In recent weeks, Facebook and Google announced updates to their advertising policies to curtail the promotion of cryptocurrency-related products and services, including wallet providers, exchanges, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and trading advice. In approximately two weeks, Twitter will apparently make a similar move.
On March 18, 2018, Sky News reported that Twitter will soon prohibit ads for cryptocurrency wallet providers and ICOs. The report made no mention of digital currency exchanges or companies that support bitcoin-linked financial products (e.g., CBOE, CME).
Twitter did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
It's important to remember that paid advertising is just one facet of the platform. There are many, many accounts for newly-created cryptocurrency companies, which ostensibly would still be able to post freely. The only change would be that other users wouldn't be served sponsored content from these ICOs or wallet providers.
Even if Twitter addresses cryptocurrency-related advertising, it would amount to putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole. The platform has been plagued by fake accounts and bots, issues which have also been linked to the 2016 US election.
Earlier this month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey replied to a public complaint levied by Cornell computer science professor Emin Gün Sirer, who expressed frustration by the prevalence of cryptocurrency scams.
Additionally, on several occasions, Twitter has mistakenly suspended the accounts of legitimate users involved in the cryptocurrency space. Altogether, it appears that the platform has not yet developed effective oversight and reporting mechanisms, even if the company just reported its first-ever profitable quarter.
As Twitter contemplates its advertising policies, the company risks a conflict of interest: Dorsey concurrently serves as the CEO of Square. In January 2018, Square announced that it would officially support the purchase and sale of bitcoin on its Cash App.
Disclosure: The author of this article previously held a long position in TWTR.