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Bitcoin Drops as Google Bans Crypto Advertisements

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Credit: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Bitcoin slumped to the lowest level in more than a month after Google said it will ban online advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. Industry officials also said at a Congressional hearing that U.S. regulators need to provide greater clarity.

The world's biggest digital currency by market value dropped as much as 9.1 percent to $8,238, the lowest price since Feb. 12, as Alphabet Inc.'s Google announced Wednesday that the restriction would be effective in June.

Facebook, Google's primary rival for ad dollars, banned ads for cryptocurrencies in January. Google's updated policy came with the release of its annual "bad ads" report, a review of the number of malicious, deceptive and controversial ads Google scrubs from its massive search, display and video network.

If the top financial watchdogs in the U.S. don't come up with clearer guidelines for the cryptocurrency market, innovative startups may go elsewhere, according to one of the most popular digital-token exchanges.

Coinbase's chief legal officer, Mike Lempres, said in remarks for a House of Representatives hearing on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission need to work together to more clearly define what digital coins are and who should be regulating them.

-- Bloomberg News

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