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What’s The State Of Blockchain In Advertising? 9 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 1 March 2019
  • Sam Mire

Let’s talk about the state of blockchain technology for advertising purposes. Strap in.

Like most industries, advertising is held back by uncertainty but moved forward by innovation. Many major companies have funded pilot projects, but widespread adoption of blockchain in advertising just isn’t there yet.

Those making gains in the space are primarily focused on either supply chain management or data-driven customer targeting. Advertisers are coupling machine learning and artificial intelligence with blockchain technology to learn how to more effectively spend ad dollars.

The state of advertising is murky. There’s no debate that blockchain has the potential to clarify how the industry spends its money, and whether results justify prevailing prices. Companies with sufficient R&D budgets are working to transform ideas into blockchain-powered platforms. The hope is that these platforms will be a rising tide for all boats in advertising.  

1. Chris Richmond, CEO and Co-founder of Proper Media

Chris Richmond“From my perspective the answer is “in development”. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about blockchain in advertising but to date I have yet to see a real world example where it’s put to use in a way that makes a difference.”


2. Ian Kane, COO and Co-founder of Ternio

Ian KaneWe’re currently in the educational phase. People in ad tech are just starting to differentiate that Bitcoin isn’t Blockchain. There are many companies like IBM, Unilever, Ternio, and Toyota that are running pilot campaigns, but mass adoption will need additional time. There is not a one-size-fits-all methodology to deploy blockchain in advertising, so many companies are taking varied approaches – some focused on the supply chain while others are focused on data used for ad targeting.”

3. Brandon Gains, VP of Marketing at Monetize More

Brandon Gains“It’s too early to say that there’s been any adoption progress in the advertising industry. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has some working groups being formed, there’s a few startups throwing around the buzzword, but I haven’t seen anything that’s game changing. I’d say the industry is taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to this technology.”

4. Ari Paparo, CEO of Beeswax

Ari Paparo“There have been a couple of case studies of using blockchain to reconcile payments between counter-parties to advertising transactions. Some of these have used non-Blockchain encryption techniques “inspired by Blockchain”. There is nothing in production at scale.”

5. Amy Fox, Product Director at Blis

Amy Fox“In advertising, blockchain is quickly becoming a fundamental part of the infrastructure, and although it is yet to be fully integrated across the industry, we can expect to see this change within the next few years. It’s already being utilized through initiatives by companies like AdChain and Rebel AI to secure digital advertising, protect publisher identity and brand spend using machine learning, blockchain, and encryption technologies.”

6. Ted Sahlstrom, CMO and Co-founder of

Ted Sahlström“Blockchain currently exists as experimental tests in small closed advertising environments. Usually as a direct link between advertiser and publisher governed by one or two companies.”



7. Andrew Kolodyuk, Founder and Chairman of DIVAN.TV 2.0

Andrew Kolodyuk“In the current landscape, advertisers are demanding transparency from partners in order to ensure they are receiving value for their dollars. As blockchain gains popularity, there is growing interest in its potential to facilitate reliable and efficient transactions across several industries including entertainment, specifically video on demand (VoD) streaming platforms.”

8. Jeff Koyen, Founder of Pressland

Jeff Koyen“Blockchain offers some very compelling solutions for the problems that plague advertising, but it must overcome a lot of institutional resistance. Take click fraud, for example. Leveraging blockchain’s famously transparent and immutable ledger, it’s technically possible to validate every interaction between viewer and advertisement. Data stored on a blockchain can eliminate the grey areas when auditing a campaign’s reach, engagement and conversion.

While this is technically possible, this clarity and availability might threaten today's gatekeepers. After all, middlemen make money by controlling data. Blockchain needs more time — and more successful deployments — before it can gain widespread acceptance.”

9. Jon Gillham, CEO of AdBank

Jon Gillham“Blockchain has a clear use in advertising: reducing ad fraud, reducing huge markups by middlemen, increasing privacy for users, all of that good stuff. But like many other industries, it's taking time for blockchain solutions to be fully understood, built and actually adopted. Furthermore, with digital advertising, these new technologies are going up against companies like Google and Facebook — you'd better have a really great idea if you're going to do that!”

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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.