Ads promoting both digital currency initial coin offerings and token sales fall under the auspices of Twitter’s restricted content policy in regards to financial services.
“We are committed to ensuring the safety of the Twitter community. As such, we have added a new policy for Twitter ads relating to cryptocurrency,” the firm said in a statement Monday. “Under this new policy, the advertisement of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales will be prohibited globally.”
Twitter will continue evaluate and update the policy as the industry evolves, the firm also said. Facebook issued a similar policy on Jan. 30, and Google made its change on March 14 amid concerns that crypto ads might rip off their users.
Last week, Bitcoin plunged on reports that the social media platform was considering a ban on cryptocurrency-related ads, falling near the $7,000 level.
On Monday, Bitcoin was at $7,924.90, according to Coindesk, and had reached as high as $8,980.99 on Saturday. Ethereum fell 9% to $474.09. Bitcoin Cash dropped 7% to $895.85. And Ripple, also known as XRP, retreated 8% to 59 cents.
Shares of Twitter rallied 2% on the stock market today. Among Bitcoin-related stocks, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) was down 2.9%, Long Blockchain (LBCC) fell 1.9%, Overstock.com (OSTK) gave up 2.2%, Marathon Patent Group (MARA) tumbled 7.5%, and Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) sank 8.8%.
Meanwhile, stock in New York-based financial tech company Longfin (LFIN), whose stock swelled 2,600% after the company touted its ties to cryptocurrencies, plummeted 19% to 57.41 after being attacked by activist short seller Andrew Left on Monday.
Citron Research, which is run by Left, alleged in a tweet that the company is a “pure stock scheme.”
“If you are fortunate enough to get a borrow, indeed $LFIN is a pure stock scheme. @sec_enforcement should not be far behind. Filings and press releases are riddled with inaccuracies and fraud,” the tweet said.
However, Lijie Zhu, managing director at Longfin’s investor-relations firm Dragon Gate Investment Partners, backed the stock.
“Citron is known as a short seller. He has no evidence,” Zhu told CNBC. “There is no content for his report and we see no fraud as a third-party investor-relations firm.”
Longfin CEO Venkat Meenavalli was unavailable for comment Monday, but said in December that the company’s several-billion-dollar cap was unjustified when the stock hit its record high of 142.82 on Dec. 18. It came just days after the firm announced it was acquiring Ziddu.com, a blockchain-focused firm which had zero revenue.
But there was positive news on the digital currency front after Cboe Global Markets (CBOE) President Chris Concannon said the market could support the launch of a Bitcoin exchange traded product, or ETP.
In a letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission, he cited data collected from the company’s launch of Bitcoin futures late last year.
In January, the SEC voiced concerns over investor protection and market fragmentation, but Concannon has claimed Bitcoin commodity markets “are developing quickly.”
“While the current Bitcoin futures trading volumes on Cboe Futures Exchange and CME (CME) may not currently be sufficient to support ETPs seeking 100% long or short exposure to Bitcoin, Cboe expects these volumes to continue to grow and in the near future reach levels comparable to those of other commodity futures products at the time that they were included in ETPs,” Concannon said in his letter.
He also stated that being able to invest in digital currencies through an ETP would “provide a more transparent and easily accessible vehicle for gaining such exposure.”
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