Technology giant Google has just announced a number of updates regarding cryptocurrency and related products to clarify the scope and requirements for advertising blockchain-based games involving NFTs.
According to Google, advertisers offering NFT games must meet the following requirements and be approved by Google before they can advertise on its platform:
NFT games must not promote gambling-related content, such as games where players can deposit or wager their NFTs in exchange for the chance to win something of real value (including other NFTs), or social casino games that award NFT prizes.
NFT games must comply with local laws for each area targeted by their advertisements.
NFT games may not promote "real money gambling" sites, such as online casinos or sports betting sites. If advertisers want to place ads that integrate gambling-related content with NFTs, they must comply with the gambling and games policy and obtain the appropriate Google Ads certification.
Google stated that this policy update aims to clarify the scope and requirements for advertising blockchain-based games with NFTs, which have grown in popularity and diversity in recent years. The policy update goes into effect on 15 September 2023 and applies globally to all accounts advertising these products.
Google's policy evolves with the market
This policy change is notable given Google's historical approach towards cryptocurrency-related ads. In March 2018, the company banned such ads across all its platforms, citing harm to consumers or the potential for it. Scott Spencer, director of sustainable ads at Google at the time, stated that the company would approach cryptocurrency-related ads with "extreme caution".
However, the ban was partially lifted in June 2021, allowing some companies that "target cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets in the United States" to advertise, provided they were registered with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or with a federal or state-chartered banking entity.
The latest update represents a further step in Google's evolving stance on cryptocurrency and related products. It also reflects the growing mainstream acceptance of NFTs, which have become increasingly popular for various applications outside digital art, including gaming.
Violations of the new policy will not result in immediate account suspension. Instead, Google will issue a warning at least seven days before suspension, stressing its intention to enforce the policy cautiously.
The policy update is expected to have a significant impact on the NFT gaming industry, opening up new advertising opportunities and potentially boosting the industry's growth. However, it also imposes clear limits, particularly on gambling-related content, to ensure that advertisers comply with both Google's guidelines and local laws.
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