No doubt you’ve heard about blockchain technology in the context of Bitcoin, the cyber currency that has promised to disrupt the way we currently contextualize and spend currency.
Bitcoin is made possible through blockchain technology, an encrypted, indestructible virtual ledger shared among peers without a central authority governing their actions. What makes blockchain so interesting is that every participant can see every transaction, allowing absolute transparency, immutability, and accountability. Nothing can be edited, altered, or deleted. Ever.
The technology’s application to the marketing world is unfolding, and experts see many ways blockchain can buoy business opportunities or meet industry challenges. A few examples include content rights management, verifying ad performance, and ensuring marketing performance can’t be obfuscated or manipulated.
As such, some marketing leaders are questioning if they should participate in one of many new private blockchains. That decision should be made after careful consideration of the potential benefits and pitfalls — and after deep due diligence on the startup company establishing the new blockchain, too.
Emerging Players Today
As blockchain technology gains momentum, several startups have launched new blockchains, expanding the potential opportunities for marketers. Here are some of the emerging players today.
- Presearch is a decentralized search engine that’s powered by the community. Will this blockchain disrupt Google’s dominance? Users are rewarded with Presearch Tokens for using the search engine, contributing content, and promoting it.
- Algebraix is a permission-based network that empowers individuals to own and monetize their personal data. This secure permission-based ad network is enabled by blockchain and a new cryptocurrency called ALX.
- MetaX provides ad buyers with a scalable, trustworthy solution for tracking and verifying ad impressions. It also gives sellers the ability to retain the integrity and value of their content to attract premium ad spend. MetaX uses the adToken cryptocurrency.
History has shown that most new startups fail or go out of business within five years. Indeed, Cambridge Associates in Boston reports that 79% (nearly eight out of 10) of dot-com startups during the last technology-driven mania went bankrupt or otherwise ceased operations due to a lack of financial viability. Out of thousands upon thousands of startups funded during the late 1990s and early 2000s, only a select few companies like Amazon, Google, eBay, and PayPal survived to ultimately take dominant market positions.
In 2018, it is critically important for marketing leaders to cut through the hype of blockchain technology. Aligning with a blockchain startup means analyzing the other companies participating in the private blockchain to see if you’re joining forces with the right partners.
Blockchain technology is just getting started, so marketing leaders need to keep watching and evaluating to see which startups ultimately deliver — and which ones quickly fade away.