Microsoft Announces Plan to Ban Crypto-Ads
Microsoft’s search engine Bing has joined the ranks of Facebook, Twitter, and Google in their decision to ban crypto-related ads on their platforms. This news comes as another deep cut in a series of gashes left by similar decisions by large tech corporations. Cryptocurrency by its nature is meant to take control away from centralized authorities and give it back to the individuals who are utilizing the network. It follows that a tech corporation would want to limit the access people have to decentralized services because it keeps users reliant on the centralized services provided by the company, forcing them to play by their seemingly arbitrary restrictions.
A consequence of these crypto-ad bans, other than the obvious blow to ad revenue crypto-related sites have experienced, is the fact that whenever there is a ban on anything that disrupts the status quo, the underground floods in to fill the void left by those mainstream institutions.
According to the statement published on Microsoft’s blog, they outlined their reasoning behind pulling cryptocurrency ads from their search engine Bing:
“Because cryptocurrency and related products are not regulated, we have found them to present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers.”
While the company does make a pretty uncontroversial point that the cryptocurrency market, as it stands, does include a degree of risk given the lack of regulation around how ICOs should operate, they neglect the consequences of pushing cryptocurrency out of the public eye. If the ultimate goal is to regulate the cryptocurrency market so that it is safe for users, the market has to be fully functional and operating completely in the open.
If it doesn’t, lawmakers won’t have a clear image of how to approach crypto-legislation. This means that more people need to adopt cryptocurrency for it to ever reach a level where true regulatory measures can be applied, like in every other sector. But that goal is becoming harder to achieve when platforms prevent these ads from appearing on their sites.
By banning these ads and tightening the noose around the market’s only real avenues for advertising, these companies have made a move to wedge themselves into the vacuum they have created by preventing the market from operating freely. It is no secret that these companies are actively pursuing blockchain technology and some even have floated the idea of a company cryptocurrency. This makes the decision to ban crypto-ads in the interest of public safety seem disingenuous since their real goal appears to be the consolidation of control and influence over a market designed to dismantle centralized systems and transfer the power and control back to the people.