Interactive Advertising Bureau
02 July 2019

Demystifying blockchain: present and future

The fact that the technology underpinning most of digital advertising evolves at breakneck speed is not news to anyone. Heck, it’s almost a cliche. The truth is that while this enables digital advertising to grow steadily, the constant pursuit for the next best thing also has drawbacks. For one, it means that digital professionals are in a constant mad scramble to stay relevant and up to date with the latest breakthroughs. Whether it’s VR, AR, IoT, DOOH, Connected TV, or a slew of other acronyms, the challenge is now to identify which technology will surpass the buzzword status to become “the programmatic” of a decade from now. A more thorny problem is then to find the resources that would enable one to get a better understanding of these technologies. 

When we set out at IAB Europe to draft a white paper on blockchain, the main drive was the tremendous appetite in the digital advertising industry for resources and understanding on the topic. We have the companies, we have the experts, why not?! So we reached out to IAB Europe member companies who are at the cutting edge of technology to help us create a resource that paints blockchain in its true colours: its benefits as well as its drawbacks. Organisations such as GroupM, eBay, Rubicon Project, FreeWheel, MetaX, Publicis, Adform and even National IABs such as IAB Italy came together to create a resource that will act as the stepping stone of work on blockchain at IAB Europe: our Blockchain Demystified white paper. Its reception was positively overwhelming. And rightly so. It’s not an ode to blockchain. It’s not an exposé on its drawbacks. It’s a resource that walks the fine line between identifying the inherent advantages presented by blockchain, alongside its current limitations and drawbacks. 

The fact remains that blockchain technology, with all its shortcomings, could potentially provide the answer to some of the most pressing issues of digital advertising today: transparency and trust. And so we are now following up the publication of the white paper with an extra step to deliver insight into blockchain and its applicability in the digital advertising sector: a webinar.  

Structured into four sections, followed by a dedicated Q&A session, this complimentary webinar aims to not only reinforce the key takeaways from the white paper, but to also give attendees a chance to get answers to their most pressing questions tied to the technology. The answers to be provided by some of the leading experts in blockchain from companies such as Anton Kopytov, Partner Technology Consulting, Mindshare Worldwide (GroupM) and Chair of the IAB Europe Research Committee, Hunter Gebron, Director of Strategic Initiatives, MetaX, Jason Manningham, General Manager, Blockgraph (part of FreeWheel), and Samuel Zwaan, EU Product Lead Programmatic Advertising, eBay, Tom Kersahw, Chief Technology Officer, Rubicon Project, and Shailley Singh, Vice President, Product Management, IAB Tech Lab. In addition to the dedicated Q&A session mentioned above, the topics that will be covered in the webinar range from an introduction into the technology, to the opportunities it offers, its limitations and the challenges it has to overcome, as well as a panel discussion on its future applications. 

It’s certainly no easy feat to build a comprehensive library of resources on a topic such as blockchain, but our recent work is hopefully laying a strong foundation on which future work can be erected.

You can register and find more info on the speakers for the upcoming webinar here. The Blockchain Demystified white paper can be accessed here

For more information on how to get involved with IAB Europe’s Education & Training Committee and its initiatives, please feel free to contact me.

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