Interactive Advertising Bureau
09 April 2019

IAB Europe Publishes 'Blockchain Demystified' White Paper

Brussels, 10 April – IAB Europe has today published its ‘Blockchain Demystified’ White Paper to shed light on a topic that despite its potential to revolutionise the digital advertising industry, is still largely shrouded in mystery and misconception.

Tapping the expertise of industry leaders from a wide range of organisations, under the guidance of the IAB Europe Education & Training Committee, this white paper covers key elements to provide a better understanding of the technology and its application in digital advertising. The IAB Europe members who contributed to the white paper are Adform, eBay, FreeWheel (and Blockgraph), IAB Italy (and its members, Ligatus Italia and MainAd), MetaX, Mindshare (GroupM), Publicis Media, and Rubicon Project.

In recent years, a lack of transparency and thus trust within our industry has been an ongoing theme in discussions about the current state of the media business. Most experts believe that blockchain’s potential applications for marketing and advertising may provide an opportunity for all participants in the media supply chain to demonstrate transparency and to rebuild trust. This white paper impartially examines blockchain’s potential value for our industry, shedding light upon its current capabilities as well as its challenges and limitations. We believe this very detailed and in-depth resource will set the basis for future thinking on how blockchain may enable increased efficiencies and a more trustworthy supply chain for our industry”, said Neslihan Olcay, Chair of the IAB Europe Education and Training Committee and CEO of Wavemaker Turkey.

The whitepaper also features a range of use cases to show Blockchain’s application to the current advertising industry. These include IBM for Unilever’s pilot program that tracks the digital ad buying ecosystem via blockchain to enable increased efficiencies and a more trustworthy supply chain, and Comcast’s FreeWheel group’s industry initiative to connect data insights across the entire TV ecosystem.

As part of the 2019 work plan on educating the industry about blockchain and sharing best practice use cases, IAB Europe’s Education and Training Committee will also organise a webinar this summer to feature the white paper’s contributors and industry experts. This follows up from the 2018 Blockchain webinar which  first addressed the impact of this new technology on the digital advertising ecosystem.

"Blockchain is the disruptive technology of today that many claim will revolutionise the industry. Ultimately, even if the promises of trust, transparency, and security don't fully pan out, hindered by the hurdles highlighted in this white paper, blockchain may become a trigger and the catalyst for some bigger and more complex projects to modernise clunky and still partly digitised ecosystems in marketing and advertising. It is in this that an intrinsic value to blockchain lies, beyond the obvious benefits it can generate," said white paper leader Anton Kopytov, Partner Technology Consulting, Mindshare Worldwide and Chair of the IAB Europe Research Committee.

The white paper discuses not only the basics of what blockchain is and how it can be applied in the digital industry, but also looks at common areas of confusion, such as the difference between cryptocurrencies and blockchain as a whole. It investigates the current limitations for blockchain and the hurdles it needs to overcome. The Blockchain Demystified white paper aims to provide a crystal ball looking into the future of the technology and its possible developments, applications and struggles that are still to come.

With the lack of education into the opportunities that blockchain can provide the industry highlighted as one of the current challenges for the adoption of this technology, resources such as this white paper are vital in widening the range of technological opportunities for those part of the digital ecosystem. As a stepping stone for future work at IAB Europe on the topic of blockchain, Blockchain Demystified is the first piece in what we hope will become – with the support of our members – an instrumental library of resources on the topic” said Alex Macarescu, Programme Manager, IAB Europe.

You can download the white paper here.


For more information contact

Helen Mussard, Marketing & Business Strategy Director, IAB Europe (

Alex Macarescu, Programme Manager, IAB Europe (

About IAB Europe

IAB Europe is the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the development of this innovative sector and ensure its sustainability by shaping the regulatory environment, demonstrating the value digital advertising brings to Europe’s economy, to consumers and to the market, and developing and facilitating the uptake of harmonised business practices that take account of changing user expectations and enable digital brand advertising to scale in Europe.

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