. We are not currently considering approving them.”

The necessity of approving them may lie in decreasing the risk of price manipulation on the Japan market. Nevertheless, the FSA spokesman stated that there was no need of any cryptocurrency-related derivatives for now in Japan expressing its negative attitude towards both crypto ETFs and futures products.

He said: “Taken it into consideration that it is difficult for us to find constructive and social significance of trading crypto-assets derivatives at present, we think that there is no need for trading crypto-assets derivatives at financial instruments exchanges where many market participants are able to trade.”

We remind you:

SEC Will Release the Decision on Bitcoin ETF in February

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The CEO of Circle Believes That a Clearer Policy of the SEC Will Cure the Crypto Industry

The CEO of the project Circle, backed up by the major bank Goldman Sachs, Jeremy Allaire started a thread on Reddit together with his co-workers, where they debated the accomplishments of the company in the recent time, talked about prospects for the future and discussed the overall situation on the crypto market.

According to the representatives of Circle, one of the main issues with crypto in the US is the lack of regulatory framework and, most importantly, the inability of the Securities and Exchange Commission to clearly define cryptocurrencies as belonging to a particular type of assets.

We remind you:

The SEC: Unlike ICO Tokens, Bitcoin and Ethereum Can Not Be Securities

There absolutely needs to be more regulatory clarity to really make this fly — in particular around who can issue these, how they can be stored and transmitted, and what markets can allow their trading. There’s a lot of attention on this and we absolutely expect to see these issues resolved and for far more real world experiments to hit the markets this year,” said Jeremy Allaire.

Also, the CEO of Circle claimed that the US should follow the example of France and have a separate kind of taxation for crypto-to-crypto transactions.

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Two European Finance Regulators Urge the EU To Adopt Crypto and ICO Rules

Cryptocurrency and ICO regulations have been an open topic in Europe for quite a long period of time. Some finance regulators claim that it is high time the European Commission determined the place of crypto and ICO in European economy.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) stated that the current crypto asset-related activities did not comply with the EU financial laws, so that The EBA urged the EU to look into the crypto rules and identify what actions may be required at the EU level.

The representative of the EBA said:

“The EBA’s warnings to consumers and institutions on virtual currencies remain valid. The EBA calls on the European Commission to assess whether regulatory action is needed to achieve a common EU approach to crypto-assets. The EBA continues to monitor market developments from a prudential and consumer perspective.”

Moreover, the EBA advised to use the FATF’s recommendations. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is to issue a set of recommendations for crypto-related action in June 2019.

Another finance regulator, which supports the EBA, is the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). It released a report which helps the authorities of the EU to make decisions on rules applied to crypto and ICO.

The spokesman of the ESMA said:

“Our survey of NCAs highlighted that some crypto-assets may qualify as MiFID financial instruments, in which case the full set of EU financial rules would apply. However, because the existing rules were not designed with these instruments in mind, NCAs face challenges in interpreting the existing requirements and certain requirements are not adapted to the specific characteristics of crypto-assets.”

We remind you

Seven EU Member States United To Adopt Blockchain In Their Countries

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