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Google sees spot Bitcoin ETF ad campaigns as ICOs remain banned

Multiple Bitcoin (BTC) ETF issuers are competing to attract investors into America’s first basket of exchange-traded funds using Google ads.

On Jan. 29, Google ended its five-year ban on cryptocurrency promotion via search results following the approval of spot BTC ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). BlackRock and VanEck were the first firms to leverage this amended ad policy as reported, but more issuers have joined the fray. 

Promoting initial coin offerings (ICOs) on Google remains prohibited, but a pivot from the search engine’s ad policy has allowed firms to advertise crypto-backed funds.

The Financial Times noted spot Bitcoin ETF ad campaigns launched by Bitwise, Fidelity, Grayscale, and Invesco amid a tussle to marshall retail capital into respective cryptocurrency funds.

Google did not divulge how much these firms spend to promote their Bitcoin ETF, although being able to advertise on the world’s largest search engine likely ups the ante between BlackRock, ARK 21Shares, and Franklin Templeton, among others. 

Several firms already kick-started marketing content on social media platforms, such as Elon Musk’s X, in the run-up to approval from the SEC. Issuers also raced to offer attractive ETF fees with some companies, including fee waivers of up to 12 months.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs have recorded billions in inflows and outflows, with Grayscale noted as the primary driver behind the latter. Investors rushed out of Grayscale GBTC in the days following approval, resulting in exits worth over $4 billion. 

JPMorgan analysts predicted a cooldown in GBTC outflows as BlackRock and Fidelity broke into the top 10 ETFs last month after amassing a combined $4.8 billion in inflows. Some issuers are also diversifying their crypto custodians in a move that could mitigate risk and ensure greater safety for investors.

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