Facebook bans ads for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

Social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is taking a stance against ads for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The company announced that it is banning ads on its social network related to digital currencies that promote financial products and services such as binary options or initial coin offerings.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Facebook’s product management director Rob Leathern wrote that those type of ads have no place on its platform because they are frequently associated with “misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

Examples of ads that have been included on Facebook: “Use your retirement funds to buy Bitcoin”; “New ICO! Buy tokens at a 15% discount Now!”; and “Start binary options trading now and receive a 10-risk-free-trades bonus!”

“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception,” Leathern wrote. “That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”

The Facebook executive added that the company also encourages its community members to get involved in spotting bogus ads by reporting them directly to team members.

On Tuesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that his department is keeping a close eye on monitoring cryptocurrencies, paying particular attention to its use by criminals.

"I want to make sure that these are not used by bad guys, that they don't turn into Swiss numbered bank accounts,” Mnuchin said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. He added that he doesn’t see bitcoin and other competitors as a threat but wants to “make sure consumers understand the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies."