Last year we saw VEN (now VET), WTC, TRAC and others rise up, when supply chain management was recognized as a viable use case for blockchain and crypto. We saw these companies launch products and partnerships and there was ALOT of speculation and hype surrounding them. Currently the recognition of blockchain implementation benefitting the advertising industry is sky high. There are several big players within the ad-industry who have condemned the whole space due to its high amounts of fraud (40-60% of internet traffic are bots) and markups by middlemen (everything form 20-80%) and many articles on main stream publications about how blockchain can solve the problem. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect opportunity for blockchain and crypto to gain more legitimacy?
I will first go through the two companies which I think are the most viable and I believe can make the most difference in the space (Brave and Adbank) with a quick introduction and a Pros and Cons list. Be sure to research them more thoroughly than only looking at this post. I will be going over the projects only shortly so i can imagine there is a ton off stuff that’s missing. I will also do quick descriptions of a few other advertising based projects, which seem to be good picks, but which i haven’t really had the time to check up on. I have looked into tother blockchain based ad-tech solutions aswell, but none really seemed to be very good. Theres BigBom, Ubex, KindAds which all ticked too many red flags for me tbh, sorry if i’m offending someone but they just aren’t for me.
Afterwards I’m going to link a few articles from some players in the industry mentioning blockchain and other technologies in solving these issues.
One thing we have to realize before applying the tribalism that crypto suffers from, is that there will be no “winner takes it all”. The ad industry is very big (230bn USD in 2017) and there are so many different kinds of advertising and so many ways to chose how, where and when your ads are being placed / shown, that one single entity will not be dominating the whole space. There will be many different key players in the markets, both centralized and decentralized, to provide solutions to the problems that exist and improvements upon the current legacy system.
**First up we got the brave browser with their native token BAT.**
The brave browser seeks to eliminate the industry standard that the consumer is the product, which is a pretty noble cause, giving “power back to the people”. Brave aims to provide less intrusive ads, on the consumers terms while getting paid for watching the ads.
By giving the option to opt out of ads, Brave also takes away the ability to monetize the free content on the internet, but gives the consumer an easy way to contribute and “tip” their favorite content providers. Advertisers who use brave get more attention on their ads, which in turn should increase engagement and that is what all ads ultimately aim for, engagement and that engagement leading to purchasing of a product or service. Although i can imagine Brave ads being very expensive to the advertiser, if they actually lead to more purchases instead of people just watching the ads for getting tokens. But i think the advertisers will happily pay more for the ads if that is the case.
The Bat token is used for transactions within the ecosystem, but i’m not sure if it can be replaced by for example BTC, is the token really needed? Maybe some of you can enlighten me in the comments on this.
One thing thats a bit concerning is the publishers revenue (The site that hosts the free content you consume) They need money as well to keep the platform up, otherwise they will close shop, ask for a monthly fee to use the site or simply block the usage of brave on their sites, I’m not too sure that the current model that is being implemented by brave is sufficient to create the revenue they need / want.
I’m hearing content creators are having some problems with the 3rd party involved in “cashing out” the BAT tokens they have been tipped as well. Not sure if the tips are enough for the content creators to live off of their content. I imagine that these issues will be solved and brave will find different kinds of tweaks and things they can implement. time will tell.
All in all, I’m optimistic of their future and brave is paving the way in being the most recognizable advertising token there is and I’m very eager to see whats next for them.
If you haven’t had the time to check it out, [heres a link to braves website!](https://brave.com/)
* Working product
* Established / known
* Already on most exchanges + Coinbase
* Something very different to what we have today
* Capable team
* millions of users already
* Higher amounts of engagement from the consumer
* Publisher revenue
* Content creator revenue
* Totally new system
* Can BAT be replaced by lets say BTC?
* Cashing out the tokens via a 3rd party
**Next one is Adbank and their token, ADB:**
I’m pretty sure not many of you have heard of it, since it sits around 2m USD market cap, but I’ve been keeping my eye on them since their ICO last December.
Now, whats Adbank? Adbank is a platform for existing a-networks as well as advertisers and publishers separately, kind of a toolbox for them to use all they are offering. With their open API they will enable transparency and anti fraud AI services for each and every advertiser and publisher that is willing to use it, big and small, lowering costs of ads and adding to the revenue of the publisher, great incentive for adoption. With Adbank being adopted, they aren’t trying to directly better the consumer experience with ads, but with an increase of money being saved for the enterprises wanting to advertise, there is more money to be used on the ads which would make them less annoying and some might actually be enjoyable. Lets face it, you don’t hate ads, you hate bad advertising. Although, there is no guarantee this would happen.
The ADB token is a crucial part of the whole ecosystem and it wouldn’t function without it. The token is used by a smart contract created for each ad so that the payments flow form each view from advertiser to publisher. The anti fraud AI (On which they have a patent pending) needs the tokens to work as well. in detecting fraud you need to “follow the money”. If lets say Ethereum would be used in the ecosystem, the AI would have to go through every ETH wallet to determine if its Adbank related or not with a whole other set of algorithms and code. By having it track the tokens only, it is so much easier to feed the data and implement the algorithm/code to the AI.
