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Twitter bans cryptocurrency advertising as part of online crackdown

Atheer – External Sources

Twitter is to join Facebook and Google by banning cryptocurrency advertising as of Tuesday, in a clampdown that seeks to avoid giving publicity to potential fraud or large investor losses.

According to Reuters, the prohibition will cover advertising of initial coin offerings (ICOs), crowdfunding used to raise cash by creating new coins, as well as token sales.

The new policy, which will come into effect over the next month, will also ban ads by cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency wallet services, unless they are public companies listed on certain major stock markets.

The firm revealed earlier this month that it was taking measures to prevent crypto-related accounts from “engaging with others in a deceptive manner,” but faced calls to go further after bans from Facebook and Google.

Facebook has restricted crypto-related adverts, while Google announced a ban that will start in June.

The price of bitcoin, already four percent in the red on Monday, fell further after the Twitter announcement. It traded at $7,920 BTC=BTSP on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange at 1740 GMT, down more than six percent on the day.

Regulators have stepped up warnings that bitcoin and other virtual currencies are highly speculative and that some could be fraudulent, adding that investors should be prepared to lose everything. Last week however the G20 group of rich nations failed to reach a consensus on how to supervise them.

Bitcoin has lost more than half its value from a December peak of almost $20,000 as fears of a regulatory clampdown spooked investors. News of the Facebook and Google bans also knocked the price.

While critics call cryptocurrencies a Ponzi scheme that will end in tears for most investors, supporters say the coins are backed by powerful new technology that can replace traditional fiat currencies and upend the existing banking system.

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