Blockchain technology: it’s one of the most innovative and talked about technological developments that you actually haven’t heard about.

In its most basic sense, blockchain technology allows for digital information to be properly distributed rather than illegally copied.

Originally created for the distribution of Bitcoin – a digital currency that is approximately valued at $9 billion – blockchain technology is beginning to be repurposed for other actions on the Internet, rather just financial transactions.

Prior to the development of blockchain technology, financial transactions that occurred on the Internet required middlemen like banks and governments to safe keep the sensitive nature of financial information and assets. And believe it or not, digital assets like currency, stocks, bonds, intellectual property, credit card information are all considered files like text documents, photos and audio files – all which can be duplicated and made increasingly vulnerable with intermediary middlemen. This is where blockchain technology comes in. The technology was originally designed to be the foundation behind Bitcoin, which allowed online peer-to-peer transactions to occur with security and without a middleman.

How does blockchain technology make transactions more secure?
Blockchain provides an “open source distributed ledger” – an open book if you will – with transactions and/or engagements timestamped and decentralized, making it impossible for anyone to edit the data of the transaction once it’s been blockchained.

Even though the invention of Bitcoin was outstanding, the blockchain technology behind the currency exchange and its potential to extend into other markets is far more remarkable – especially its potential to disrupt the adtech space.

How can blockchain be used in digital advertising?
While the technology’s role in financial transactions is exceptional, the decentralized aspect of the blockchain, with transactions being validated by “miners,” does not allow real-time advertising transactions to be validated fast enough. Currently, there is a wait time for blockchain validation between 10-30 seconds – not fast enough for real-time fraud prevention.

So why all this blockchain hubbub?
Because while all blockchain can’t validate the muddied waters of digital ad exchanges, it can help verify post-campaign. MetaX, an adtech company focused on making blockchaining accessible in the digital ad space, has already started experimenting with blockchain’s capabilities with their own twist. MetaX has launched an adchain – there take on blockchain – which tags a piece of ad creative and then follows it throughout its journey on the Internet to determine if the creative was actually seen, who saw it where it ran, the conversion rates and how a budget was spent along the chain.

What’s the blockchain/adchain process to determine the validity of an impression?

  1. A buyer purchases an impression
  2. That impression is encoded in a block  
  3. The encrypted impression is shared with all participants on the chain
  4. The impression is verified by the publisher
  5. Validated impression is added to the blockchain ledger.

It’s simple, safe and secure.

Blockchain technology can be the disruption that the opaque adtech industry needs. However, in order to make it work within the industry, it needs to be adopted by all parties involved in the process: brand, agency, the DSP, exchange, publisher – everyone.