Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Menlo Park, California. Photo:  Reuters/Stephen Lam
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Reuters/Stephen Lam

The world’s second largest internet advertiser by revenue will now be off limits for cryptocurrencies to buy ads, according to an announcement on Tuesday, adding to a string of grim headlines for the fledgling asset class.

“Two of our core advertising principles outline our belief that ads should be safe, and that we build for people first. Misleading or deceptive ads have no place on Facebook,” a blog post on Facebook said.

“We’ve created a new policy that prohibits ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.”


The news comes after recent cryptocurrency regulatory tightening in China and South Korea, as well as signals that the same may be coming in Russia and the US.

Comments in recent months from US Securties and Exchange Commission boss Jay Clayton foreshadow moves to step up oversight of cryptocurrency trading.

“These platforms that these things trade on, they are very easily manipulated and I don’t think investors understand that,” Clayton was quoted by Bloomberg as saying in an interview this week. He added regarding the extensive regulations placed on exchanges that “none of that exists” if they aren’t registered with the SEC.

“When an ordinary person loses 10, 15, 25 grand, that makes a material difference in their lives and that’s bad,” he said. “Anytime our markets are used like that we need to be paying attention.”

Bitcoin held its ground Tuesday, hovering just under US$10,000, down 0.48%, according to CoinDesk. The most traded cryptocurrency has lost nearly half its value to start this year, after skyrocketing 2,000% last year.