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McDonald’s, Nestlé and Virgin Media Join Blockchain in Advertising Pilot

McDonald’s, Nestlé and Virgin Media joined a blockchain pilot seeking to increase transparency in advertising online.

McDonald’s, Nestlé and Virgin Media have joined a new blockchain pilot seeking to increase transparency in advertising online.

Developed by the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (Jicwebs) — a British United digital ad trading standards body — the new initiative aims to assess the potential of blockchain in the digital ad supply chain, as business media outlet Campaign reports on July 16. 

First announced in May 2019, the Jicwebs’ blockchain-powered pilot is now joined by global industry giants’ respective media agencies, Zenith, OMD UK and Manning Gottlieb OMD, who will evaluate blockchain’s capabilities in the digital ad industry for the rest of 2019, the report notes.

Specifically, the media agencies will check not only blockchain’s potential in increasing trust and transparency in the ad supply chain, but also see whether the technology can boost operational efficiency and return on investment (ROI). Kat Howcroft, senior media and budget manager at McDonald’s, said:

“This technology offers us the opportunity to see a truly transparent picture of our investment across the digital supply chain. We are also eager to understand the potential impact that this may have on our ROI and efficiency.”

According to the report, the Jicwebs’ trial is supported by London-based tech business Fiducia. Jicwebs wrote that they will consult the industry on how to incorporate blockchain solutions for the digital ad industry if the test shows successful results.

In late 2018, Japanese car manufacturer Toyota partnered with blockchain advertising analytics firm Lucidity to eliminate fraud when buying digital ads.

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New Crypto Wallet Accepted by 30,000 Outlets — Lets Users Buy Mobile Data Anywhere

A social commerce tech platform used by famous companies has launched a wallet that enables consumers to buy products from 30,000 outlets.

A social commerce technology platform has launched a new wallet that enables consumers to buy real-life products from more than 30,000 points of sale globally.

Jet8 says its new wallet is a “connect and transact hub,” giving its community a safe way to store their tokens, earn rewards and send funds to their friends. According to the fintech company, one of the wallet’s most distinctive features gives users the ability to purchase mobile data in any country worldwide — giving them instant access to mobile network connectivity wherever they are.

A large network of retailers already accepts the Jet8 Wallet, including big brands such as 7-Eleven in the Philippines, Circle K in Vietnam and other large retailers in Indonesia, India and South Africa.

The founder of Jet8, Victor Zabrockis, told Cointelegraph:

“Our mission is to connect thousands of mobile-first communities with a one-stop shop financial system for users, brands, retailers and influencers. […] It does not matter if one is a well-versed crypto lover or just an average mobile user curious about blockchain, we’ve built the JET8 Wallet with everyone in mind.”

Along with top-ups for mobile data, the company says it offers its users a plethora of everyday goods — and as an example, Jet8 illustrates how token-holders can benefit from vouchers for everything from lemonade to a bar of soap.

“Jet8’s Crypto Wallet is making the use of blockchain technology more inclusive to the base of the pyramid for everyday use thus allowing consumers to buy goods like groceries and airtime,” the team says.

Another point of difference offered by the wallet comes through real-life collectibles, as wallet users have the opportunity to buy distinct pieces of art. One example on the Jet8 website is a portrait of former United States President Barack Obama by the artist Jorge Rodriguez Garcia, with free delivery worldwide.

The team says that the first 100,000 wallets activated will receive an airdrop of 888 J8T tokens — the platform’s native currency. Token-holders will be able to purchase products in the Jet8 Shop using their tokens sometime in the second quarter of 2019, the company added.

Learn more about the Jet8 platform here

Learn more about the Jet8 platform here

“Seamless, pleasant experience”

Jet8 emphasizes that its users don’t have to worry about storing private keys, adding that they have the opportunity to receive JetPoints — a “powerful social currency.”

The company says one of its main goals has been to “democratize influence,” and this has been achieved by enabling its community to use geo-stickers and geo-frames to show their friends and followers which brands they have been engaging with in real time. According to Jet8, this social commerce technology is mutually beneficial. While brands benefit from engagement up to 10 times higher than a conventional ad for mobile platforms, users can be rewarded with JetPoints simply by including a filter for everyday brands, such as Doritos and Coca-Cola. These points can then be redeemed for products online and over the counter.

The team notes that Jet8’s social commerce platform was first successfully introduced by the Fotoku APP in Southeast Asia, where this APP had a massive adoption from users in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

On March 19, the Jet8 Foundation announced a partnership with cricketing legend AB de Villiers and the launch of its social media app “ABDCam” to raise funds for youth in India and South Africa. Fans and supporters all around the world will be able to use this app to customize photos and videos with geo-stickers and geo-frames, and earn JetPoints in exchange for their social influence throughout social media platforms.

