- Tech firm MadHive is developing “Mad tokens,” a cryptocurrency that will support an open blockchain ad network with an initial push centered on connected TV inventory, according to reporting by MediaPost Communications. The company is currently raising funding .
- The company is raising $25 million in Bitcoin to build out the Mad Network and plans to distribute 220 million tokens. The network will use a machine-learning strategy to later include linear TV and then digital channels, Adam Helfgott, MadHive CEO, told MediaPost.
- The Mad Network consists of “Books,” “Core” and “Data” with Books being an automated bookkeeping network running on the Ethereum cryptocurrency, Core as the ad tech platform and Data supporting the data management platform (DMP).
MadHive isn't alone in betting that blockchain has the potential to rewrite the foundations of marketing and advertising. While some have focused on how the peer-to-peer digital ledger technology could bring added transparency to the media supply chain, MadHive's Helfgott believes blockchain-based bookkeeping coupled with cryptocurrency could change the economics of advertising.
Mad Network could give Google and Facebook an incentive to enter TV advertising, bringing more competition into the space, according to Helfgott.
The news comes as research shows a growing number of businesses across sectors are experimenting with blockchain. A survey of enterprise businesses by 451 Research emailed to Marketing Dive reveals that 20% of organizations are using blockchain in a discovery or evaluation phase and 4% are running trials.
“Blockchain will do for transactions what the Internet has done for information. It promises to disrupt business models and entire industries. It allows for increased trust and efficiency, and is pushing us to challenge how we define and exchange value and reward participation,” said Csilla Zsigri, senior analyst, cloud transformation and blockchain at 451 Research, in a statement.
For the marketing industry, Blockchain tech certainly has the potential to alleviate some of the largest concerns around ad buying — namely issues around ad fraud and the murkiness of ad tech process between marketers making an ad buy and the eventual publisher running that ad. Blockchain technology provides an end-to-end record of the entire transaction.
One issue for MadHive and others getting into cryptocurrency is regulatory action around bitcoin. For now, the U.S. is taking a hands-off approach, but other areas globally, such as South Korea, are taking steps to regulate bitcoin.