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Microsoft has joined a growing groundswell of technology firms to ban cryptocurrency related advertising on its own turf by outlawing such content from its Bing search engine amidst growing fear of fraud and scams.

Following hot on the heels of similar decisions by Facebook, Google and Twitter the ban has been justified on the grounds that crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin remain unregulated, exposing those who trade in them to greater risk of foul play.

Explaining its move Microsoft said: “We are always evaluating our policies to ensure a safe and engaging experience for our Bing users and the digital advertising ecosystem. Because cryptocurrency and related products are not regulated, we have found them to present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers.”

The ban will take effect from June and has precipitated a crash in the value of the once high-flying Bitcoin which has surpassed the value of gold.