Meta is a powerful online platform for sales and advertising consisting of Facebook and Instagram. Meta and Facebook recognize the growth and growing importance of blockchain technology and crypto assets. In December 2021, Facebook dramatically expanded eligibility to run ads about cryptocurrency and blockchain-based products and services.
The basic rule is that advertising that promotes cryptocurrency sales or trading requires written permission from Meta or Facebook. The company requires reviews of advertisers and ad content. To post advertising that sells or promotes the sale of cryptocurrency, advertisers must comply with applicable government regulatory requirements and apply for prior written permission.
Who is Prohibited?
Meta and Facebook revised their cryptocurrency ad policies to reduce the number of prohibited financial products and restricted advertisers. With the overall goal to support safe and effective advertising, Meta permits regulated cryptocurrency and blockchain content and adverts from approved advertisers. The expanded policy left fewer prohibited ads and advertisers as described in the below-listed items.
- Ads are prohibited for ETFs that consist of cryptocurrency or that track cryptocurrency prices; advertisers must apply for permission and confirm legal eligibility.
- Policy still prohibits advertisers and ads that promote ICOs and Binary options
- The policy prohibits advertisers and ads for IDOs that appear to have similar risks, functions, and characteristics as ICOs.
What is Allowed?
The policy does not require permission for certain services and nearly all types of information about cryptocurrency. If ads offer no crypto products or services, then advertisers can freely post blockchain technology news, cryptocurrency related events, and educational materials concerning blockchain technology. The current policy permits the below-listed products and services.
- NFTs – It is important to note, the platform permits products and services based on blockchain technology that are not cryptocurrency. The policy specifically exempts NFTs.
- Blockchain based services that are not virtual currencies.
- Crypto wallets to store tokens with no features for selling, buying, trading, or staking.
- ETFs consisting of shares of cryptocurrency companies do not need to apply for permission or confirm eligibility .
The basic rule for advertising cryptocurrency sales and promotions is that they are permissible for eligible advertisers with prior written permission. The platform uses a layered system to determine eligible cryptocurrency advertisers and advertising content. The systematic process assesses the legal status of the advertiser, compliance with applicable laws, and safety of the ad content.
Cryptocurrency Companies Eligible To Advertise on Facebook
Cryptocurrency companies can advertise on Facebook with written permission. Advertisers and ads must pass the process for identity and ads must meet review for content. The companies that require permission include crypto platforms and exchanges. Facebook defines trading as spot trading, margin purchase or sales, and futures trading. The rule also applies to instruments that include crypto assets.
Cryptocurrency Companies Currently Not Allowed to Advertise on Facebook
Facebook policy initially banned ads for cryptocurrency, advertisers of Binary Options, and ads for ICOs. The revisions of June 2018 and December 2021 changed the status of cryptocurrency and NFTs but did not permit Binary Options or ICOs.
Current policy does not approve of ads to promote products or services that have a high potential to be misleading or deceptive. Under the current policy, ICOs and IDOs may not advertise on Facebook. The policy also require eligibility determination for advertisers. Essentially, advertisers must comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Facebook and Instagram Ads for NFT’s
Facebook permits ads for NFTs without prior permission. NFT’s fall under the exception to the ban on crypto-related products for sale because Facebook does not classify NFTs as a virtual currency. The reasoning seems to be that NFT’s are unique items and are not meant to be used for a medium of exchange.
Facebook and Instagram Ads for Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets
Cryptocurrency exchanges may not advertise on Facebook without written permission. They would not be able to advertise any crypto-related products or services that “enable monetization, reselling, swapping or staking of cryptocurrencies.”
How To Get Written Permission To Advertise Your Cryptocurrency Company
Facebook offers a simple application for approval in the form of the Cryptocurrency Products and Services Onboarding Request . The form covers single and multiple ad requests. Once approved, advertisers may post content. The company reserves the right to remove content that does not meet current or future guidelines.
Restrictions on Facebook Advertising By Country
Nations set requirements under their respective laws that approve, permit, or authorize the legal use of cryptocurrencies and related assets. Facebook does not assess the laws; their advertising policies requires compliance with the laws of the advertiser’s business residence. For example, a U.S. based advertiser must register as needed with the U.S. Government and any applicable state regulator.
In the U.S., covered advertisers must register with FinCEN MSB registration, Issuer: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, (FinCEN), and if applicable, the State of New York Bit License, Issuer: Department of Financial Services, New York state (NYSDFS).
Facebook Regulations Advertising Blockchain Technology That Isn’t Virtual Currency
Facebook permits advertising that consists of services and products based on Blockchain technology and NFTs. Advertisers do not require prior written consent and their ads must pass a regular review of content.
Facebook and Instagram Ads for SaaS – Staking as a Service
Meta and Facebook ban ads for staking services without prior permission. Staking would involve monetization of cryptocurrency or crypto assets which the policy specifically prohibits. Facebook has a two-tiered policy review. They must identify the advertiser and confirm compliance with the laws of the advertiser’s residence. The policy also identifies software and software applications that are trading platforms.
Facebook and Instagram Ads for Blockchain-based Accountants and Attorneys
The policy should not ban ads by blockchain-based accountants and attorneys. The advertising policy on blockchain technology policy permits services and products based on blockchain technology that are not virtual currencies. Blockchain based professional services are not cryptocurrencies. Under current policy, legal and accounting services can be permissible as tax services for cryptocurrency companies.
Facebook and Instagram Ads for ICOs and IDOs
Ads for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are currently not allowed on the Meta platforms without prior permission. Meta lists ICO as a prohibited product. Facebook policy classifies Initial Coin Offerings as financial products or services frequently associated with misleading promotional practices and deceptive practices.
Ads for Initial Dex Offerings (IDOs) may also be prohibited under the rule against ICOs. Like ICOs, IDO platforms list new coins or crypto-funded projects to create liquidity. The IDO is essentially a platform for crowdfunding using coins or tokens using a decentralized exchange.