Another social commerce concept championed by Jet8 is social sampling, which aims to open up giveaways to the masses while giving companies a more efficient way of monitoring how consumers are responding to new products.

The team notes that user data ownership and privacy stands at the center of the Jet8 social commerce platform. Users are also empowered because they can decide which data they are willing to share with advertisers in exchange for a reward. For businesses, this increases the likelihood that the marketing data they’re receiving will be accurate.

According to the company, more than 50 blue-chip companies are already making transactions using its social currency — achieving a combined reach of more than 400 million social accounts last year. The global brands utilizing its offering include Nestle, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and McDonald’s.

Jet8 announced the launch of the Soccer Laduma APP in May, where soccer fans are able to redeem soccer publications Kick-Off and Soccer Laduma when they create branded content and audience engagement on social media.

Jet8 was founded in 2015. Explaining its philosophy, the company says: “Through tokenized social commerce apps, everyday users become content creators, publishers and influencers. This is a world where anyone can be rewarded for the data they share, and every like, comment or share they create on these apps.”

Learn more about Jet8

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Microsoft’s Bing Blocked Over Five Million Cryptocurrency-Related Ads in 2018

Microsoft-owned search engine and advertisement platform Bing noted that it blocked over five million cryptocurrency-related ads last year.

Microsoft-owned search engine and advertisement platform Bing noted that it blocked over five million cryptocurrency-related ads last year in its “Ad quality year in review 2018” report published on March 25.

Bing notes that the pseudo-anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) “made cryptocurrency a prime target for fraudsters and scam artists to defraud end-users.” Bing claims that this is the reason for the ban of cryptocurrency-related content from its advertising platform that resulted in over five million ads being blocked.

Bing also notes that its ban against weapon advertisement resulted in over 18 million ads being blocked alongside over 5,000 websites. Lastly, the company claims that its efforts to fight tech scams lead to the closure of over 12,000 Bing Ads accounts.

In May last year, Bing joined other internet giants in announcing it would ban cryptocurrency-related advertisements on its network by July 2018. The company then stated in an official post:

“Because cryptocurrency and related products are not regulated, we have found them to present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers.”

Before Bing, Facebook banned cryptocurrency ads in January 2018, as did Google in March of the same year. Twitter soon followed with a ban on advertising for initial coin offerings (ICO) and token sales.

While the firms have previously introduced bans on crypto content, those policies have not necessarily reflected the thoughts of their top executives. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a vocal Bitcoin advocate. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also expressed interest in digital assets, telling CNBC last year:

“There are important counter-trends to this, like encryption and cryptocurrency, that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”

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Barclays Analyst Predicts Billions in Additional Revenue From ‘Facebook Coin’ by 2021

A Barclays analyst stated that a possible “Facebook Coin” could generate $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021.

Facebook’s own cryptocurrency, if launched, could potentially generate $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021, CNBC reports on March 11.

Barclays internet analyst Ross Sandler wrote in a client note that a cryptocurrency could establish a new revenue stream for Facebook, aiding its share price that tanked amid a series of high-profile scandals last year.

In his forecast, Sandler pointed out that the crypto-based revenue option is something “sorely needed at this stage of the company’s narrative,” stressing that any advertising-free revenue streams are likely to be well-perceived by Facebook’s shareholders. Sandler said that his more conservative revenue estimate for the new coin is $3 billion.

The Barclays analyst recalled Facebook’s original payment project that was similar to what cryptocurrencies are today. Developed by California-based firm The Menlo Park in 2010, “Facebook credits” represented a virtual currency that allowed users to pre-pay those credits using domestic currencies and then use them for in-app-purchases.

Sandler added that Facebook will bear the brunt of interchange costs between fiat currencies and its possible new cryptocurrency, which could cut into the profitability of the business.

Citing analysis from Barclays, Sandler stated that the first version of “Facebook Coin” may be a single purpose coin for micro-payments and domestic peer-to-peer (p2p) money transfer, which is considered “very similar to the original credits from 2010.”

Sandler also assessed the scope of the project, noting that it is larger than previous ambitions of Facebook. The analyst pointed to David Marcus, the leader of Facebook’s blockchain and crypto team, who is former president of payment operator PayPal. Sandler also noted that Facebook has recently hired a number of employees from blockchain startup Chainspace.

Following a Bloomberg report on Facebook developing its own crypto back in December 2018, The New York Times (NYT) published another article alleging that the social media giant is “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed” with its highly secretive crypto project. According to NYT, 50 new employees are working on developing a stablecoin that would incorporate Facebook’s three fully-owned apps — WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.

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How Crypto Incentives Work, Explained

Crypto platforms are taking innovative approaches when it comes to incentivization, but what does it mean for miners and the people who use these services?

Where do loyalty programs fit in?

This marketing tool has been suffering issues for years.

