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Interest in blockchain advertising networks appears to be growing with the use of the Brave browser rapidly increasing and one major technology platform recently going live.

The developments are occurring as advertisers seek new ways to weed out fraud while privacy concerns are prompting individuals to embrace ad-blocking tools.

Blockchain is considered to be the backbone of cryptocurrency. It allows members of private networks to record transactions involving cryptocurrency. Some observers have opined that the technology is similar to cash that includes a description of each transaction that paper currency has been used for. Members of the networks verify the information.

Brave, which offers the Brave browser, is one example of a company that is operating a blockchain network for advertising. The browser is well known for its privacy features that block both advertisements and the tracking of web users’ activities. But, Brave is also operating a blockchain network.

Rather than pay Facebook and Google as middlemen to place advertisements on publishers’ websites, the Brave network gives Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) to individuals who view ads. Individuals can use the tokens to award publishers or to purchase high resolution images.

So far, the browser is enjoying strong growth, with its users increasing from 1 million to 5.5 million in 2018, reports

Much of that growth could be attributed to individuals’ growing concerns about privacy. But, interest in the blockchain feature is strong with approximately 23,000 publishers participating in the program, according to the webpage for BAT.

Large brands, meanwhile, are activitly using blockchain operated by a joint venture of IBM and Mediaocean, reports Ledger Insights.

The two firms announced the joint venture last summer and the network has just gone live. Mediaocean runs an advertising platform that facilitates $140 billion in advertising annually. It has enticed a group of well-known brands including Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, Pfizer and Unilever.

The ledger that is created as part of the blockchain process is being viewed as a tool to fight advertising fraud at a time when brands are wasting millions of dollars due to bots that click on images or fictitious claims that advertisement have appeared on established websites.

Indeed, Tribeos, which is a startup tech firm that is developing a blockchain advertising platform, maintains that brands waste approximately $51 million a day on fraud, reports MarTechSeries.

Since blockchain tracks all transactions, advertising programs can be more closely monitored. To that end, Toyota announced late last year that it has teamed up with Lucidity, which offers a service for monitoring supply chain remittances so that advertisers can track how their funds are distributed, reports CoinTrust.

Other blockchain programs include the AdBank Network and MeTax

Like all new forms of technology, however, blockchain is likely to experience growing pains. Challenges may not simply be associated with making the technology work. Rather, challenges may arise over policies or best practices.

Brave, for example, has recently clarified policies for its BAT. According to Ledger Insights, one publisher that promoted Brave received BAT tokens but Brave interpreted the payments as fraud and cancelled the individual’s account.

In another instance, BAT tokens were apparently being sent to YouTube content creator Tom Scott, who wasn’t receiving the tokens and didn’t want the tokens. Ledger Insights maintains that most content users don’t even know that they are recipients of the tokens. Among other initiatives, Brave has responded by promoting its publishers’ portal 

The portal allows publishers to sign up to receive BAT tokens. Brave has also modified its browser so that individuals can see if a publisher is a member of the program when they go to send BATs.

Last modified on Monday, 14 January 2019
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