Business

Twitter bans cryptocurrency advertisements on fraud fears

SAN FRANCISCO Twitter announced a ban on ads for initial offerings of cryptocurrency or sales of virtual currency tokens, sending the value of bitcoin diving below US$8,000 (S$10,465).

Twitter followed the lead of Google and Facebook, which earlier this year cracked down on digital currency ads to protect users from being duped.

"We are committed to ensuring the safety of the Twitter community," Twitter said in a statement.

"As such, we have added a new policy for Twitter Ads relating to cryptocurrency."

Under the new policy, the advertisement of ICOs, or initial currency offerings, and token sales will be prohibited at the global one-to-many messaging platform.

Some startups have used ICOs to raise billions of dollars in a highly volatile, unregulated market.

Twitter said: "We know that this type of content is often associated with deception and fraud, both organic and paid, and are proactively implementing a number of signals to prevent these types of accounts from engaging with others in a deceptive manner."

The value of bitcoin dropped 8 per cent to US$7,929 after the Twitter ad ban was announced, according to market data from Bloomberg.

The new policy leaves open the door for ads for cryptocurrency exchanges or secure "wallet" services offered by public companies listed on some major exchanges. - AFP

BUSINESS & FINANCE