IBM and Salon Media are piloting a proof-of-concept Blockchain product created by AdLedger, a nonprofit consortium that develops shared ledger technologies for the digital advertising market, Marketing Dive reported April 18.

“The Campaign Reconciliation Project” leverages Blockchain tech to short-circuit intermediaries between advertisers, publishers and consumers, which currently render the industry vulnerable to high-tech ad fraud, such as bot fraud and domain spoofing. Targeting campaign reconciliation in particular, the Proof of Concept (PoC) records contractual conditions, publisher payments, and details about fulfilment of contractual terms in a shared system that is immutable and fully auditable, PRWeb further reports.

Chad Andrews, global solutions leader of advertising at IBM, wrote in AdWeek April 18:

“With a Blockchain backed peer-to-peer network, achieving transparency in the digital advertising supply chain is possible. But, ensuring its success will require the entire industry, including advertisers, ad tech providers, publishers and agencies to coalesce around a shared, auditable version of truth. Such a pact would facilitate a groundbreaking level of transparency across auditing, reconciliation, fraud detection, discrepancy management and payments.”

A recent report by Juniper Research estimated that digital advertisers will lose an estimated $19 bln to fraud in 2018, equivalent to $52 mln per day.

AdLedger is currently developing two Blockchain PoCs aimed at increasing transparency and data security for advertisers and publishers; one is a media campaign executed through its entire life cycle on a Blockchain, the second concerns General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.

Salon Media recently sparked controversy when news broke it was offering visitors to its site the euphemistic option of allowing Salon to access a visitor’s “unused computing power” rather than seeing ads; essentially asking permission to mine cryptocurrencies on a visitor’s computer, without saying as much.