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Google updates digital asset policy to allow NFT gaming ads

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Search engine giant Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has updated its policies to permit ads related to blockchain-based non-fungible token (NFT) games.

In an update this week, the world’s largest search engine revealed that it will admit NFT game ads beginning September 15.

Google has been the dominant force in global digital advertising for years. Data shows that it controls 40% of the market, more than twice the market share of its closest rival, Facebook (NASDAQ: META), at 18%.

The company turned against the blockchain industry in 2018, joining other tech titans, including Facebook and X. It retreated from this ban in 2021, readmitting ads from exchanges and wallets that target the U.S. market, but only if they are registered with FinCEN.

The company is now softening its stance on NFT gaming ads. However, it will only allow ads from NFT games allowing players “to purchase in-game items, like virtual apparel for a player’s characters, weaponry, or armor with better stats, consumed or used in a game to enhance a user’s experience or aid users in advancing the game.”

Google still bans ads from games that allow players to stake NFTs for a chance to win rewards. It also outlaws the promotion of ‘real-world gambling,’ as well as simulated casino gambling that offers players a chance to win NFTs.

Games must also comply with the company’s gambling and games policy and receive all the required Google Ads certifications.

“As a reminder, we expect all advertisers to comply with the local laws for any area that their ads target,” it added.

Violating the stipulations will lead to a warning within seven days and, thereafter, account suspension.

The policy update will give a boost to the NFT industry at a time when market activity and valuation have dipped drastically. NFTs soared to a record high in early 2022, boosted by the popularity of collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). However, the market plunged as most of these NFTs were mere JPEGs with no real utility.

NFTs are now moving beyond the hype cycle, with new use cases springing up every other day. Some, like RAD NFTV, are using them to power livestreaming, while others, like Soundoshi, are leveraging them to give music creators new revenue and engagement channels.

Traditional heavyweights are jumping in as well; Mastercard (NASDAQ: MAlaunched an accelerator program for musicians in April that’s only accessible via NFTs.

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