- IAB Tech Lab has launched a Blockchain Working Group to investigate different applications of blockchain technology and establish standards and best practices for the digital advertising industry, according to a company blog post. As part of the project, IAB Tech Lab will solicit feedback from different industry players as it does for other successful initiatives like its Content Taxonomy Standards.
- Richard Bush, chief product and technology officer at the blockchain firm NYIAX, and Michael Palmer, global director of product at GroupM's mPlatform, authored the post, detailing how the new group will delve into areas including ad fraud, measurement, discrepancy reconciliation for billing purposes, financial transactions and validation of advertising resources and assets. It will also look at new opportunities of scale for blockchain.
- The blog post listed a number of early blockchain adopters, including NYIAX, which bridges finance and digital advertising through a partnership with NASDAQ; the AdChain, Adex and Animo blockchain exchanges; blockchain-based identity management platform Faktor; and others.
IAB Tech Lab building a working group for best practices and applications for blockchain shows that the ledger-based transaction system, which first surfaced in 2008, is picking up significant traction in the marketing industry. The organization has a history of helping to standardize complex digital technology.
Blockchain, which has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity in other business sectors like finance, is being eyed as potentially the next hot item in digital advertising this year as widespread transparency and fraud problems come under a harsher spotlight at the behest of top ad spenders like Procter & Gamble. Bush and Palmer emphasized that blockchain should be embraced by the industry for its ability to solve and simplify a diverse set of challenges in a relatively low-cost manner.
Blockchain is valued for being immutable — once something is written to a blockchain ledger, it's incredibly difficult to remove, and all participants in the blockchain must verify any transactions that are made — which positions it as an appealing and secure solution to problems like bot fraud. Around one-fifth of digital ad spending this year — or roughly $16 billion — could be lost to ad fraud if marketers don't take more proactive steps to prevent its spread, according to analysis from the firm Adloox.
Players like NYIAX are already making an impression in the space, though it may be tough for these technology upstarts to peel marketers' attention and budgets away from massive established digital advertising platforms like Google and Facebook. Blockchain has also been cited as being slow and unwieldy when compared to existing ad exchanges, though that could change if the technology sees more significant mainstream adoption.
Blockchain has also had a rocky roll in some other sectors. On the financial side, it's hard to keep up with the quickly changing prognostications about Bitcoin's success or failure.