In the non-crypto world, consumers are overwhelmed by the number of schemes offered by retailers and are disappointed by the rewards. Blockchain projects are hoping to inject some innovation into this sector by offering schemes which are meaningful to shoppers.

The startup behind Elipay — Eligma — says its approach involves a universal loyalty scheme. Instead of carrying around a wallet full of cash and credit cards, consumers will be able to shop and receive rewards from a plethora of merchants in one place. The tokens that customers earn can then be used for further shopping or for receiving the benefit of discounts on goods and services. This also has the potential to deliver a boost to merchants who have been struggling to compete with online giants such as Amazon, as they can offer compelling deals to drive repeat customers.

 

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

Can tokenizing services help boost investment in crypto companies?

Potentially, as one of the biggest ways to incentivize crypto users is to create utility.

One of the biggest challenges for many crypto startups out there is that they hold crowd sales for utility tokens, but it is not clear whether or not they will be able to satisfy the public’s demand that the tokens be used in exchange for goods and services.

To incentivize the public to embrace cryptocurrency, there need to be clear benefits in using this new form of payment in the first place — offering something that they would not be able to find somewhere else.

Shopping is something we all do every day, and old habits die hard. When it comes to incentivization, it is necessary for crypto startups to think outside of the box in order to encourage the public to try something new. Systems for mobile payments with crypto at offline and online stores such as Elipay are addressing this challenge by offering shoppers cashback in the form of crypto tokens whenever they make a purchase. This solution was to create a network of retailers at which people can spend their assets without converting them back to old-fashioned currencies.

Does proof-of-stake (PoS) offer any advantages over PoW?

One could argue that PoS provides a double incentive.

Here, the onus changes to “staking,” where miners have a better chance of being chosen to add a block to the chain — and hence get rewarded — depending on how many coins they possess. As well as being motivated to invest in a platform and support a currency to increase their profitability, there are the rewards to think about on the horizon.

Although it has addressed some of the issues inherent in the PoW protocol — namely the extraordinary costs involved with mining, which can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars a day — it does deliver its own disadvantages. For example, PoS does run the risk of monopolization, where a few validators rich in coins end up receiving the lion’s share of the rewards.

All of this said, PoS does inoculate a platform against a so-called “51 percent attack” — as such an attack would likely devalue the digital currency which the validators themselves own. In a PoW scenario, miners can reap rewards even if they don’t own the asset involved. Again, it just goes to show that incentives in the crypto world can present themselves in many ways.

How is proof-of-work (PoW) an incentive?

Miners are rewarded, but the costs are high.  

Proof-of-work — known as PoW — sees miners compete to become the first person to solve mathematical puzzles using their computation power. Miners who beat their rivals to the punch are then rewarded in the form of cryptocurrency, and major networks — including Bitcoin and Ethereum — use this consensus algorithm.

Fans believe that PoW delivers an array of benefits. First off, it insulates a platform against denial-of-service attacks. Additionally, it puts miners on more of a level playing field, and decision making on a network does not hinge upon their wallets. Instead, they should be willing to splash out on hi-tech machines that can be very expensive to run.

How are blockchain marketing tools incentivizing users?

They promote a sense of community and inclusion within a platform.

Cutting out the middlemen has tumbled fees, and many startups are using this to their advantage. In addition to cheaper services compared with their mainstream rivals, they are luring in users through revenue-sharing schemes that give everyone a slice of the profits. This encourages loyalty to a platform and drives participation. Miners and validators — the people who make transactions run smoothly on the blockchain — are also getting rewarded through the contributions they make to a network, and crypto enthusiasts with expertise are being incentivized to uncover security flaws through bounties or to embrace new coins through airdrops.

Blockchain platforms are also helping brands connect with consumers directly, eliminating the middlemen who act as a conduit and distort the message. From an advertising perspective, the power is now also in the hands of the shopper. The public is being given opportunities to be paid in tokens when they are exposed to advertising, and they can decide which data about them is used for this purpose. It ultimately helps brands target their products more efficiently, giving them greater value for money.

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Blockchain in Media: How Blockchain Can Help Advertising

Advertisers and brands are increasingly losing patience with ad agencies and other players over the lack of transparency in the digital advertising space. Digital ad revenue for the first half of 2017 came in at a record $40 billion, up from $31 billion for the previous year, and it was estimated to have reached $85 billion by the end of 2017.

The fight for transparency intensified in 2017 after The Times of London published a report about how the ads of big brands were appearing alongside racist videos on the giant video platform YouTube. Several brands paused their spending on YouTube advertising temporarily, until YouTube reassured them that it had taken measures to correct the issue.

The issue with YouTube speaks to the larger theme of a lack of transparency in the space. There isn’t enough information at the disposal of the advertiser regarding what they’re buying and how much they’re paying for viewed ads. Duracell, furious after finding out how much of its money goes to hidden fees compared to the actual amount it spent on ads, built its own advertising audit system, whereby it relates directly with a demand-side ad platform and a brand safety vendor — all in a bid to be more informed of its advertising moves. Simply put, advertisers are looking for a more transparent way to connect with their customer and audience. 

How does traditional ad buying work?

Typically, the advertiser — the brand that’s looking to connect with its audience — contracts a digital ad agency to manage its entire ad campaign, with the advertiser having a set target it aims to achieve from the campaign. The advertiser pays the ad agency an amount that would cover both the overall cost of creating ad content and the cost of distributing the ad content to the brand’s target audience/customers — these two types of costs are what digital media experts call non-working and working spend respectively. One thing to note here is that an ad agency’s overhead cost is also part of the non-working spend.

Once the ad agency has developed the content for the desired channels, it buys ad spaces — also called ad inventories — where the desired audiences would see the content. The ad agency has two options for buying ad spaces: buying directly from the publisher and buying programmatically through an ad exchange platform. 

This usually long process fosters a lack of transparency — hidden fees, fraud, traffic, measurement and viewability — especially with programmatic media buying. For clarity, the transparency issues here can be broken into two main parts:

  1. Fees and charges from vendors and other players along the supply chain.
  2. Fraud and viewability.

The first part is fostered by the long nature of the programmatic ad supply chain, as shown in the image below.

The road from advertiser to audience

With each arrow in the image above, you can think of ad dollars being transferred diminishingly. And in many situations, the advertiser isn’t aware of how much each player in this system takes. According to a report from the ad industry trade group IAB, 55 percent of programmatic ad revenue goes to ‘ad tech’ services, while publishers receive only 45 percent. The findings from IAB demonstrate that non-working ad spend (ad dollars that didn’t get to the publisher) cost advertisers more than working spend. There are two problems here. First, advertisers don’t usually receive sufficient information about these costs. During a Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit earlier in the year, an unnamed advertising executive said:

“If we have problems with [transparency] today, then it’s not because of the technology powering advertising — it’s because we’re not sharing the information needed to stop brands [from] throwing money into a black hole. We’re having these conversations about transparency over and over again, but the knowledge needed to change the situation isn’t being shared.”

The second problem is that publishers, who actually provide the platform for brands to reach their audiences, are paid less than the intermediaries.

The ad fraud and viewability part of the overall transparency issues originate from publishers selling fake impressions (fake clicks and bot traffic). Domain spoofing, whereby a publisher somehow presents his domain to be a larger publisher’s domain, is another part of the fraud problem. Ad fraud reportedly cost the U.S. advertising industry about $6.5 billion in 2017. Again, as in the case of hidden fees, sufficient information on how publishers verify their traffic, and the processes that ad agencies and other intermediaries follow to ensure that they work with publishers with verified traffic, needs to be available to everyone within the ecosystem.

This is where blockchain comes in. Indeed, blockchain in advertising is likely to be where we’ll see the most rapid adoption. They are a match made in heaven. Advertising lacks the transparency of data and process. Blockchain offers the transparency of data and process.

Here are a few practical ways that blockchain can help bring transparency to the ad buying process.

For buy-side transparency: Blockchain for auditing

Truth Agency, founded by U.K.-based The Marketing Group, is working to help alleviate the transparency issues in programmatic advertising, mainly by rapidly auditing advertising transactions. As been stated by CEO Mary Keane-Dawson:

“We believe that advertisers are not seeing the full picture, in some cases money flows backward through the supply chain to pay for fees not exposed to the advertisers.”

Given that the problem of transparency is systemic rather than technological, Kean-Dawson believes that taking the entirety of ad buying to the blockchain is an unnecessary and complex endeavor, and that is why Truth Agency is only looking to use blockchain to audit ad transactions.

The blockchain startup looked at the ways some of the existing auditing services worked and simplified their processes by splitting it into two key parts: data collection and media contract verification. 

The media contract is a ‘dumb contract’ that features the suppliers allowed within a certain campaign:

“These suppliers, along with the agreed fees (%, fixed price or CPM), whitelists, blacklists, etc. are recorded, along with what we call threads that allow us to match data between suppliers are recorded in a contract file and then transferred to the blockchain. The data collection element currently takes data from the various DSP, SSPs and publishers for the campaigns that we run, [and] this data is stored [in] the blockchain.”

Once Truth has the contract and data stored on the blockchain, it then processes each transaction from each supplier based on the rules written in the contract and publishes an audited version onto the blockchain on an hourly basis The company flags any transactions that cannot be verified through the data it has, such that both the advertiser and the team involved would be notified about the discrepancies. 

Global ad software giant Mediaocean partnered with IBM in June to use blockchain to bring transparency to the “entire lifecycle of an advertiser’s media dollar flow.” As the statement goes:

“From issuing of the purchase order to the execution of media and payment — [IBM’s] blockchain is used to record all media transactions in a secure, immutable, standardized and comprehensive manner.”

