On Sunday, April 8, I had the pleasure of presenting Blockchain and Advertising Transparency at BlockchainFest at MIT.
As the digital ad industry has grown the ad fraud issue has grown with it to over $16 billion annually. After 10 years, the major executives in the industry say the problem continues to grow and there hasn’t been a complete solution just yet. For example, there was a bot farm that took millions of dollars of revenue from video advertisers by autonomously opening the same video over and over with each video view representing $0.05-$0.10 cost per view. By the time it was discovered, millions of automated views from this bot farm had already taken millions of dollars. Clearly, this is an untenable situation. But technology has come of age to solve it and with the distributed ledger (the blockchain), one can create a tamper-proof record of where ad quality is high and where it is low. And this has far-reaching implications well beyond advertising. When we bring transparency to advertising, we can shed light on good and bad actors on the publishing side and ultimately fund good sites and cut off the bad ones. We are in a paradigm shift in society from a centralized to a decentralized web and the way in which ad dollars are spent will have a major impact on the future of media.