Sorry, Bitcoin, but you’re no longer welcome among the puppy pictures, faceless cooking videos, and life updates from your aunt’s friend’s son-in-law.
Facebook announced Tuesday that it is banning ads for cryptocurrencies, the encrypted digital currencies whose turbulent fortunes have inspired many an impulsive investment. They’ve also been known to be fodder for several fraudulent get-rich-quick schemes — a con Facebook is hoping to help its users avoid. In a blog post Tuesday, Product Management Director Robert Leathern wrote that the company does not want its users to fall for scams “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices such as binary options, initial coin offerings, and cryptocurrencies.”
There are legitimate cryptocurrencies that advertise on Facebook, as Recode noted. But skeptics warn that cryptocurrencies are fool’s gold and that investors will end up with empty pockets. Bitcoin, perhaps the most famous of these digital treasures, has been particularly volatile: Its price per coin reached nearly $20,000 in December, but now is hovering around $10,000. At the beginning of 2017, it was priced around $1,000.
Leathern concedes that credible cryptocurrencies will get swept up by Facebook’s “intentionally broad” guidelines for now, but he said that these restrictions would be at least somewhat temporary. “[Facebook] will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve,” he wrote.