Scalability, transparency and privacy: can Blockchain be the answer to ad industry digital challenges?


Blockchain technology has been on the top of I-COM Data Science Blockchain & Advanced Research Subcommittee’s agenda since its launch last August. Several experts and interested professionals have joined the working group; eager to investigate the many applications of blockchain technology and showcase particular use-cases.

The Subcommittee co-chair and Managing Director, DMP of Sizmek (US), Joshua Koran said, regarding some of the benefits of the blockchain technology, that it “can be applied at the workflow level (similar to IAB ads.txt providing transparency around which vendors are authorized to sell a given publisher’s inventory), at the transaction level (to combat fraud), and at the payment level (like Bitcoin and BAT)”.

Despite the receptiveness and keenness to experiment with blockchain technologies and be on the forefront of a digital revolution, many marketers still have important questions regarding the applicability of this breakthrough technology to the existing workflow of media buyers and sellers. “Although blockchain holds out hope of improving the trust among the global advertising supply chain, there are also challenges with latency and the computational cost of creating and storing the distributed ledger,” said Joshua.

Many of the challenges are related to a widespread lack of understanding of how the emerging technology works and how to implement a scalable, trustworthy and secure digital advertising supply chain. At the same time, industry professionals want to ensure that whatever solutions we adopt, they are compatible with maintaining a competitive environment, which has been responsible for so much of the rapid innovations in Internet technologies over the past few decades.

In order to shed some light on the discussion, Luke Mulks, Senior Ad Tech Specialist at Brave Software (US), shared a work-in-progress solution called ‘The Basic Attention Token (BAT).’ This new technology by Brave Software offers a streamlined process of transmitting value between advertisers, consumers and publishers, by creating a new token that can be exchanged among these parties. The BAT transfers all happens on the Ethereum blockchain. The token can be used to obtain a variety of advertising and attention-based services on the Brave platform. The utility of the token is based on each consumer’s attention, which simply means a person’s focused mental engagement. For more information, please visit:        

Richard Bush, Chief Product & Technology Officer of NYIAX (US), shared their futures marketplace solution. This solution relies on unified definitions of contextual and audience targeting to ensure that impression delivery can be verified against the pre-negotiated, guaranteed delivery orders. The NYIAX solution runs on Chain Open Standard blockchain, developed specifically for high-volume financial transactions. The NYIAX solution is designed to provide discovery services on both supply and demand, in addition to the escrow and reporting on executed contracts. For more information, please visit:

If you want to contribute to the discussion, you can still join the I-COM Data Science Blockchain & Advanced Research Subcommittee.

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