I’m pretty sure some one who has knowledge on how AI works thinks i murdered that sentence and over simplified it, but I’m not too tech savvy on that matter so i hope you guys let it slide.
[I think this video by Adbank explains the whole concept a lot better than what i can.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6vrlODdRgQ&feature=youtu.be)
Here’s why i think they will become a key player in the industry within a year or two:
* They have been working pretty diligently building the foundations to be a successful blockchain based ad-tech company. Adbank has launched their working product and pilots with Redbull and the Austrian government + Adweek and Flixxel. [You can read more about it in a Forbes article here](https://www.forbes.com/sites/ginaclarke/2018/09/25/the-viral-video-that-convinced-the-austrian-national-tourism-office-to-embrace-blockchain/#5e33de021b5a).
* They recently presented at the Adweek elevate conference in October to the elites of the industry which resulted being in talks about pilots with 5 fortune 500 companies.
* Founded IAB (International Advertising Bureau) blockchain research committee.
* Talked at the United Nations blockchain conferences and being awarded by the UN.
As you can see, they haven’t been really hyping up all what they have been doing and worked closely behind the scenes building up a reputation within the target industry. The risk / reward ratio on this company is pretty good IMO.
* Incentivises enterprise adoption.
* Positioning themselves and making a name for themselves in the target industry.
* Very low marcetcap, high potential ROI.
* Competent team.
* working product.
* Interest from major players within the targeted industry.
* The token is a crucial part of the ecosystem.
* Very hard to solve the problems they are aiming to solve.
* Low marketcap, which is off putting to some + low volume.
* Doesn’t necessarily improve the way we consume ads.
* not on many exchanges, Kucoin only.
[Be sure to check out the website here!](https://adbank.network/)
[They also have a blog on medium which you can access through this link.](https://medium.com/adbank-blog)
**A few viable players who provide blockchain based ad-tech**
***Adex:*** Is basically an ad-exchange, as their name implies. Their aim is to reduce adfraud, increase privacy and enable consent to receiving sponsored messages, etc. AdEx is completely transparent and built on top of Ethereum smart contracts. They have a strong team and advisory board so definitely keep an eye out for them. [https://www.adex.network/](https://www.adex.network/)
***Ternio:*** Is a mix of Stellars blockchain and Hyperledger, claiming to be capable of 1 000 000 TPS, its tested on their test-net and audited by a 3rd party, but its yet to see if they actually can provide 1m TPS on a real live blockchain. Ternios initial targets are to provide instant publisher transactions and transparency + fraud prevention to the advertising industry. Although they are targeting the ad-industry first, their goal is to be the blockchain that “fits all”. [https://ternio.io/](https://ternio.io/)
All these companies mentioned have a different approach to tackling the problems of the ad-industry. They might seem very similar at first but after you do some research into the industry and look at how the companies provide solutions, you will come to the conclusion that they don’t necessarily compete with each other directly.
**Now to the articles from some big names in the marketing industry.**
***Adweek*** is the Nr.1 marketing and branding focused publication in the world. They recently had an “elevate blockchain conference”, [which you can read about here.](https://www.adweek.com/digital/what-blockchain-will-mean-for-advertisers-and-publishers/)
*”At Adweek’s Elevate: Blockchain event earlier this week, we gathered some of the top minds in the ad-tech space to discuss and debate the promise of what blockchain will mean for the brand marketing ecosystem.*
*For one, the transparency it will bring means ad effectiveness will increase exponentially. How much? Watch above for a look at how much waste exists today, and how blockchain promises to fix it.”*
Adweek also has a few other articles, [but the best one was here IMO.](https://www.adweek.com/programmatic/how-to-overcome-obstacles-and-create-winning-ad-tech-blockchains/) The article goes a bit deeper into how blockchain needs to be implemented and what is required of the company doing it.
***Forbes,*** everyone knows them, right? they have been publishing several articles on how blockchain and crypto will disrupt the ad-industry as well.
[Blockchain can and should be developed for digital advertising](https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2018/08/09/why-blockchain-can-and-should-be-developed-for-digital-advertising/#6125133a5657)
*” While eyes and investments have shifted to blockchain as digital currencies, like Bitcoin, have become popular, there are more ways to use blockchain technology than by financial firms, such as by advertisers and advertising agencies. In fact, investing in the use of blockchain technology for the digital advertising world could change the landscape as we know it.”*
[whats coming? blockchain and advertising.](https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2018/06/08/whats-coming-blockchain-and-advertising/#9e5231124db9)
*”Blockchain marketing is the buzzword for 2018. So much so that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released their “Blockchain for Video Advertising”* [*whitepaper*](https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Blockchain_for_Video_Advertising_Publisher-Buyer_Use_Cases_2018-02.pdf) *detailing how this new technology will revolutionize the digital advertising supply chain and have ripple effects throughout the marketing industry. “*
***The IAB*** is an association for advertisers and publishers, which every single entity in this space is apart of. McDonalds, Google, Facebook, Proctor & Gamble, every single one. IAB has also recognized, that blockchain and ad-tech go hand in hand. They are so eager about it, they actually have attempted to [everyone how it works!](https://www.iab.com/blockchain/)
I see so much potential when investing in the ad-tech space it’s ridiculous. DYOR and lets discuss things in the comments!