01-29-2018: Facebook Bans Cryptocurrency Ads

This week it was reported on CNBC that Facebook has announced that it would be banning all ads for ICOs and crypto in what it deems “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” The social media giant has yet to take action in banning con artists that frequently use the platform to ply their wares and deceive others, but this is a first step. According to the report, ads that violate the company’s new policy will be banned on Facebook’s core app. Additionally, they will be banned in other places where Facebook sells ads, which includes Instagram and its ad network, Audience Network. Facebook’s ad tech director Rob Leathern told media: “This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices. We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve” (bitcoinist).

South Korea’s government has confirmed it has “no intention” of banning or “suppressing” cryptocurrency trading in fresh comments on the industry. In comments quoted by Reuters, finance minister Kim Dong-yeon, who earlier in January said that a shutdown was still a possibility, finally ended apprehension surrounding the future of cryptocurrency trading in the country. Kim had faced a 200,000-strong petition demanding he be fired from his position after the comments, which along with those by justice minister Park Sang-ki, sent shock waves through cryptocurrency markets and sparked public outrage (bitcoinist).

According to local news media outlet Business Korea, exchanges using corporate bank accounts may face sudden halts to service or even an obligation to cease trading altogether. Korean authorities deemed January 30th the date when all citizens trading cryptocurrency must do so through just one account, the identity details of which match their bank account. Banks have been working to implement the required system at breakneck speed as details were finalized just weeks ago, but teething problems have meant not every exchange is in a position to comply with the new laws (bitcoinist).

According to Fortune, up to 10 percent of all the money raised by ICOs between 2015 and 2017 was either lost in the crypto ether or stolen in hacks. Putting a number on that amount, we’re talking $400 mln stolen by hackers. In their haste to attract investors, companies launching Blockchain services often overlook the necessary security precautions needed to protect themselves and investors buying their tokens. Ernst and Youngs’ report states that over $3.7 bln was raised by 372 ICOs during that time period. The report states that large ICOs are deemed to be soft targets for seasoned hackers (cointelegraph).

And lastly, cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and Tether, the company behind the controversial USDT token, have been subpoenaed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Citing an unnamed source, Bloomberg said that the CFTC had sent queries to both companies. The news is likely to further inflame the controversy around Tether’s USDT token, which functions as a kind of synthetic dollar (coindesk).

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