- Google modifies its rules, now permitting ads for select NFT-based games.
- The updated guidelines still ban promotions linked to gambling activities.
- Prior restrictions on cryptocurrency ads saw partial easing in June 2021.
Tech giant Google has modified its advertising guidelines to include promotions related to select nonfungible token (NFT) games. Starting September 15, these promotions must align with specific standards, primarily excluding any ties to gambling or related services.
The new standards indicate that approved NFT games can offer virtual in-game purchases, such as character apparel or improved equipment. These items should predominantly serve to enhance the game experience or help players progress.
However, there are definitive limits to Google’s revisions. Promotions cannot feature games where players potentially bet their NFTs against others or in exchange for potential gains. This ban applies to virtual currencies and other NFT types. Thus, NFT-centric casino games or wagering activities where participants compete for tangible rewards, be it NFTs, cash, or digital currency, are not permitted.
Game developers and marketers with content that merges NFTs and gambling must comply with specific standards. They must align with Google’s Gambling and games policy and secure approval from Google Ads.
Previously, Google had a blanket ban on promotions related to digital currency. It was unclear if this would be a lasting rule, prompting speculation about Google’s subsequent steps. Scott Spencer, formerly the director of sustainable ads at Google, noted the company’s conservative approach to digital currency advertisements, due to potential consumer risks.
Yet, a pivot occurred in June 2021. Google allowed certain businesses, mainly cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet services catering to U.S. users, to advertise. Their sole requirement was registration with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, either as a money service business or an entity affiliated with a federally recognized or state-endorsed bank.
This move signaled a more flexible stance by Google towards the evolving digital currency landscape. Recognizing the growing legitimacy and public interest in cryptocurrency, the company sought to balance consumer protection with the demands of a rapidly changing financial sector. By allowing vetted entities to advertise, Google was acknowledging the potential of blockchain technology and its increasing integration into mainstream finance, while still emphasizing the importance of regulatory compliance. This decision not only impacted advertisers but also provided users with a broader understanding of available crypto-services.
Apple Welcomes NFT Apps, Raises Questions on Revenue Sharing
On September 25, 2022, Apple revised its App Store policy to include apps that feature and sell Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). This change enables app developers to integrate NFT transactions, also inviting new developers to introduce NFT-related features.
An immediate beneficiary was the “Sticky” app, which reappeared on the iOS platform. The updated app now allows users to create digital collectibles ready for minting as NFTs on approved blockchains.
The industry had been anticipating Apple’s entry into the NFT realm due to its rising prominence. However, while many developers welcomed the move, there’s been concern over Apple’s standard practice of taking a 30% commission from App Store sales. For NFTs, this could be substantial, prompting discussions about the platform’s financial viability for developers.
Apple’s decision parallels recent updates on Google Play, which has also integrated NFTs, underscoring a wider trend of tech leaders acknowledging and adjusting to the expanding NFT market.