What is adChain?
An Ethereum based solution for digital advertising
adChain is a browser agnostic Ethereum based solution for digital advertising that seamlessly integrates with pre-existing RTB and programmatic industry standards.
The core utility of the adChain Protocol is adToken [ADT]. adToken is required to use adChain. ADT is a multi-purpose token with usage properties for voting, depositing and challenging entry into the adChain Registry.
The adChain Registry is a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain, which stores domain names accredited as non-fraudulent by adToken holders.
adToken holders are incentivized to clean up the digital advertising supply chain by voting fraudulent publishers out of the adChain Registry based on their merits.
Cleaning Up The Mess
in the digital advertising supply chain
The digital advertising supply chain is a littered landscape filled with problems and unscrupulous characteristics.
LACK OF COORDINATION
These constitute merely a fraction of the overarching dilemmas the industry faces.
BUT THE MAJORITY OF THE ISSUES STEM FROM THE CPM
The CPM (cost per mille) is an industry standard.
The CPM is defined as cost per 1,000 impressions.
It is the root cause of a staggering 16+ billion dollar yearly ad fraud problem.
Impressions are determined and counted on the basis of whether an advertisement was seen or not.
Since publishers and vendors in the supply chain are paid by the amount of impressions they serve to advertisers, there is a rational incentive for publishers to artificially inflate the number of impressions in their supply.
More Impressions = More Money
The over-reporting of impressions by publishers is compounded by the fact that bot impressions and human impressions are virtually indistinguishable from one another. As a result, the purchasing of fake bot traffic by publishers is big business. Advertisers employ safety vendors to try and detect bot traffic. But it’s a cat and mouse game where first mover advantage favors the bot traffic vendors.
And as bot traffic becomes more sophisticated and publishers get more cunning in their tactics to over-report CPMs, advertising budgets across the whole ecosystem are suffering losses.
It’s safe to say that digital advertising is in a state of peril.
We propose a solution
A total fixed supply of 1,000,000,000 ADT will be created prior to the adChain Protocol going live on the Ethereum mainnet.
distributed in a token sale with a cap of $10 million sold
reserved for MetaX
reserved for ConsenSys
sold to fund development via multiple pre-sale agreements
ADCHAIN USE OF PROCEEDS
Our Future Vision
an open ecosystem for dapps and ingenuity
adChain begins its journey as a Registry of reputable publishers, but its future promises to deliver much more. As an open protocol built on the Ethereum blockchain, it enables developers from around the globe the ability to create dApps that provide key functionality and facilitate ease-of-use.
This will lead to a rich ecosystem-enabling environment for advertisers and publishers to openly coordinate advertising campaigns with one another via a suite of customizable dApps. Some examples of dApps to be built on adChain are bot detection dApps, reputation score dApps, automated payment delivery dApps, DMP (data management platform) dApps and even virtuous Ad Blocker dApps. But the most exciting dApps are likely to be those we have yet to even think of!
Frequently Asked Questions
adChain is a set of interoperable open protocols built on the public Ethereum blockchain that serve the needs of the $175 billion digital advertising ecosystem. The first protocol under development is the adChain Registry, a decentralized whitelist of non-fraudulent publisher domain names. Other protocols for creative registration and verification, impression tracking, and malware detection, will be added in the future.
These protocols provide a foundation for decentralized application developers to build on, enabling advertisers and publishers to run campaigns that leverage the power of Ethereum while maintaining the familiar user experience of legacy tools. The applications built on adChain will drive adoption across the thousands of advertisers, publishers, and technology providers in the digital advertising ecosystem.
The adChain Registry is a public decentralized whitelist of online publisher websites which aims to help the advertising industry solve its $16+ billion fraud problem. In this context "decentralized" means that no single entity has control over the whitelist. Instead, the decisions about which publishers are able to join the whitelist are made collectively by the adToken (ADT) holding members of the adChain community.
Fraud at such a massive scale (+$16 billion ) is made possible by the lack of transparency in the digital advertising supply chain. Advertisers often don't know which websites the ads they buy end up on, leaving room for malicious publishers with mostly bot traffic to profit at their expense. This problem is exacerbated by the large number of intermediaries in a typical programmatic advertising supply chain. A single ad impression can transact between dozens of parties that sit between the advertiser and the publisher. These intermediaries, who are often paid on a per impression basis, may have limited incentive to report questionable traffic, since anybody who reports fraud down the line forfeits their own revenue by doing so.
