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With Facebook and Google both deciding to ban all cryptocurrency-related advertising on their online platforms, it was probably only a matter of time before other powerful online companies followed suit. According to media reports, Twitter is planning to institute a similar ban in the next couple of weeks. The Twitter ban will reportedly include ads for cryptocurrency token sales, digital currency wallets, and initial coin offerings.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that the agency had obtained a federal court order halting the activities of three online cryptocurrency companies the agency has accused of deceptive business practices. The court order came in response to a sealed civil complaint filed by the FTC in February. That complaint identified four individuals whose cryptocurrency-related companies all did at least part of their business in South Florida.
Google provided an updated financial services policy on Wednesday that announced the company’s plan to ban all cryptocurrency-related advertisements, effective in June. The move follows a similar announcement from Facebook in January. Google and Facebook are the two largest platforms providing online advertising content.
With cryptocurrency markets coming under increased scrutiny from government regulators, some have openly called for industry players to take a more active role in regulating themselves. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have apparently decided to take up that challenge. The twins have proposed the creation of a self-regulatory organization (SRO) that they are calling the Virtual Commodity Association.
Despite Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s recent claims about the successful launch of his oil-based petro digital currency, most outside observers have expressed opinions ranging from skepticism to outright disapproval of the venture. In a recent piece on its website, the Brookings Institute joined that chorus of criticism, and suggested that Maduro’s attempt to exploit the new technology could do harm to legitimate cryptocurrencies.
Last month, Goldman Sachs attorneys sent legal notice to a Japour-based cryptocurrency exchange, accusing the Indian startup of trademark and intellectual property infringement. The controversy was related to that startup’s name, Bitman Sachs, LLP, as well as its Bitsachs.com website. According to a report in the Hindu Business Line, the Indian company has decided to change its name to negate the controversy.
A new report from the University of Toronto’s The Citizen Lab detailed the results of a recent investigation into “nation-state malware” in Egypt and Turkey. Investigators reportedly found evidence that both nations’ governments have been using malware to redirect their citizens’ computers. The Egyptian government scheme apparently redirected computers to mine Monero:
On Friday, the European Union’s top banking regulator cautioned against government imposition of tight regulatory controls for cryptocurrencies. European Banking Authority (EBA) chief executive Andrea Enria suggested that governments should instead move to block government-regulated financial entities like banks from selling or holding digital currency.
The SEC shocked some crypto investors on Wednesday when it urged cryptocurrency exchanges to register and comply with the nation’s securities laws. Meanwhile, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) head Brian Quintenz suggested that the cryptocurrency community should create its own oversight body to regulate the industry.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a statement on Wednesday that said many “online trading platforms” for cryptocurrency need to register with the agency or obtain an exemption. The statement comes in the wake of increased SEC scrutiny of digital currency and initial coin offerings.