ClearCoin: Leveraging Blockchain to Improve Efficiency and Transparency in Advertising

  • 27 February 2018
  • Expert Insights

Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.

The following is an interview we recently had with Tammy Leigh Kahn, COO of ClearCoin.

1. What’s the history of ClearCoin? How and where did you begin?

TLK: Much of the team has been involved in media, marketing, and advertising technology for a number of years. We have built technology companies, gotten them funded, and sold them as well.

The year was 2012. I was sitting in a team meeting and we were discussing the next release of our product. We were discussing the virtues of what features it should have, or not, what color it should be, what it should be named…

Then, I remember something that someone on the engineering team said. “Tammy, it’s not can we build it, it’s should we.”

At first, I admired his chutzpah for truly believing he could build anything in the entire world (which I didn’t really think he could), but then I thought about it. There was real wisdom in those words. And each year, as we stand on the shoulders of the technological giants that came before us, those words get more and more true.

Now, in 2018, I’d like to add to it. It’s not can we build it, but should we… and who should we build it with. This addition took me a long time to realize, and is part of why I am so excited to be part of the ClearCoin project.

I had the pleasure of growing my company alongside Jay Singh’s first company at the CIC in 2012 — you learn a lot about a person when you are both building multi-million dollar ventures — and I got to see how he focused on growing his company through a combination of great technology and great people. He created a category. He created the viral ad tech category.

And now he’s doing it again, but this time with much bigger stakes.

2. Who are the founders and key team members?

TLK: Historically our team has worked with a large number of enterprise and Fortune 500 advertisers. Similar size advertisers are arranging work with our company to get a better view into their ad quality through our distributed ledger technology.

Jay Singh, Founder & CEO
Jay has spent 14 years in technology. His ad tech companies have produced millions of dollars of revenue. Jay has closed millions of dollars of venture capital with well-known Silicon Valley investors. He has worked with brands like Pepsi and Coca-Cola on their digital advertising. Jay founded the company ViralGains in 2012, which has closed $30 million of venture capital with dozens of Fortune 500 customers. He founded the company Viral Media Solutions in 2008, which advertised for brands like Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble. Jay’s history of starting valuable advertising technology companies has exposed him to all aspects of the business: engineering, product, operations, finance, sales, and marketing. Jay has managed teams as large as 25 people. Jay is an alumni of the major global technology accelerators MassChallenge and 500 Startups. Jay studied Business & Marketing at Suffolk University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Jay is based in Burbank, California.

Taylor Short, CTO
Taylor has been an engineer and user experience designer for six years. He’s built products that incorporate modern artificial intelligence, 3D data mining, and remote digital employees. Taylor works with back-end technologies like Tensorflow, Jupyter, Flask, Nodejs, NPM, and Matlibplot. He works with front-end technologies like Sketch, Reactjs, Typecript, Sass, Nuclide, Relay, and D3. In 2013, Taylor started Soulbot Automation Agency, a technology business that creates Remote Digital Employees (RDEs) for companies seeking to create automation in their business. In recent years, Taylor has written code for blockchain and smart contract technologies. Elliot is one of the top UX writers on the publishing platform Medium. He has published articles under the name Elliot Soren on topics like “A Beginners Guide to Making Yourself Artificially Intelligent” and “The Evolution Process From A Junior Level Designer to Becoming a Design Lead.”

Tammy Leigh Kahn, COO
Tammy works with ClearCoin on product development, market strategy, and streamlining operations. Tammy has spent a total of 15 years in digital marketing, e-commerce, and business development including leadership roles in both agencies and technology companies. Tammy was the Vice President of Market Development & Agency Relations at G2 Crowd, a B2B marketing platform backed by $45 million of venture capital. She is formerly the Founder & CEO of MarketMeSuite, one of the first social media marketing management platforms. Tammy founded MarketMeSuite in 2009 and closed $2.6 million of investment capital while building a user base of 80,000 businesses. Her company was acquired in 2014 by Vivial to integrate with their local online marketing software platform. Tammy was an Advisor to MASS Exchange, a media trading technology company working on the $140 billion television advertising market.

Yura Monchak, Chief Architect
Yura is a software development and IT integration specialist for 13 years. He’s an early developer of blockchain technology including Solidity and web3.js. Yura has experience as a solution architect, backend developer, and network engineer. He’s been an engineer for Android and iOS projects including a mobile ad tech project. Yura has programming experience with SQL, MySQL, NoSQL (Mongo & Redis), C, PHP, Perl, Shell, Python, Ruby and others. He has a depth of experience in billing systems, VoIP, Networking, VPNs, and security. Yura has expertise in building scaled systems and administration of servers and databases. He studied Applied Physics at the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University.

