AdToken was launched by adChain in 2017 and is a product of both MetaX (www.metax.io) and Consensys. It’s built on Ethereum. Ethereum smart contracts allow
‘The goal of the adChain Registry is to provide advertisers with a list of websites that offer high – quality inventory for serving digital ads.’- as states the front of the AdChain website.
Ad Fraud is a huge issue- it is estimated that advertisers lose $51m per day or $19b per year to ad fraud. This can be caused by ad bots – where hundreds of thousands of bots can click on ads to create fake ‘clicks’ which advertisers have to pay for. There are various other scams- also involving fake impressions and people with cheaper labour rates being paid to repeatedly click on ads – which all mean that advertisers are reducing spend on digital advertising. This leaves advertisers without any easy or economically efficient way to reach their exact target market, and leaves websites struggling to make revenues due to lack of trust.
adChain uses its community to create lists of websites – domains – which have been checked and proven to be free from ad fraud and therefore safe to invest in. The platform lists websites that have a ‘community-vetted stamp of approval’. These websites pay to be listed there, but in theory the platform allows them exposure to advertisers who also trust the platform’s vetting system.
If a publisher remains on this list, that means he/she does not use bots and create organic traffic made by “real humans”.
The AdChain registry guarantees that the ads will be seen by real people to advertisers. But, built on Ethereum, they plan to allow developers to also create dApps on top of it – such as bot detection dApps and reputation score dApps.
adChain is the first token curated registry- meaning that it provides a pool of data compiled by token holders.
Background to adChain
Adtoken is the token or currency for the Adchain project- a project designed to end ad fraud in the digital advertising industry. At present, the ad industry standard is the CPM (cost per mille) –the cost per 1000 clicks. It is currently almost impossible to distinguish between bot clicks, and human clicks, and publishers have been known to take advantage of this and boost their earnings by sending bot traffic to their advertisers’ ads. This is the cause of an estimated $19 billion a year fraud, one special bot software called “Methbot” allegedly recently spoofed more than 6 million publishers and generated $5m revenue per day, and the ads paid for by the advertisers weren’t ever seen by real people. The Adtoken will be used to reward users for verifying publishers as being good or bad domains- users will be incentivised to keep the whitelist accurate.
How adChain works
Any website can apply to adChain, to be listed on the system- they have to pay a deposit for this in adToken. If your domain goes through the registration stage without being challenged, Anyone can equally challenge a listing, i.e. if they think that website is indeed using ad fraud. To challenge a listing, one has to pay the same amount as a listing, in adTokens.
Once a listing is challenged, anyone can vote on this, again paying in adTokens. The more adTokens you use to vote with, the more your vote counts for.
Once a challenge is decided – those on the majority side win back their tokens, as well as tokens proportional to those they voted with, out of the deposit paid by the opposing side.
adToken it does not serve as the currency for the platform but rather as a means of governance.
Adchain is browser agnostic so can also work on BAT- it is aimed as being a complementary service to the Brave browser.
|Creator||Ken Brook (MetaX)|
|Creation Date||Q3 2017|
The Adchain project is created and managed by the team of MetaX: A company that creates a decentralized apps on the blockchain, for the advertising industry (https://metax.io/). Ken Brook, the CEO, is also the founder of StreamRoll Media, which specializes in creating social media channels for advertising purposes.
The project is also backed and co-ventured by Consensys, the giant Ethereum VC and supporting arm. The ties with Consensys lend a lot of credibility to the project.
The Adchain team use Twitter, Medium, and Reddit for communication but aren’t paricularly active on any of them.
|Block Time / Transaction Fee||–|
|Current Value (Total)||$ 29,448,660|
|Can Be Traded In||Upbit, Bittrex|
|Can It Be Used in Real World?||No|
AdToken and AdChain do give an advantage to the advertisers. However, a year later and there are still only very few websites listed on their site. There doesn’t however seem to be much by way of incentive to their tokenholders. If tokenholders have to pay and risk their tokens to challenge, this will likely put many people off issuing such challenges. This will leave more website domains to go uncontested, not necessarily because they’re scam free, but rather because no one was wanted to risk their tokens to contest the site when they may not be sure. For the AdChain registry to be accepted by mainstream website owners, the site needs to be flawless. Currently, someone could in theory buy hundreds of tokens and get their friends to keep voting for their site, to get a fraudulent site added to the registry – voters may vote against this but that isn’t certain.
adChain would probably have to have some fairly impressive announcements or partnerships, such as with a browser, for the platform to fully disrupt ad fraud.