Will the blockchain industry change digital advertising?

Hristo Hristov is the CEO of NetInfo and Official Representative and Chairman of IAB. He joined Webit.Festival Europe 2018 to share some insights on the future of Blockchain in digital media and advertising.


The crypto market exploded over the last three years. A lot of industries started looking at blockchain as a technology, as to whether it can solve some of their biggest challenges.

Let’s look at blockchain:

Blockchain as a technology is still at its infancy. We’re still at the hype cycle and blockchain is sitting right next to autonomous vehicles which I don’t see happening in the next two or three years and Event-triggered marketing. So as a technology, blockchain might grow into something big like the internet or even bigger, but it might also fade away into some narrow use cases.

How can Blockchain improve the Digital Media and advertising landscape?

There are some use cases which are rather obvious:

 * Fraud detection and prevention
 * User Identity
 * Buying and selling inventory, etc

Centralization vs. Decentralization

Trust a third party or to use a decentralized approach?

Decentralization PROs

* Durability, reliability and longevity – Due to the decentralized networks, blockchain does not have a central point of failure and is better able to withstand malicious attacks.

* Process integrity – Users can trust that transactions will be executed exactly as the protocol commands removing the need for a trusted third party.

* High quality data – Blockchain data is complete, consistent, timely, accurate and widely available.

* Transparency and immutability – Changes to public blockchain are publicly viewable by all parties creating transparency. All transactions are immutable, which means they cannot be altered or deleted.

Decentralization CONs

* Trusted 3rd parties – it’s not Central vs Decentralized. The advertising ecosystem is based on trusted third parties. These 3rd parties are innovation drivers.

* It’s too slow – Digital advertising is real-time. RTB standard requires service response in 100ms.

There are several examples which already use blockchain in addressing some of digital advertising’s biggest challenges.

adChain tries to create a token curated registry of publishers in order to verify and simplify the buying. And papyrus is a decentralized programmatic value management platform aimed to radically improve programmatic advertising stack.

All of these solutions are in the making, they are not really ready but they are evolving pretty fast. Several years ago we were talking about mobile apps, then AI, now blockchain. The hype cycles of few years ago were longer and we used to have more time to adapt to them. But now they are becoming shorter and they’re starting to overlap. It wasn’t long long ago that we were talking about programmatic buying. Now it is programmatic buying on a decentralized exchange powered by blockchain.


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