For every smart blockchain business proposition, there are four more startups making loud, but mostly empty claims about what they can deliver. It’s either that, or they’re randomly asking for people to donate to their initial coin offerings, but without any sign of a viable product.

“No one has a viable product yet at scale,” said Dan Wilson, CEO of London Media Exchange. “I’d say 95 percent of current blockchain vendors will be blown up inside 18 months, maybe less.” Publishers may find the concept interesting, but for most of them, it’s too early to warrant investment.

“It’s another case of a barrel load of tech inventing a problem that doesn’t exist,” said a publishing executive. “Currently, it’s like buying a helmet for walking.” The hype and interest in blockchain’s potential has spurred agencies to jump on the bandwagon and spawned a flurry of recent events on the topic that cover how the theory of blockchain can actually be applied.

But to attendees, it’s clear there is a way to go before the technology can move beyond the theory stage, for advertising at least. “Blockchain has been discussed at length [at these events], and yet there seems to be a complete lack of understanding as to what it actually can deliver and how it will work,” said Julia Smith, an independent digital consultant.

Over the years, digital ad trading has become less transparent and increasingly untrustworthy both for advertisers and publishers. That’s why blockchain technology, which acts as a ledger that validates all transactions on an encrypted basis, has been hailed as a highly attractive proposition for solving real problems in media, such as removing the long-criticized opacity of the programmatic ad trading ecosystem. Read more from…

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