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Digital Advertising is Improving Thanks to Blockchain

by Matthew Harris
, Digital Advertising is Improving Thanks to Blockchain

Wrapping up our series into industries either already benefiting from blockchain or looking into the advantages that it could possibly mean for them, we’re taking a look at digital advertising.

As it exists today, the digital advertising industry is expensive, prone to fraud, and centralized. While the industry on a global scale is currently worth more than $223 billion, a significant portion of those billions are wasted and blockchain could address this and several other industry issues head on.

First and arguably foremost, the digital ad industry is filled with middlemen that elevate the cost of advertising. By connecting brands directly to publishers and foregoing middlemen, blockchain could very well be in a position to lower overall advertising costs.

However, a close runner-up is blockchain’s potential to eliminate fraud within the industry. Currently, digital advertisers calculate ad value based on impressions, ideally the number of times an individual consumer actually views a particular advertisement. Unfortunately though, there are individuals and even companies that are dedicated to defrauding the industry by utilizing bots and fake traffic generation in order to simulate real impressions. These fraudulent practices account for almost half of the impressions each year.

Distributed ledgers and their inherent transparent nature would make it fairly simply to create an immutable audit trail, allowing organizations to track their advertisements from deployment to the consumer and ensuring that each impression is from an authentic user. In addition to eliminating artificial impressions and lowering advertising costs, the integration of blockchain could increase industry scrutiny, forcing unscrupulous advertising agencies out of the game and moving others to improve their value proposition.

With these possibilities on the horizon for the industry, there are already a couple of companies taking a closer look at blockchain. Instead of only having the mere potential to capture a user’s attention, the Basic Attention Token functions as a cryptographically secured representation of user interaction. Utilizing the Brave browser, users can earn Basic Attention Tokens simply by browsing the Internet and being exposed to and engaging with advertisements.

A similar project operating on the adChain blockchain is MetaX, where advertisers are able to purchase individual impressions that are encoded onto the blockchain, then shared with all of the participants on chain. This gives advertisers the ability to verify exactly where a particular ad is published, how many times it is viewed, and how much was spent on the advertising campaign.

Kind Ads is an advertising platform that serves user-friendly ads through channels like email and push notifications. They state that their platform allows publishers to easily sell access to their subscribers directly to advertisers, while their users will be able to specify exactly how their data will be used while earning incentives via a tokenized rewards pool.

Digital advertising is yet another in a long and growing list of industries that could benefit greatly from blockchain integration, and the coming year will likely see a lot more headway made in this arena.

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