It’s not often a new project raises almost $8 million in 23 seconds, but adChain, a start-up that wants to disrupt advertising, says they were sent $110 million during their token sale, with most of it turned down due to a cap at $7.6 million.
“We feel that the 33,333 ETH raised to fund adChain is both adequate and responsible. It is the amount we needed as a team to reach our product roadmap goals,” – adChain said.
They hope to disrupt advertising, a massive industry with plenty of problems, numerous intermediaries, and significant levels of complexity as you go through the advertising tunnel from the brand to the end user.
“The unwitting purchase of bot traffic in digital advertising markets defrauds advertisers of over $16+ billion annually. Opaque supply chains provide cover for botnet operators who hide behind the black boxes of exchanges and deep within unauditable ad networks… their incentive alignment is towards maximizing impressions irrespective of whether those impressions are from human eyeballs or bots,” says adChain in their whitepaper.
Their solution is to create a whitelist of legitimate publishers curated by token holders which can challenge a listing request if they think the publisher uses bot traffic with the aim being to eventually allow direct peer-to-peer purchasing and selling of advertising space.
They have teamed up with the Data & Marketing Association, an industry group that represents over 1,400 organizations. Thomas Benton, CEO of Data & Marketing Association, says:
“It’s inspiring to see smart start-ups take on providing innovative solutions to challenges in our industry that are resulting in fraud and injuring marketers’ relationships with their customers. As the only trade association in marketing and advertising that represents all parts of the ecosystem equally, DMA is eager to see its members, like MetaX, provide innovative and trust-based solutions that support the client and supply sides of our industry around ad-fraud and other system-wide pain points.”
Another start-up that raised millions in seconds is BAT, which adChain says is complementary as BAT can use their whitelisted registry in their own browser when rewarding user’s attention for opting into ads with BAT tokens.
They say adChain is like the underlying pipes within a city, serving all neighbourhoods, while BAT is one of the neighbourhoods that has a novel take on advertising, thus both complement each other.
While AdEx is taking a more traditional approach of providing a decentralized ethereum based ad network. They have already secured a partnership with video entertainment platform Stremio, in part because some of the Stremio’s team is behind AdEx, and received backing from Bitmain and the Fintech Blockchain Group, a bitcoin hedge fund and venture capital fund.
Their whitepaper doesn’t provide much detail on how exactly their ad network will operate, but they say “through smart contracts, the complex process of choosing ads, tracking ads and facilitating bidding/payment can be described in the contract itself, while still running on the distributed Ethereum network and taking advantage of the blockchain qualities.”
A recent survey shows that 88% of marketers think blockchain technology will disrupt their industry, with advertising being an area of interest to many of them. In part because it has potential to eliminate fraud.
“There is no shortage of ad networks; however, few networks have explored a viable solution to the widespread ad fraud, misleading reports on results, privacy and data abuse,” said AdEx Co-Founder and CEO Ivo Georgev.
He further added that the “AdEx’s decentralized approach takes advantage of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to provide an ad network that is completely secure, transparent, and accessible for all browsers and regulated by its users.”
Advertising isn’t an area many considered when thinking of blockchain technology, but ethereum has widened the scope, with many start-ups and established brands now competing in diverse industries for the utilization of blockchain tech to address numerous problems.
Many of the solutions are somewhat incremental, but some are fully disruptive, because smart contracts have the capability to automatically perform functions that previously required intermediaries, thus reducing costs, while increasing trust and efficiency.
However, all of this is at very early stages, with much of it at a prototype level, so we will have to wait and see how it develops in the coming months and, in particular, to see whether any of the start-ups races ahead.