Blockchain has spread its wings over lots of industries, from gaming to insurance. Still, one of the industries that arguably needs the technology’s features more than others is digital advertising as most of its problems go down to insufficient accountability, lack of transparency, and high susceptibility to fraud – in a word, everything that blockchain can easily solve.
No wonder that there are numerous projects that work on creating a solution to that plague. Most of them, however, see the solution differently, and focus on different things. While it can eventually lead to an unnecessary fragmentation of already heavily divided market, it still creates healthy competition, which is economically sound in the long run. But anyway, what exactly do blockchain believers offer to the advertising industry?
AdEx is a decentralized ad exchange that raised $10 million over just 3 hours into their ICO back in June 2017. The platform’s creators claim that it can “disrupt and replace” the traditional advertising in digital media by enabling direct collaboration between advertisers and publishers. The platform claims that it can ensure 100% monetization of ad traffic while providing clear and transparent reporting, connecting advertisers to publishers around the globe, minimizing ad fraud risks, and asking no fees in return.
Notably, AdEx already offers a beta version of the platform, and welcomes advertisers and publishers to try it.
BAT, or Basic Attention Token, is one of the first solutions offered by blockchain startups in the realm of online ads. It is a digital currency that underpins Brave, a pay-to-surf web browser. It monitors user interaction with websites in order to tailor ads to a specific audience and make them actually interesting. The tokens are payable to users for viewing ad integrations or visiting relevant websites.
Being one of the first attempts to create a blockchain-powered ecosystem for advertising to garner serious media attention, this solution still has certain downsides. The most obvious of them is the use of cryptocurrencies, which are still beyond the conceptual grasp of wider audiences, and pariahs to most serious businesses. Additionally, the solution requires one to install special software, and generally isn’t very time efficient.
AdShares offers a decentralized marketplace for ads that can be bought and sold in a transparent fashion. Other advantages of the platform include “more liberal” moderation, which means that censorship rules there are pretty mild.
However, while it all looks pretty good, AdShares suffers from the same problem as its peers: all transactions on the platform can run exclusively in its native tokens, which can potentially scare away lots of potential customers who aren’t ready or willing to deal with cryptocurrencies.
The blockchain industry itself is still pretty young, and suffers from most problems typical for any other nascent industry. When it comes to advertising, most blockchain-powered projects have the biggest downside in the eyes of the big league companies: they use cryptocurrencies which are yet to garner any mainstream recognition.
This conceptual issue aside, their solutions hold a great promise, and are likely to evolve into something bigger the next decade. Digital advertising industry is truly plagued by lots of problems, all of which apparently can be solved by using decentralized architecture and solutions. However, only time will tell which form this eventually takes.
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