If you’re reading the headlines, the bitcoin bubble and crypto craze are having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.
On Tuesday Facebook announced it was going to ban ads for coin offerings and crypto couching it as a move to cut down on scams.
Within the 24 hours around the announcement, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission subpoenaed exchanges Bitfinex and Tether, the Securities and Exchange Commission halted an ICO by AriseBank, and South Korea said it found $600 million tied to crypto-related crime.
But at the same time, stock trading app Robinhood announced the launch of commission-free trading of 16 cryptocurrencies on its platform later this month and Square, which had recently made bitcoin buying and selling available to a select number of Square Cash users, expanded the service to its entire user base Wednesday.
The fact is that for anyone that’s serious about their crypto company or their proposed ICO, Facebook ads don’t really matter. The removal of advertising from Facebook will certainly do something to slow these schemes down but there are other ways they’ll be able to get their message out; through Telegram groups — some by invitation only — Internet chat rooms, Reddit. Facebook advertising is clearly just about getting mindshare, said Sid Kalla, co-founder of Turing Group.
“Less technically serious projects might raise less money and thats probably good for the space,” he said. New projects without strong technical merit are coming up and raising a lot of money.” At most, “this would affect regular people that want to invest in ICOs without doing their research. Bitcoin’s value in lieu of the advertising that goes with it has nothing to do with Facebook ads. That’s true of most established cryptocurrencies as well.”