It seems blockchain technology is making its way into every industry, and advertising is no exception.
Adbank has announced the launch of a crowdsale campaign rooted in the cryptocurrency Ethereum. The money raised from the funding round will be used to launch their peer-to-peer platform for digital advertisers and publishers with the goal of reducing fraud, middlemen and the amount of targeted ads that reach bots.
The argument for a blockchain-based ad platform revolves around the fact that 56 per cent of all website traffic is driven by bots, costing advertisers tens of billions of dollars a year. These advertisers blow their budgets on directing fake clicks to sites and lose organic reach that should be translating to real clients or purchases.
In addition to the overwhelming presence of bots, advertisers often pay undisclosed ad tech taxes to middlemen who set up and run campaigns then take large chunks of revenue. Adbank uses blockchain to get rid of the middlemen and AI to determine what kind of views or clicks are actually coming from bots.
Because blockchain can often be confusing to explain to newcomers, Adbank produced a video describing the technology, enlisting the help of producers who have worked on SNL and with musicians like The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes.
“After scaling 6,000 successful publisher sites and still feeling I was missing a piece of the puzzle, the idea for Adbank was born,” said Jon Gillham, founder and CEO of Adbank. “Removing the costly middleman so publishers make more of the ad dollars spent while giving advertisers get more for their money made sense.”
The crowdsale to fund Adbank’s platform will take place in the form of an initial coin offering (ICO), beginning December 7 with a token pre-sale available for eager cryptocurrency enthusiasts who want to be a part of a bonus round. There will be one billion Adbank tokens (ADB) created, with the goal to sell 51 per cent of them and raise $21.5 million USD. The sale period will finish on January 8, 2018.
ICOs represent a relatively risky way for companies to raise money, as they remain in a grey area in terms of regulations. The tokens are similar to actual shares of a company, without the company ever going public. Many tokens are considered securities in the eyes of regulating bodies.
Earlier this year, the messaging app Kik held one of the largest ICOs so far, but skipped over Canada due to “weak guidance” from the Ontario Securities Commission.