Blockchain In The Advertisement Industry

Can Blockchain handle the privacy breaches and frauds in the advertisement industry?

Yogesh Agarwal
Published in
5 min readSep 20, 2019


Overview Of The Current Scenario

The digital advertising industry has never been more significant than it is right now. With ad networks like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, online advertising is nothing if not pliable. Online advertisers rely on huge volumes of data in order to make smarter decisions. This gives advertisers a chance to reach out and make organic connections with their audience in a faster and more efficient way than the traditional approach.

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Right now, the advertising industry is on the edge of a massive transformation that has the potential to change everything as we know it. Blockchain technology has a number of fascinating implications for online advertisers. If you think that blockchain is something that only crypto-geeks and bitcoin admirers need to concern themselves with, you might want to think again.

Digital advertising powerhouses like Facebook and Google have positioned themselves as an arsenal to the advertising industry with little insight into whats going on behind the scenes. Blockchain could effectively authenticate that an agency actually did what they claim and also give insights into its working. Blockchain brings the wealth of digital verification that takes care of a lot of concerns of users and advertisers on the digital front. Each party wants transparency and the ability to verify that their data is being used as they please and that their ads are being delivered as they want them to be.

Applied to digital advertising, a blockchain solution can connect advertisers and publishers more efficiently than any other existing platforms. Since advertisers and publishers will be connected automatically to the digital ledger, the costs for intermediary services will vanish. Effectively, spending money via a blockchain-enabled digital marketing platform can be done more cheaply, raising the advertiser’s return on investment.

While the technology is still rolling out, the capabilities of smart contracts on blockchain can make contract disputes a thing of the past. For eg: If an advertiser does not get the promised traffic or impressions, smart contracts will arbitrate, and issues can be resolved quickly, with a minimal loss of time. Most digital ledger platforms are still in the early stages of development and the technology will undergo many changes as new platforms continue to innovate.

Faults In The Advertising Industry

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The online advertising industry has massive fraud problems that are sown deep into its roots. According to a recent study, around 8 percent of all display advertisement impressions in 2017 were fraudulent. Over the past few years, online marketers have lost an amount of about $6.5 billion to ad frauds as per the Association of National Advertisers and the Fraud Detection Organization.

In today’s digital world, online advertising is the best way for brands of all shapes and sizes to connect with the audiences they serve. But online advertising comes with a pretty big “catch”: it’s getting less secure and authentic by the day. Ad fraud does more than just cost marketers money. It erodes the delicate sense of trust between a brand and its consumers, thus harming its own longevity and potential reach along the way. Also, the ads these days are very intrusive and less effective. Something must be done about these problems sooner or later.

How Can Blockchain Help?

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Blockchain technology can prevent frauds and connect the advertisers to the end-users more efficiently by eliminating the need for an intermediary and storing the data on a decentralized tamper-proof digital ledger. This can cut costs to a significant level and boost the transparency of the system at the same time. Blockchain can bring in less intrusive and more effective ads.

Blockchain has the potential to impact the digital display advertising, something that makes up a significant portion of all online marketing activity. As the system works now, both the advertiser and the end-user connects through a middleman. With blockchain, it’s easy to envision a situation where these middlemen aren’t just less powerful but may become totally irrelevant to the system. Blockchain allows advertisers to connect directly to the consumers and would cause the media buying process as we currently know to cease to exist. Beyond this benefit, the ledger at the heart of blockchain could also offer advertisers critical visibility and transparency. Blockchain will at least result in a more direct business between advertisers, publishers, and their users.

Also, blockchain has the potential to solve another of digital advertising’s major problems: the ads themselves. Not only are display advertisements obtrusive for many, but for mobile users, in particular, they also drain the device’s battery and waste a huge amount of bandwidth. With blockchain, there is a possible chance to change the way people interact with ads. For eg: The BAT-powered Brave browser, enables users essentially to opt-into viewing ads based on what type of content they want to see. This provides consumer information to advertisers in a way that still maintains the anonymity of the user, and also bombard the users with fewer and more specific ads of higher quality. So the ads themselves become less obtrusive, as well as fewer and more effective because they are more relevant — thus eliminating bandwidth waste and mobile battery drains.


The system should respect a user’s privacy and attention then only the advertising ecosystem can truly function efficiently. Google is already working on its own blockchain for cloud and transactional services, and other giants like it may use blockchain as a catalyst for rethinking the current advertising model. Blockchain technology has so much potential for brands to advertise and build deeper relationships with customers.

The technology is evolving at an incredibly fast pace. These massive applications of blockchain in the advertisement sector were unthinkable a few years ago. And yet, here we are. So while we’re still in the early days of a digital advertising revolution, the future blockchain is pointing toward is one we’ll all want to live in.