The adChain Registry employs the adToken (ADT) holding members of the adChain community to help vet publishers who wish to join. The application process for a publisher is as follows:
- A publisher submits an application which includes an ADT deposit.
- A "challenge period" starts during which any ADT holder who believes the publisher is fraudulent can issue a challenge and match the publisher's ADT deposit.
- If no challenges are issued during the challenge period, the publisher is accepted into the adChain Registry, and their deposit is returned.
- If a challenge is issued, the publisher and challenger go head-to-head and ADT holders vote (1 ADT = 1 vote; majority rules) on the outcome.
- The winner of this vote has their ADT deposit returned to them and is rewarded some fraction of the the loser's deposit. The remainder of the loser's deposit is divided amongst the majority voters.
- If the vote is in favor of the publisher, they are accepted into the adChain Registry. If the vote is in favor of the challenger, the publisher is not accepted.
For more detailed information, please see the adChain Registry whitepaper.
In practice, fraudulent publishers will most likely be challenged by existing business partners or their safety vendors after enough evidence of fraud is accumulated to be persuasive to the ADT holding members of the adChain community.
The adChain Registry does not solve fraud directly, instead it provides the advertising industry with a platform through which to collectively define what fraud is and where to draw the line (e.g. 10% questionable traffic? 20%?). Further, the adChain Registry provides direct financial incentives to those challenging fraudulent publishers and to those participating in the voting process.
Compare the decentralized adChain Registry with a traditional way of solving this problem: trusting a single database to maintain a whitelist of non-fraudulent publishers. The traditional solution -- a centralized whitelist -- doesn't require a blockchain, doesn't need a token, and is far cheaper and easier to operate. It could be run on a spreadsheet! The centralized solution, however, comes with a significant disadvantage: trust. The value of a centralized whitelist depends on the collective trust placed in its contributors to not list URLs they know to be fraudulent.
On the other hand, the integrity of the adChain Registry does not depend on trust in any single centralized solution or the reliability of any given contributor, but rather trust in the continued collective financial incentives of all ADT holders – i.e. the strength of the participants in the ecosystem - to challenge URLs and publishers they believe to be fraudulent.
Beyond the direct ADT reward for challenging or participating in an ADT vote against a rejected publisher, the ADT holding members of the adChain community also share an incentive to increase the value of ADT. The relationship between the value of ADT and the integrity of the adChain registry is described in greater detail in the whitepaper, but the summary is:
- The fewer fraudulent publishers in the adChain Registry, the more advertisers will want to do business with the adChain Registry members
- The more advertisers want to do business with adChain Registry members, the more publishers will want to join
- The more publishers want to join, the greater the demand for adToken
- The greater the demand for adToken, the more valuable adToken becomes
To look at this same relationship from the opposite perspective, it holds that should the adChain Registry have a large number of fraudulent publishers, advertisers won't want to do business with its members, publishers won't want to join it, and the value of adToken is likely to decline.
As a result of this relationship, rational adToken voters who wish to see the value of their adToken increase will do their best to challenge and vote against the applications of publishers they consider fraudulent.
The goal of adChain is to be inclusive and to onboard the entire digital advertising ecosystem. Initially, the target users will be premium publishers who wish to join the adChain Registry and advertisers who wish to work with them. As adChain grows, it will expand to include the industry’s technology providers, safety vendors, exchanges, and service providers. There is also a significant role to be played by dApp developers.
Some of the funds raised will be set aside as part of a bounty program to reward dApp developers for contributions to the adChain protocols and for building valuable adChain applications and services. This bounty program will officially begin in October of 2017, but if you are interested in making contributions before that time please get in touch.
MetaX is a blockchain technology company committed to the development and adoption of open platforms for digital advertising. The team at MetaX knows the intricacies of digital advertising and has partnered with blockchain experts, ConsenSys, to collaborate on the development of adChain. MetaX will build ad-centric applications on adChain that will allow the digital advertising supply chain to coordinate in a scalable, trustworthy and secure way.
adChain begins its journey as a Registry of reputable publishers, which leverages the Ethereum blockchain to address the massive problem of fraud and lack of transparency in the digital supply chain. MetaX’s roadmap includes a number of critical “blockchain adaptors” for different supply chain entities to allow them to use their current infrastructure and become blockchain-aware. To start, MetaX is building a “header bidding” solution for peer-to-peer auctions between advertiser and publishers that both contributes to and leverages the data available within the adChain Registry to ensure transparency and safety throughout transaction.