For sell-side transparency: Proof-of-view to fight fraud

Transparency issues on the sell-side relate to the fake traffic count, bot clicks and domain spoofing discussed earlier. Verasity — a blockchain-based, video-on-demand platform similar to Vevue — is working to improve publisher transparency with its proof-of-view (PoV) blockchain technology. PoV, which is currently pending patent, is built to securely verify and record content consumption within the Verasity ecosystem. PoV features publicly auditable logs that contain all the view counts as well as anonymized viewer information for media buyers to view, according to Verasity. The company claims that the information included in the logs are GDPR, PCI DSS and ePrivacy compliant.

Verasity outlined six steps in its white paper that PoV follows to prevent fake views.

  1. PoV only records views from signed-in users, since the viewer’s unique ID is part of the information required for a view to be considered valid.
  2. Since most people are only able to watch one video at a time, the PoV will invalidate views from a user who is streaming multiple videos simultaneously.
  3. The PoV technology confirms that a video is actually being streamed by capturing information about the current frame at random times. Verasity claims that this measure helps weed out bot-generated views.
  4. Verasity requires that its video player, VeraPlayer, is visible within the browser and not scrolled out of view or minimized for that view session to be captured by the PoV system.
  5. Verasity would demand users perform occasional manual confirmations (think reCAPTCHA) should they exhibit suspicious behaviors such as viewing a video on a loop.
  6. Being a blockchain technology, view information is publicly available and auditable on multiple servers.

Using smart contracts to document views and who gets paid

TV-TWO, a player in the digital TV space, is also using blockchain to improve the advertising industry. TV-TWO has created a Smart TV app — currently being tested on Samsung and LG smart TVs — that allows consumers to watch a free, personalized video stream that is curated by a supervised learning algorithm, enabling more organic content variety and relevance.

Through a campaign management tool, brands are able to book their desired advertising spots on TV-TWO using TV-TWO’s tokens. The startup employs a smart contract, which single-handedly manages all the payments within the TV-TWO ecosystem. The smart contract publishes all the transactions that takes place regarding any single ad video — from advertisers to viewers and TV-TWO — on the Ethereum blockchain without any input from the TV-TWO team.

TV-TWO seeks to alleviate the scalability concerns of Ethereum blockchain by deploying off-chain signature patterns and state channel technology.

TV-TWO’s supervised learning algorithm is able to serve consumers with highly relevant videos by picking up data on each consumer’s “preferences in traditional TV, in-stream behavior, surveys and other data,” co-founder Philipp Schulz said. To offer relevant ads only, the anonymized data is used for campaign targeting by advertisers. The promise of TV-TWO is to serve consumers with personalized content on TV and offer advertisers accurate, trustless information in their campaigns.

TV-TWO recently advertised 20th Century’s recent blockbuster “Deadpool 2” on its platform — as part of its partnership with 20th Century Fox of Germany. Markus Schneider, 20th Century Fox’s German CFO, said the company is delighted with the results of the campaign, stressing the advantage of having direct access to their target groups on TV and paying for actual viewers only. It’s noteworthy that Schneider joined TV-TWO’s advisory board after the “Deadpool 2” campaign.

The Problem with incentivizing people to watch ads online

Advertisers are likely to appreciate being able to potentially know the actual number of people who “saw” their ad, but it’s not certain that Verasity’s PoV and TV-TWO’s system will be 100 percent foolproof. 

With Verasity, for instance, there’s no way PoV can confirm that a user — even if they meet all the criteria mentioned above — are actually watching a video, although this shouldn’t normally be a problem. After all, if a user visits YouTube to watch a video, they mostly do it for a reason, which means they’ll actually watch the video. It’s a different story with blockchain-based, video-on-demand platforms. The lure to use blockchain streaming services is to earn money by providing your data and watching advertisements. 

It’s therefore possible that a user could view videos that contain ads for the sole purpose of earning some money. This means that it’s possible for a user to play a video in a way that meets all the above criteria but stay away from their streaming device to do something else while the video is playing — and still earn money. In this case, even with the publicly available and auditable information of views, advertisers might still be unable to get a genuine sense of the value they get from advertising with Verasity and any other platform with a similar model.

One could argue that the tokens available for earning might not be valuable enough to encourage people to try to trick the system in this way. While that could be true, it’s still a downside worth noting.

The takeaway from our conversation and research of blockchain in the media space is that blockchain can definitely play a part in moving the media space forward, especially in the advertising space. However, as innovative as blockchain is itself, it cannot, as a single technology, take away all the problems in the media space.

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Exchange Using AI and Blockchain to Tackle Ad Industry’s $19 Billion Fraud Problem

An ad exchange network is combining an artificial intelligence (AI) system with blockchain technology to tackle eye-watering levels of fraud in the industry and stop consumers from being bombarded with irrelevant ads at inappropriate times.

NOIZ Chain says the public, and the brands trying to reach them through advertising, have seen their patience wear thin following a slew of scandals involving digital media. While consumers have been reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, that resulted in millions of Facebook users having their data sold and used without consent, advertisers have been falling victim to bots which generate fake clicks, meaning their content never reaches the intended audience. It is estimated that this form of ad fraud will see businesses lose $19 billion in 2018 – representing 9 percent of the total spending on digital advertising for the year.

NOIZ is going to offer cognitive banners that aim to increase user engagement and provide advertisers with meaningful data on how their campaigns have been performing. The technology, named “Nikola”, enables consumers to receive NOIZ tokens when they interact with an ad. These tokens can then be saved up and used to obtain discounts on products and services. NOIZ tokens also grant the opportunity for token holders—companies or individuals—to easily give NOIZ tokens away to support charitable foundations and facilitate social impact through real user engagement. Chat with an ad, earn rewards, exchange for a discount, and in doing so, contribute to making the world a better place. It’s a beautiful concept.

Andy Ann, NOIZ’s founder, told Cointelegraph: “It is high time that the ad exchange network evolves in this digital era. With the  growing concern for protection of privacy, the billions of dollars wasted due to ad fraud, and publishers’ concerns over data leaks and cartelling in selling out ad inventory, the NOIZ ad exchange offers a one-stop solution to resolve all these issues.”

“Open and decentralized”

NOIZ also wants to tackle the scourge of fake news and unethical advertising which has gripped the Internet in recent years, and ensure that users are only served quality content. The platform’s community will be able to vote against advertisers with questionable business practices, as well as publishers who post fabricated stories or plagiarized content. It is hoped that this approach will make both parties accountable for their actions – enabling them to regain the trust of consumers who are fed up with having their personal details misused.

“We believe this will be the only way to build a robust advertising model for true engagement now and in the long-term,” Mr. Ann added.

Although advertisers will be held to a higher standard through the NOIZ platform, the company says businesses have a lot to gain as well. Consumers will be rewarded for sharing their data with the brands and publishers they trust. This valuable (and accurate) information will help businesses target their campaigns with a precision  not achievable on traditional display advertisements. Currently these advertisements are often placed by algorithms that effectively guess what adverts a consumer might be interested in based on their browsing history, age, gender and location. NOIZ says its cognitive ad network uses AI technology that has generated 30 times more engagement, and in turn, can create a boost in revenue for publishers.

The future of NOIZ

The NOIZ team is preparing to unveil the platform prototypes that have been developed over the past two years.

Interested contributors are now being invited to join a whitelist ahead of the NOIZ token sale in the third quarter of 2018. Its cognitive ad technology is scheduled to launch by the end of the year, and ad trading between publishers and businesses will be enabled at the beginning of 2019. Other features – including a consumer wallet, consensus voting and the ability to support charities by donating NOIZ tokens  will follow.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Facebook’s Crypto Ad Ban Reversal Power Play Gets Their Own News Stuck

It has been an interesting time for Facebook and its relationship with cryptocurrencies ever since they made a precedent setting move to ban adverts on their platform that had anything to do with cryptocurrency in January this year.

The social media giant has since updated their policies to once again allow cryptocurrencies to advertise on Facebook, although it has continued its ban on ICOs. This move is being seen as a positive for the cryptocurrency space, which has earned back a major advertising platform on which it can reach a large number of users.

However, behind the scenes, all is not as it seems as cryptocurrency-related content continues to get caught in the web.

Setting a precedent

On January 30, it was announced that Facebook would be updating its advertising policy prohibiting ads that use “misleading or deceptive promotional practices,” this includes ads of cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

Even back then, the message from the social media giant was confusing, as the decision by Facebook came just after its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a personal post that he had a desire to study cryptocurrencies further:

“There are important counter-trends to this — like encryption and cryptocurrency — that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands […] I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”

‘Intentionally broad’ ban

The post announcing the ban did mention that the policies would be revisited later down the line, and that it began as ‘intentionally broad,’ however, this direct U-turn has come as quite a surprising move from Facebook, even if it is only currently being paid in lip service.

‘Intentionally broad’ ban

Source: Facebook

The move from Facebook opened the floodgates for other such social and internet platforms to follow on and also ban anything crypto-related.

In March, Google took on Facebook’s reasoning for banning cryptocurrency ads. Under Google’s updated financial products policy, no advertisements for “cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice),” would be accepted.

Twitter then followed suit, confirming long-standing rumours that it would also stop all forms of cryptocurrency advertising. Twitter blocked out ICOs and other token sales, as well as advertisements for exchanges and wallet services, unless they were public companies and listed on major stock exchanges.

