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Facebook reverses decision on crypto advert ban

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·Business reporter
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A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta and Facebook logo are placed on laptop keyboard in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
It now means that bitcoin exchanges, crypto wallets, and other blockchain and crypto companies will have access to more than 3 billion people across the world who use Meta’s platforms, which include Instagram and WhatsApp. Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Social media company Meta, previously known as Facebook (FB), has performed a U-turn on its decision to ban cryptocurrency adverts on its platforms.

In a statement last night, the company said it was reversing the move, first made in January 2018, as the cryptocurrency landscape has continued to “mature and stabilise in recent years”.

It added the new government regulations had also provided clearer rules for the sector since its previous decision.

After scaling back the ban slightly in May 2019, bitcoin exchanges, crypto wallets, and other blockchain and crypto companies will now have access to more than 3 billion people across the world who use Meta’s platforms, which include Instagram and WhatsApp.

Meta added that it was expanding the number of regulatory licenses it accepts from three to 27, however, advertisers still need written permission from the company to promote crypto exchanges, lending and borrowing, crypto mining tools, and wallets.

Watch: What is bitcoin?

The cryptocurrency sector has since evolved significantly from the initial ban, with a number of high-profile companies backing them, El Salvador recognising bitcoin (BTC-USD) as legal tender, and a crypto exchange going public.

“This change will help make our policy more equitable and transparent and allow for a greater number of advertisers, including small businesses, to use our tools and grow their business,” the company added.

It comes as Meta is looking to push towards the metaverse, an extensive online world in which people are able to interact via digital avatars. It is believed that the metaverse will support cryptocurrency payments and other blockchain-based technologies such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Read more: What is the metaverse and Web 3.0?

It comes after its own cryptocurrency Libra failed to launch, in what was intended to be a digital coin used to send money easily across the world via the company’s services. The project failed to take off as it faced a backlash from regulators and lawmakers.

The currency has since been renamed Diem, and has not yet been released to the public. In October it also launched its digital crypto wallet product, Novi.

Meanwhile, the head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency team, David Marcus, announced on Tuesday that he will be leaving the company at the end of 2021 after two years in his role.

Watch: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?

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