Just what are tech giants hoping to do by allowing cryptocurrency advertising to creep back on to their social media networks.
The biggest social media firms all announced a ban on cryptocurrency advertising earlier in the year.
The included Facebook, Instagram, Google and Twitter.
The companies cited concerns about scams costing consumers millions of dollars run through initial coin offerings or ICOs as the main reason for the ban.
Cryptocurrency experts claim most ICOs were benign fronts for fraudsters and could prosper because the world online network of digital currencies has no regulator.
Many ICOs were advertised on social media, so the networks decided to protect their customers by closing them down.
Fair enough. Consumer protection is a lofty ideal everyone should support and sometimes, knowing who to trust in the world of cryptocurrency is a challenge.
But now Google and Facebook are allowing cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to advertise within their networks, the question is what happens if the firm goes bust?
Not that there is any reason to believe the guys running Coinbase will fail or that the executives are anything other than decent, upright business people with their customer’s best interests at heart.
The issue is not with cryptocurrency firms advertising on social media, but the companies running the networks.
They took cryptocurrency advertising offline claiming rip-off companies were fleecing investors.
Does that now mean any cryptocurrency firm advertising on Facebook or Google has a seal of approval from the technology titans?
Of course not. No advertising media will take responsibility for the content of their advertising when a third party is involved.
But many less sophisticated investors might well risk their cash in a cryptocurrency venture believing if Facebook allows a corporation online, then the investment should be safe.
Google has blurred the lines with even more confusion. Search for ‘ICO offerings’ and 2.9 million results are returned, including adverts from companies running ‘trustworthy’ ICOs.
The problem is regulation. No official body has taken on the responsibility of policing cryptocurrency online, just the exchanges and traders within their legal jurisdictions.
That leaves corporations to supervise the space – and the risk is that money will win any conflict with best practise.