Crypto Ads Appear on Mainstream TV

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During Q1 2018, some of the biggest names providing internet marketing portals turned their back on the cryptocurrency community. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube all shunned promotional adverts for blockchain-related businesses. It’s likely that some of the portals were put under pressure to ban the ads from institutions that stand to lose out if crypto becomes too popular.

As in any industry, there are players looking to game the system and make a quick buck, as evidenced by some of the scam ICOs that were offered to unsuspecting participants. Banning ads for investments in the unregulated crypto market has merits, but a blanket ban on all things crypto seems to be taking it too far. Most cryptocurrencies devalued by more than 50% during Q1 2018, and it’s likely that banning crypto ads played some part in this.

Coinsquare, the “Canadian Coinbase,” launched their TV advertising campaign in April 2018, and the 30-second video clip is also available on their YouTube channel. This will be a great opportunity for the general public in Canada to see what the crypto buzz is all about. It’s an interesting advert as it highlights some of the darker sides of crypto and ends with the strapline: “Invest with pros. Not con.” It’s also a little unclear who Coinsquare are targeting with the TV ad campaign as they don’t provide any website details for potential investors to make further inquiries. This suggests they are either looking for existing Coinsquare account holders to invest in the IPO or that they have a series of different adverts that will appeal to different viewers.

Canadian regulators take a fairly relaxed view towards crypto, and it’s one of the best places in the world to mine bitcoin with an abundance of cheap hydroelectric power. The Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCSC) in Canada does not allow promotion of investment opportunities without a license to trade securities and derivatives. Coinsquare are looking to raise CAD 150 million to expand their crypto exchange, but they are not using an unregulated ICO, rather it will be a traditional IPO. The IPO is scheduled for September 2018 with a listing expected on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Coinbase is also in discussions with the SEC to become a licensed broker and electronic trading venue according to The Wall Street Journal.

Financial analyst, smartphone app designer, technical writer, and crypto enthusiast. Blockchain verified graduate of MOOC 9, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, run by the University of Nicosia.

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