IAB Tech Labs Launches Blockchain-Analysis Pilot Program


The effort will examine blockchain projects by member organisations resulting in a white paper that separates employees on the basis of their capability

It seems like every other day a new startup is claiming it can cure the woes of digital advertising with blockchain, while doubters point to the technology’s limitations. To help separate people that are of high quality or ability from those that are not, so some real baking can occur, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) tech lab announced that its Blockchain working group is launching a pilot program.

Advertising-targeted projects

The program will look at blockchain-based, advertising-targeted projects from the Working Group’s 100+ member organisations. It will then write a white paper that attempts to point out the actual value and possibly throw shade on the hype of blockchain’s potential for this industry.

So far, projects have been identified from Kochava Labs, FusionSeven, MetaX and Lucidity. Each includes a variety of ad tech participants, including advertisers, agencies, DSPs, publishers and exchanges.

The Lucidity Layer 2 pilot, for instance, is looking to verify impressions and track the programmatic supply chain through a blockchain-based decentralised shared ledger. The company is also planning other blockchain projects to tackle fee transparency, digital publisher signature and audience verification.

Smart contracts and virtual currency

The hype surrounding blockchain has obscured its key asset as a distributed and virtually immutable shared ledger. While there are other capabilities, the technology also has issues about processing speed, privacy between participants and functions that might otherwise be handled with less expense or less complexity through more conventional technologies.

Smart contracts and virtual currency, for instance, are consistently cited as unique aspects of blockchain-based systems, but both could also be offered through conventional software. Startup WildFire launched this week a virtual-coin-based platform to support app discovery and engagement and it doesn’t use blockchain.

IAB SVP/GM told that the company expects the white paper will glean insights from the various projects in the pilot program, helping to sift which blockchain-based functions are clearly advantageous for digital advertising, which could hold promise and which have not yet proven themselves.


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