The announcement of the Facebook ban, in January, saw Bitcoin drop, as it went from $11,200 to $8,800 over a few days after it was announced.

Bitcoin Charts

Source: Coinmarketcap

Bitcoin fell below the $8,000 mark in March on the news, and Ethereum went under $600 when Twitter and Google announced their bans.

Bitcoin Charts

Source: Coinmarketcap

U-Turn

On June 26, the same policies were again updated and Facebook announced that it would allow cryptocurrencies to be advertised again, but ICOs would remain banned. The company stated that it had been looking at the best way of refining its blanket ban on cryptocurrency adverts.

The revised “prohibited products and services policy” now reads:

“Starting June 26, we’ll […] allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers. But we’ll continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.”

The interesting wording there is that Facebook is looking to allow content from ‘pre-approved advertisers’ and so it cedes that, “not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so.”

It gives Facebook a lot more control and dominance over the cryptocurrency space on its platform, and allows — in its centralized manner — the platform to pick and choose the cryptocurrency projects it deems worthy.

Contradictory actions

While Facebook says one thing about its cryptocurrency policy, it seems as if it is doing something entirely different. The social media giant has had a confusing relationship with the ecosystem with news that it would be exploring blockchain, potentially for a messenger-style app as it was led up by David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s messaging app, Messenger.

More recently, there have been reports in the media that Facebook is looking at launching its own cryptocurrency, a sort of in-app virtual coin.

The reason behind Facebook’s turn around in its stance on advertising has not really been explained, especially considering it set the precedent with the ban in the first place. But with its own work in blockchain and potentially cryptocurrency as well, an ad ban would not be of benefit to the company.

Building a space for itself?

The fact that there is evidence of Facebook entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency market means that there is a lot at stake for the social media giant, especially in a space that is revolutionary and will definitely be important in the future.

By creating an ecosystem that is friendly to projects it backs, or is involved in, it could — if it wanted to — help boost them ahead of others. And with this centralized control, they have a lot of sway over which crypto projects get sufficient Facebook marketing.

Carlos Grenoir, CEO of Olyseum — a blockchain social sports app — sees how Facebook’s reversal of the ban could be selfishly motivated:

“The reasons for Facebook reversing its decision to ban crypto ads are not clear, but the motivation could have something to do with its own strategy regarding the evolving crypto space. The cryptocurrency ecosystem is expanding rapidly, and is growing its footprint in mainstream society, introducing new economic opportunities. We are also seeing regulatory authorities taking steps to provide security to the ecosystem that will in turn give strength to the global economy.”

Not all the news of Facebook’s reversal was seen in such skeptical light, as some in the crypto community ticked this move as a big win for the longevity and advancement of cryptocurrency.

However, Bitcoin commentator WhalePanda, raises an interesting point about Facebook’s current state of affairs and their need to do something revolutionary to keep relevant.

Already having an impact?

Cointelegraph, as a media outlet that operates in the cryptocurrency space, is a company that falls under the gambit of the initial ban and felt the effects of the ban when it would try and boost articles relating to cryptocurrency matters.

The posts which have been put forward for review by Cointelegraph have become stuck, and are not being confirmed, nor denied by Facebook, during the ban as well as after the ban was ‘reversed.’

The only response that Cointelegraph has seen from Facebook in terms of confirming or denying posts during the ban has to do with an article on John McAfee announcing his bid to run for U.S. president it deemed to be political, and thus against its terms. So, according to the Facebook terms, should all media posts covering runners for presidency be denied?

Already having an impact?

After yesterday news of Facebook reversing its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements, Cointelegraph has still been experiencing the same stringent approach on content monitoring when trying to promote this news, only for the post to be left stranded and unboosted with no explanation or reason.

Already having an impact?

It is a confusing space that Facebook has currently created for those in the cryptocurrency space. Cointelegraph is having its articles left in limbo, with no reason or explanation, as Facebook announces the ban on such material is no longer in action.

Plain and clear

If Facebook is indeed vetting those who are involved in the cryptocurrency space, it is yet to be explained, and if this is indeed the way in which the platform hopes to move forward, it could risk bringing a huge undertaking upon itself.

Facebook has come forward and said one thing, but they have not acted how they have said they would. Their decision to change policy has been explained broadly and without much direction, only stating that they have tightened up their broad brush strokes from January.

While the reversal of the ban will be seen as positive from most of the cryptocurrency community, it needs to be investigated further, as it has not been enacted in the manner in which it has been stated.

If Facebook is reopening the gates for cryptocurrencies, it needs to be done so unequivocally, fairly and immediately. If they, however, are using this as a way to vet certain projects and helped their own means, they should be questioned and pushed further.

