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Joseph Lawlor, Alexandra Larkin Author AdAge Article About TikTok Ban on Cryptocurrency Promotion

August 03, 2021

It was no surprise when TikTok recently prohibited influencers from promoting cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related financial services. TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance Ltd., has long enforced a more restrictive set of brand content rules than other leading social media platforms. Nonetheless, the new ban is particularly notable because TikTok is targeting the digitally native cryptocurrency industry, which has exploded on the platform.

The cryptocurrency market has eclipsed $1 trillion—and the TikTok crypto influencer community has exploded along with it. Top cryptocurrency influencers on TikTok, such as BitBoy Crypto, have more than a million followers and garner tens of millions of views on their posts. Brands in the cryptocurrency space have increasingly been tapping into this network of influencers to reach TikTok's 80 million active U.S. users, but now must now adapt to TikTok’s new guidelines.

What is the TikTok cryptocurrency promotion ban?

This prohibition includes ‘‘all branded content” (commonly referred to as sponsored content or “sponcon”) posts in specified categories. TikTok defines branded content broadly to include all content that promotes goods or services where the TikTok user making the post will receive (or has received) something of value from a third party, or which needs to be disclosed under local laws and regulations. For example, any post that includes an affiliate link is considered “branded content” and subject to the ban on cryptocurrency promotion.

TikTok prohibits posts across many categories of branded content, including alcohol, tobacco, contraceptive products, dating services and a broad category of financial services and products. These include “All financial services and products” and lumps cryptocurrency with pyramid schemes, bail bonds and get rich quick schemes.

Excerpted from AdAge. To read the full article, click here.

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