Resolving Distrust to Ads by Blockchain

The featured image was produced by Digital Asset Live Editor-in-Chief on use of blockchain by the advertising industry.

Executive summary: Blockchain can provide solutions to make ads more personal and to pay dividends for viewing ads.

In the endless Facebook data targeting scandals and the rise of ad-blockers, it is no secret the global advertising faces crisis of consumer trust.

As more and more users actively shift from passive, one way consumption of content, where advertising “comes along” and is tolerated at best, to proactive definition of own information fields, with carefully selected content and free of ads, users became more critical towards the so called smart advertising of the Google era.

People get tired having to watch the ads for same products they have bought already, or to get ads of products based on one main criteria advertisers seem to use, that is “age”.

The crisis further displays in popular conspiracy theories that major social networks and search engines intercept verbal communication between users, also offline.

More and more proactive users question why advertisers get money in exchange of consument data, while the owners of this data, that is the consumers get nothing. In April 2018, in the interview to Adweek, Brendan Eich, inventor of Javascript, co-founder of Mozilla browser, identified “surveillance capitalism” to be the cause of the problem.

“Advertising is still attractive, he said, if it doesn’t involve treating the user as a farm animal to be sheared.”

Blockchain cannot solve this global mistrust but can provide a various sets of remedies. The recent survey by Adobe and Pagefair shows that people would be more tolerable to ads if they got some dividends for viewing these ads.

There are quite a few blockchain based projects in advertising that explore various ways and means to pay to consumers for viewing ads.

Brendan Eich created a digital currency called Basic Attention Token (BAT), that is meant to compensate users for spending time with ads and volunteering targetable information.

The coin is traded between users, publishers and advertisers, though it’s only available within Eich’s ad-blocking browser Brave for now. Just over 1 year old, the BAT has market cap of around $250M, it is the 40th largest digital currency in the world.

Also, proactive users will be willing to let ads into their customised information fields if ads were more personalised. Here is where blockchain technologies may help by providing customer profiling of the new kind.

Before, advertisers gathered information from different sources. Some determined sex and age of consumers, others focused on the purchasing power, both are complicating processed that take time. With blockchain, marketers can now build a customer profile on data directly from an individual customer, obtaining all the information, as Adweek puts it, “they are willing to share in one, simple swoop”.

The vision of metachains where an advertiser can exchange data sets in order to analyse and target an individual user rather then attempts to define a user as an interception of groups by their various features, is shared by major projects engaged in blockchain based consumer data management.

The full analysis on other use cases of blockchain technologies employed by advertisers are available upon to request by email to leo@digitalasset.live