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IBM Launches Blockchain-Powered Media Transactions Tracker to Prevent Advertising Fraud

IBM iX has partnered with software supplier Mediaocean to launch a blockchain-powered tracker for digital media transactions, the company tweeted June 19. IBM iX is the business and tech consulting wing of international technology giant IBM.

According to IBM iX, the main purpose for applying blockchain in the media ecosystem is to “clean things up” in the media buying industry.  

The tracker will ostensibly address digital ad fraud by preventing payments from going to the wrong parties. Partner in global marketing at IBM iX Babs Rangaiah said that the blockchain pilot will help track the flow of money among media players and cut out unnecessary middlemen:

“Once you identify where the money is going, who the players are and what each of them are doing, I think you’ll see some redundancies in the supply chain that will allow some of that production money now going to the middle players to come back and hit the publishers.”

In addition to providing transparency in the industry, the pilot also aims to reduce the time and cost of media transactions. The pilot will involve media deals for Unilever, Kimberly-Clark Corp., Pfizer, Kellogg, and Watson. According to Mediaocean CEO Bill Wise, the pilot will be fully applied by the “majority” of the digital media industry by the end 2019:

“I think by the end of next year we will have a fully functioning scalable solution that will be adopted by the majority of the industry.”

In April, Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer reported that around 20-30 percent of advertising budgets are wasted in the media supply chain due to “lack of viewability, non-transparent contracts, non-transparent measurement of inputs, fraud, and now even your ads showing up in unsafe places.” According to estimates from Juniper Research, fraud will cost digital advertisers $52 million per day in 2018.

The recent project is not the first initiative by IBM to integrate blockchain technology into the advertising industry. On April 18, IBM announced a pilot of a proof-of-concept (PoC) blockchain product to “short-circuit intermediaries” between advertisers, publishers, and consumers as well as to provide clear records of contracts and publisher payments.

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Company Launches Blockchain Platform to Enable Transparent and Low Cost Advertising

A company has launched an online advertising platform AdCoinClick that enables businesses and individuals to pay for campaigns using cryptocurrency – all the while providing publishers with an innovative way of monetizing content directly through their websites and blogs.

AdCoin’s founders, all of whom have prior experience as entrepreneurs, say they were inspired to launch AdCoinClick because of the “time- and money wasting frustrations” they encountered when trying to spend marketing budgets in the past.

Not only can credit card payments suffer unacceptable delays – resulting in accounts being suspended and precious exposure being lost – but small businesses in some parts of the world have struggled to advertise on major websites because cards and platforms such as PayPal are not commonly used methods of payment.

“Reach massive audiences in minutes”

AdCoinClick says its objective is to allow cryptocurrency related products to be advertised transparently through digital campaigns – and it claims businesses will have the chance to connect with large numbers of crypto enthusiasts in a matter of minutes. Unlike other advertising platforms, there are no minimum budgets for campaigns, paving the way for start-ups to gain new customers and greater levels of brand awareness.

Its team, based in the Netherlands, claims that as much as 80 percent of advertising budgets spent on rival platforms are a “waste of money” because the campaigns are not precisely targeted. AdCoinClick says it avoids “spammy traffic that doesn’t convert into direct business” – instead offering “A-tier publishers” where ads about initial coin offerings and roadmaps will be seen by readers with a genuine interest in their message.

AdCoin says fees for using its new platform are “close to zero,” making it feasible for businesses to conduct micro transactions with niche publishers on a regular basis.

Publishers can decide whether they want to use their earnings to invest in cryptocurrency on an exchange or convert it into fiat currency. Alternatively, they could choose to use AdCoinClick to launch their own campaigns and drive traffic to their website or blog.

Plugins already launched

AdCoin says it is determined to speed up adoption of its cryptocurrency and platform, making it the standard for advertising payments, through plugins for a plethora of well-known eCommerce platforms and content management systems.

The company has already integrated a payment API into WooCommerce, a popular open-source eCommerce platform on WordPress. Once an AdCoin wallet has been created, it allows publishers and other businesses to accept payments in the cryptocurrency for both physical and digital products and services – with transactions completed in alternative currencies automatically converted. This is coupled with a “powerful dashboard” where a full record of payments is kept. A standalone solution for WordPress and Drupal which eliminates the need for “complex plugins” has also been launched.

In time, AdCoin plans to launch a WordPress advertising plugin that enables publishers to maximize revenues and sell space on demand, without having to contend with complex demands from other providers.

The company has created a web wallet which can be used on desktop and mobile devices. AdCoin wallets are automatically created and linked to a customer’s email address whenever the cryptocurrency is purchased which enables user to transfer AdCoin by using email addresses. Third-parties can develop tools based on the AdCoin Web Wallet by using their API with an integrated Paypal-like Payment Gateway.

Over the coming year, AdCoin is hoping to globally engage in business development and adding more integrations – paving the way for major networks to adopt microtransactions on its platform in 2019.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.