As the old saying goes: making predictions is always difficult, especially about the future. However, here is a given: there will be a lot more discussion about blockchain over the coming year.
So many people have different views on how blockchain will affect the marketing and advertising industry that the potential applications of this nascent technology seem almost limitless. So instead of gazing too hard and long into our crystal balls, perhaps now is a good time to take stock and focus on some of the more realistic developments and what they mean for the industry.
Following an in-depth review with leading industry stakeholders1, about how media currencies might look in five years, we discussed how blockchain might work and how it would change the way we do business.
Previously published in MediaTel, we looked at the case for “The rise of the Super JICs” and a companion piece, “Chaos replaces order” in which tech drives a more anarchic, decentralized future scenario. Here we take a deeper look at how blockchain technology might be applied to the ad industry and how that might affect the future of media currencies.
Firstly, what is blockchain?
In essence, blockchain is a new way to store information. It is a digital record of all transactions related to a product or service. These transactions are recorded and shared among a secure, decentralized network of stakeholders.
Certain attributes make blockchain technology particularly attractive to the advertising industry. It is immutable – “blocks” of transactions are continuously time-stamped and verified by the network; and once added no single party can alter it. It is shared – every party in the network can see everything, creating a transparent, “single version of the truth”. It is secure – it is encrypted so that only those agreed parties in the network can access it.
At this early

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