I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half.” — John Wanamaker
For most internet users, online advertising is a necessary evil. Pop ups, side crawlers, flashing gifs, … they all compete for our attention, trying to drag us away from the thing that brought us to a page, and force us to pay attention to what they are trying to sell whether we want it or not.
When done well, advertising is the life-blood of the economy – putting goods and services in front of the very people who need and want them most.
When done poorly, ads irritate visitors or are habitually ignored. For publishers, if ads are too aggressive, they can drive away visitors, lessening the value and impact of a site.
And even with the advent of services like AdSense, which allows advertisers to target their ads by niche, gender, income level, and a plethora of other criteria, there is no guarantee that the ads are even getting the impressions claimed.
As this article in
The Atlantic documents, it is incredibly easy even for people with no coding ability to create bots that will pump the numbers on any site or page they wish, massively inflating the number of impressions an ad seems to get when in fact it is seen by few to no human eyes. It is thought that better than 60 percent of all web traffic is now bots and not actual humans!
The Advent of ClearCoin
ClearCoin is the brainchild of technologist Jay Singh, who has been working in the advertising space for 14 years. His key perception is that blockchain technology can be leveraged to solve or lessen the problems discussed above.
The first step of the ClearCoin journey is the creation of a global advertising platform. This platform, which is planned to be accessible both from browsers and smartphones, will put advertisers in contact with publishers.
Ads can be arranged directly or programmatically in any format the advertiser needs – everything from print, to video, to VR. The ad space can be purchased using the ClearCoin token or with fiat currencies. Further, the ads can arranged via blockchain-based smart contracts, guaranteeing the security and cooperation of all parties involved.
Once an ad is running, its performance and demographic data will be recorded to an immutable ClearCoin ledger hosted on Hyperledger. This will not only allow the advertiser to track the real-time performance of the ad, but also anonymously collect and aggregate a huge amount of data about what types of visitors are seeing the ad.
This information will not only allow the advertisers to analyze the ad performance and make decisions about what to do next to improve performance, but also allow the system’s AI to learn to spot and exclude bots and other fraudulent impressions.
It is currently thought that as much as 20 percent of all ad impressions are fraudulent.
If the only thing ClearCoin did was to eliminate those fraudulent impressions, the impact on the effectiveness of advertisements would be huge. Advertisers would save because they would be able to get their services in front of the people who want them most, and high-quality publishers would thrive as demand to pay to put ads before the real visitors on their sites would soar.
In 2009 Satoshi Nakamoto unleashed the power of the blockchain for the purpose of creating a global, government-free money. The potential of blockchains is not limited to money, though, and right now there are hundreds of projects and companies finding ways to let blockchains improve the world and the quality of our lives. ClearCoin is clearly one of those.
To find out more about ClearCoin, you can find them here: