How Blockchain Reshapes Online Advertising: Trends

The hype around Blockchain is expanding further as more and more use cases become apparent to the wider business community. Even though it started off as a decentralized substrate for a single virtual currency (Bitcoin), it soon became clear that the technology is applicable far beyond just one cryptocurrency and even beyond financial transactions altogether.

There are on-going attempts to bring Blockchain to the complex industry of online advertising. Nearly 40 percent of all ads in the world are delivered online on the Internet, and no modern company can neglect this massive medium, proven capable of promoting products and services more effectively than the traditional advertising channels.

Privacy, bots, metrics, ad-blockers and other problems

There are numerous problems inherent to the current technologies used in online advertising.

The number one issue troubling the general community is the privacy of user data. In most cases, ad publishers take pot shots at search queries by users in order to show them relevant ads. But the problem goes beyond that.

For instance, Google has been automatically scanning user mail to retrieve data that is later used for targeted advertising. Many people rightly find this disturbing and even though the corporation recently announced it has put this practice to a halt, most experts suggest the move was caused by a sufficiency of gathered data, not by privacy concerns.

Another issue the professional advertising community experiences results from dishonest practices by hackers and shady market players that cause multimillion dollar losses for both advertisers and publishers.

A well-known and somewhat recent instance of such a problem is Methbot, which mimics human behavior and is used specifically to create clones of popular websites to trick publishers and advertisers into placing and paying for ads that nobody actually sees. Experts believe that the bot was successfully making between $3-5 mln a day in ill-gotten gains for its fraudulent work.

For the professional advertising community, there are other problems invisible to the end user but deeply rooted in the architecture of centralized ad markets. For instance, online campaign reporting uses lots of different metrics that, when combined, completely confuse advertisers, make them unable to cross-reference their results and therefore assess the efficiency of their campaigns across different platforms.

Finally, there is the issue of ad-blocking. In 2016…

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