Baidu Removes Bitcoin, Virtual Currency Advertising


Although China is one of the largest markets for bitcoin trading, Baidu recently removed advertising for all types of virtual currency from its online service, according to
one report.

The details about Baidu stopping all cryptocurrency ads comes from two of China’s largest bitcoin exchanges, OKCoin and Huobi. Bloomberg News reports that separately Huobi CEO Leon Li, and OKCoin’s Jiang Anming, a
member of its search engine marketing team, confirmed the ban.

Ironically, Baidu participated as a “partner” in a $60 million funding round in June 2016, helping China-based Circle — a
bitcoin peer-to-peer payment firm — raise capital. The funding was led by Beijing-based venture capital firm IDG Capital Partners, the funding round includes global venture capital and private equity
firm Breyer Capital.

Baidu may have banned the ads, but the topic of using bitcoin or other digital currencies continues. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the startup R3 CEV has been working to
create standards for financial services based on “blockchain” technology, the open-ledger system used to trade the virtual currency bitcoin with a goal to sell the product to banks.

digital currency also is being used as a form of payment for ad blocking. Brave, the maker of an ad-blocking browser, raised $4.5 million to expand its efforts to allow individuals to send bitcoin
payments to their favorite Web site in exchange for an ad free experience.

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Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.