This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Advertising series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and advertising.
In this interview we speak with Ken Brook, CEO of MetaX, to understand how his company is using blockchain to transform the advertising business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What's the story behind MetaX? Why and how did you begin?
KB: MetaX was founded in 2016 in Santa Monica, CA.
I had previously founded several advertising technology companies and through experience, I learned the digital advertising industry was fundamentally flawed. I started exploring new ways of addressing the known systemic issues and came to the conclusion of blockchain, conceiving MetaX as a secure and transparent solution to an industry that is dominated by private, centralized black box systems.
adToken is a new digital asset that introduces an incentive model for the advertising industry to explore. The goal is to introduce a new primitive for the industry to build on. Our work has shaped the thinking of many and through education and adoption, we hope to continue to add value to the digital advertising industry.
2. Please describe your use case and how MetaX uses blockchain:
KB: We are looking to implement smart contracts and blockchain technologies where it’s needed. For example, The adChain Registry is a decentralized, community-curated whitelist of premium publishers that lives on the Ethereum blockchain through smart contracts. This curated registry allows for decentralized governance by opening up our on-chain voting system to token holders rather than pay-to-play models the industry is currently supporting.
adChain Audits is an independent data collection and fraud detection service that hashes advertising campaign data onto the blockchain for future reference by advertisers.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
KB: Publishers, advertisers and industry vendors benefit from our adtech solutions. Premium publishers are vetted by adToken holders and listed on the adChain Registry, which can be referenced by advertisers.
adChain Audits is used by brands and advertisers to ensure that they detect both human and bot traffic within their digital media advertising campaigns.
4. What other blockchain advertising use cases are you excited about?
KB: I’m excited to see how distributed ledger technology will enable the advertiser-publisher-consumer relationships. We are looking to address several systemic issues that we have identified in our industry ranging from the lack of transparency into the supply chain, inability or lack of incentive to reconcile data, lack of enforcement on data privacy and unreliable billing practices. We see smart contracts as a solution to much of the issues that plague our industry, which is a critical part of keeping the internet open and free. I am most excited about the role of decentralized IDs and how self-sovereignty will fundamentally change the advertising technology landscape and shift the value distribution from centralized platforms to individual contributors.
5. Where will MetaX be in five years?
KB: MetaX will continue to innovate the adChain platform and onboard users to prove out the value of crypto-based systems. It will take some time for existing entities to realize the value of Web3 and it will take early adopters to prove there is a more efficient way to coordinate with partners, share data and transact.
MetaX hopes to incorporate data from adChain Audits into the adChain Registry whitelist creating an industry-wide quality index protocol adopted by publishers, advertisers, and media alike.