The next major trend in advertising seems to be geared towards the use of cryptocurrencies such as the controversial Bitcoin and its more stable and transparent counterparts such as OneCoin. Ever since the first Bitcoin transaction was conducted in early 2009, various industries and economic sectors have been warming up to the idea of using using digital currencies, and thus it is only natural for the advertising sector to be paying attention to this economic trend.
There is no question that online marketing is a major industry in terms of revenue generation, particularly in terms of online advertising. According to figures reported by Forbes magazine, online marketing generated an astonishing annual revenue of $170 billion in 2015. The most significant players in the online advertising sector include search engine giant Google and a handful of other tech firms.
Advertisers Get Creative
While Google and other online advertising networks offer revenue sharing programs such as AdSense, the profit mechanism of online advertising suffers from inequality in the sense that tech giants hoard most of the cash while individual websites are the ones displaying the ads, getting pageviews and directing traffic.
The online advertising industry started taking notice of cryptocurrencies around 2013. The first step was to start accepting digital currencies for payments. A year later, some internet advertising firms began discussing the possibility of displaying ads as an alternative to Bitcoin mining. This discussion started when security researchers noticed the existence of Android SDKs that surreptitiously contained code that would turn a smartphone into a Bitcoin mining component. Since mining for bitcoins is an activity that requires all the processing power it can gather; this means that distributed computing tactics could be used across a network of mobile devices.
The aforementioned Android SDK discussion evolved into the possibility of Bitcoin mining becoming an alternative to the traditional business models of offering free mobile apps in exchange for advertising. This is only one idea; in 2015, online advertising venture BitTeaser announced a strategy to compete directly against Google AdSense by means of leveraging cryptocurrencies.
New Models Come Into The Scene
In essence, BitTeaser copies the AdSense model of connecting online advertisers with publishers through the placement of banner ad units. Instead of paying in United States dollars, however, BitTeaser accepts Bitcoin and uses the blockchain to manage payments and smart contracts between publishers and advertisers.
In the end, cryptocurrency adoption by the advertising industry is just getting started, but the developments seen thus far are very promising.