Point/Counterpoint: Can Blockchain Protect Digital Advertisers from Fraud?

September 26, 2022

// By Jim Samuel //

Jim-SamuelDigital advertising will total more than $571 billion worldwide in 2022. But the latest projections from Juniper Research say $81 billion of that will be wasted because of fraud. Some advocates say blockchain technology can be the solution to the fraud problem. Others say blockchain is likely to come up short as a solution to a growing problem.

Unless you’ve lived in a cave for the past five or six years, you’ve probably heard about blockchain technology.

To hear some tell it, blockchain is the answer to just about every problem faced by modern society. Others describe it as a solution in search of a problem. One area in which blockchain has seen some success is in helping to detect fraud in digital advertising.

Blockchain has been discussed as a way to prevent digital advertising fraud for several years now, but it has not been as successful or as widespread as its proponents predicted.


Dr. Augustine Fou, an independent researcher who studies advertising fraud

“Amidst the insane hype back in 2017, blockchain was pitched as a cure-all for ad fraud in digital advertising,” says Dr. Augustine Fou, an independent researcher who studies advertising fraud. “The theory was that you could memorialize all details of a transaction, such as buying a single digital ad impression, in the blockchain, and anyone could later review it for accuracy.”

However, according to Dr. Fou “there are a lot of problems with the accuracy of data coming from the digital advertising platforms.”

Here, we’ll look at the arguments for and against the use of blockchain to prevent ad fraud. Advertisers have a lot to gain from greater transparency, but some stakeholders may have even more to gain by keeping things as they are.

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