MetaX will also provide an interface for the adChain Registry so adToken holders can vote, challenge, and deposit adToken. The primary goal of the interface is to provide ease-of-use and accessibility to the adChain protocol to encourage adoption.
MetaX and ConsenSys will be building decentralized applications, however, there is no barrier to entry for any developer wanting to develop on adChain. The adChain protocols are open and free to access.
About the adToken launch
One billion adTokens are being minted. The token breakdown is as follows:
- 500 million to be distributed in a public token sale with a cap of $10 million sold
- 200 million reserved for MetaX, per the time lock schedule detailed below.
- 200 million reserved for ConsenSys, per the time lock schedule detailed below.
- 100 million sold to fund development via multiple pre-sale agreements
To signal the level of commitment both ConsenSys and MetaX have for this system, each entity has agreed to lock up all of their tokens with the following unlocking schedule:
- 50% unlocked 1 year after public sale (e.g. 100M of the 200M)
- Remaining tokens unlocked 18 months after sale (e.g. the remaining 100M)
Token launch on June 26th, 2017,
starting on block 3,933,451, around 9am PDT / 4pm GMT *
* start time may not be exact since block times vary
adToken will become available for purchase at a specific block height and contract address at or around 9AM PDT / 4PM GMT on June 26, 2017. At the start block, 500 million adToken held by the sale contract will become available for purchase at a fixed price by invoking a named function of the sale contract and including an Ether value in the transaction. MetaX will provide a user interface for interacting with the sale contract at adchain.com. The sale contract address and ABI will be published well in advance of the launch so that the sale contract can be interacted with from myetherwallet.com, Mist or your contract browser of choice.
adToken will be transferred to the address of the purchaser, and a different purchaser than the message sender may not be specified. The address and ABI of the adToken ERC-20 contract will be published well in advance of the sale as well.
The adToken sale contract checks only for Ether values in purchase messages. Do not send tokens or any cryptocurrency other than Ether to the adToken sale contract address.
The adToken contract itself, the sale contract and deployment infrastructure are being formally reviewed by ConsenSys members external to the AdChain team.
It is the belief of ConsenSys and MetaX that token launches in this ecosystem may be naive in selling upwards of 75% during their first “token round.” Typical startups would exhibit an even greater failure rate if they limited their startup capital to only one funding round. ConsenSys and MetaX believe it is better to sell tokens over time as i) adChain achieves its targeted adoption milestones across the digital advertising industry and ii) MetaX continues to develop and release new advancements of the adChain protocol. As such, ConsenSys and MetaX believe it is in the best interest of the platform to retain 40% of the tokens after the first public sale.
adToken transfers to purchasers are made in the purchasing transaction itself. Purchasers can use their adToken in the same block at which they bought them.
adChain and the Industry
adToken is a protocol token used by the adChain community to keep the adChain Registry free of fraudulent publishers. It is not a transactional currency as it is used for governance rather than exchange. Publishers who wish to join the adChain Registry must purchase ADT for use as a deposit along with their application to join the adChain Registry, and members of the adChain community must purchase ADT to challenge or vote on applications from publishers they believe to be fraudulent.
We see adToken as complementary to BAT. We foresee use cases where adToken and BAT are coupled to provide an enhanced user experience that minimizes opportunities for fraud while protecting user privacy. Also exciting is the emergent design properties that both blockchain-based solutions provide. We look forward to innovative solutions involving BAT & ADT.
The adChain Association (ACA) is a non-profit organization designed to assist in the adoption, usage and governance of the adChain protocol. The details of this non-profit entity are still being finalized and will be shared publicly once finalized. The goal of the ACA is to move the digital advertising industry forward by providing guidance to adChain protocol updates and promoting the benefits of open technology. The ACA takes decentralization seriously and will facilitate this goal.
With respect to adTokens and any information related thereto: (1) any sale of adTokens will be subject to terms, conditions and disclosures set forth in one or more documents and related sources of information (e.g., websites) that have not yet been finalized and are subject to change until the time of the public sale; (2) please read all final materials carefully because you will be bound by such terms and conditions in connection with any purchase; (3) any purchase involves substantial risks, including the complete loss of funds and the complete loss of value of the adTokens; (4) materials are solely for informational and illustrative purposes and provided without representation, warranty or guaranty of any kind, and do not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to purchase any instrument or asset; and (5) nothing herein constitutes investment advice or any recommendation whatsoever.