Cryptocurrency seems to be caught in a game of tug-of-war; as more people adopt it, those in opposition pull back with even more force. Yesterday, Microsoft aligned itself with those pulling back, announcing in an official blog post that Bing is banning cryptocurrency-related ads, fully phasing them out by July of this year.
Previously, Microsoft had already banned ads that emphasized the use of cryptocurrency for illegal activities, including the avoidance of tax payments.
Microsoft stated that the reason behind this decision was to protect its users, citing the fact that the cryptocurrency industry is mostly unregulated. As stated in the post, “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 this may be seen as a backwards move for Microsoft, it is in line with the vision of its founder, Bill Gates, who has been vocal in his opposition to cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. It is also in line with other online giants. Facebook banned such adds in January, and Twitter and Google did so in March.
Given the company’s justification for the move, the ban could be lifted once the industry becomes more regulated. However, given Bill Gate’s general opposition to cryptocurrency, this may not be the case.
For now, cryptocurrency is being classified as a legally questionable business opportunity, putting it on the same level as Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, and other similar investment opportunities that are largely considered to be scams.