Angelo Kameraj, Chief Revenue Officer
Angelo has worked with media buyers and sellers for seven years. He has personally been involved in over $10 million of media buys. Angelo has worked with all major agencies including Starcom MediaVest Group, iProspect, Carat, MEC, Xaxis, Universal McCann, Havas, GroupM, Maxus, and more. He spent 5 years with Genesis Media, a video advertising technology company that brought major campaigns to market for brands like Microsoft, General Motors, Procter & Gamble, and Gillette. Angelo has also worked with well-known advertisers like Yahoo, Chevrolet, Dannon, The Home Depot, Macy’s, Campbell’s, Marriot, Goldman Sachs, KFC, Michelin, NBC, BMW, Google, AMC, and Nestle. Angelo recently held a leadership role with PulsePoint, a global programmatic advertising technology company. He was previously the Director of Business Development for Tout, a video technology company that works with NBC, CBS, Fox Sports, ESPN, and The Wall Street Journal.

Matthew May, Chief Financial Officer
Matthew works with ClearCoin on its financial, tax, audit, and growth strategies. He works in a similar capacity with Storj, an ICO that raised over $30 million. Matthew’s company Acuity is a leader for cryptocurrency and blockchain powered companies. He has dealt with the financial complexities that arise from companies dealing with both cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. Matthew is experienced with the latest strategies and regulations for companies that deal with cryptocurrency. He has spent 20 years with different accounting firms including Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Matthew has experience in a wide range of financial services including tax, bookkeeping, audit, consulting, transaction advisory, and more.

Michael Goldstein, Vice President, Operations
Michael is a serial entrepreneur from the software and entertainment industry. He was a co-founder of Sneakster, an iOS mobile group messaging application. Michael managed the development and launch of the mobile application to a mass audience. He also founded Magnum Defense, a software company for law enforcement and governmental organizations. Michael is a seasoned inventor who holds two U.S. Utility Patents and has a third utilizing blockchain technology currently in a patent pending status. Michael also spent time in the entertainment world working at Creative Artists Agency in their Business Affairs Department and other boutique entertainment companies. Michael finished undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri and is now studying Project Management at University of California, Los Angeles.

Christopher Elwell, Vice President, Engineering
Christopher Elwell is the Vice President of Engineering at ClearCoin where he is aiding the scale and growth of the platform and engineering team. He was the VP of Engineering at Purple Services, a technology company with $2.5 million of funding, 20,000 users, and 7 figures of revenue. At Purple, he created the initial mobile app and developed the software that kept Purple connected, as well as management of the engineering team. Previously, Christopher served as the founding CTO of the technology startup called WeSawIt. The company aggregated photos and videos at events and provided venues and artists the ability to showcase their events and connect with their fans. He has experience with Clojure, JavaScript, PHP, HTML, CSS, SQL, and CoffeeScript.

3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?

TLK: Last year saw digital advertising secure its dominance of the global marketing industry, overtaking worldwide TV sales for the first time. Reports from PwC and IPG Mediabrands’ Magna put digital ad sales at just over $70 bln, ahead of televised ad sales at $67 bln. With an abundance opportunities for profit, however, comes an abundance of opportunities for fraud with bots being used to falsify ad viewing data.

More conservative estimations of $7.2 bln dollars wasted on digital marketing fraud from the Association of National Advertisers in 2016 pale in comparison to the $16.4 bln estimated for 2017 by multinational advertising company WPP. This is a multi-billion dollar problem that is showing no signs of slowing down.

4. What is your solution to this problem?

TLK: In the digital ad industry, new accreditation standards come as technology improves. In recent years, a company called Moat created new standards for viewability metrics. The company sold to Oracle for $800 million. Our technology is creating a new standard for the measurement of ad quality in a ledger that is tamper-proof and distributed.  

Dashboard -ClearCoin

5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?

TLK: Ad fraud and bots are a growing problem in the industry. We worked with many Fortune 500 advertisers in the last ten years and have become very familiar with this ongoing issue. Distributed ledger technologies present one solution that could bring about new standards in the industry.

6. What’s the future of your industry?

TLK: There will be a correction to this multi-billion dollar and blockchain will be at the heart of it. Blockchain solved the double spending problem for digital currency and blockchain can solve similar problems in supply chains.

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