Google Embraces NFT Game Advertisements: Opens Doors to a New Advertising Frontier

Google has made updates to its cryptocurrency advertising regulations, now permitting advertisements for blockchain-based nonfungible token (NFT) games, provided they do not endorse gambling or gambling-related services. According to an official Google blog post, these changes are scheduled to take effect from September 15 and will apply exclusively to games meeting specific criteria:

“NFT games that enable players to purchase in-game items, such as virtual clothing for characters, superior weaponry, or armor to enhance gameplay or assist users in progressing within the game.”

However, the updated policy will continue to prohibit ads for games that involve wagering or staking NFTs against other players or for rewards, including cryptocurrencies and other nonfungible tokens. NFT casino games and any forms of social betting allowing players to wager or compete for real-world prizes, such as NFTs, cash, or cryptocurrency, will also remain banned.

For running ads promoting gambling content incorporating NFTs, developers and publishers must “adhere to the Gambling and Games Policy and obtain the necessary Google Ads certification.”

Google had previously imposed a complete ban on cryptocurrency-related advertising across its platforms in March 2018, without specifying whether this ban would be permanent or subject to review.

At the time, Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads, had cited “sufficient evidence of consumer harm or the potential for consumer harm” as the reason for the company’s cautious approach to cryptocurrency-related ads.

In June 2021, Google partially eased its ban to allow select companies engaged in “cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets targeting the United States” to advertise on the platform. This was contingent on these companies being registered with the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as either a money services business or a federal or state-chartered bank entity.