Last year, we announced a partnership with Mindshare to build applications for the digital advertising industry. The partnership will evaluate how Zilliqa’s blockchain protocol can best address some of the challenges in the digital advertising industry. Over the past few months, we have been working with a few industry partners to brainstorm and conceptualise this pilot project and are happy to share our progress with you.
Project Proton is an initiative between the following partners:
● Mediamath: A leading digital media buying platform and services company based in New York, serving over 250B ad impressions a day (more than the combined volume from top 10 stock exchanges globally). Mediamath serves over 4,000 clients in its portfolio.
● Mindshare: Mindshare is a global media and marketing services company with 7,000 employees across 116 countries, and global revenue at USD34.5B annually. Clients include Unilever, PepsiCo, GSK, Yum Restaurants, Dyson, Nestle, American Express and others.
● Rubicon Project: Founded in 2007, Rubicon Project is one of the world’s largest advertising exchanges. The company helps websites and apps thrive by giving them tools and expertise to sell ads easily and safely. In addition, the world’s leading agencies and brands rely on Rubicon Project’s technology to execute billions of advertising transactions each month. Rubicon Project is an independent, publicly traded company (NYSE:RUBI) headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
● Integral Ad Science (IAS): A global software company, headquartered in New York, that builds verification, optimization, and analytics solutions, acting as leaders in viewability, brand safety and ad fraud.
● Underscore CLT: Underscore CLT develops cryptographic ledger technologies to power real business solutions for marketers and their partners.
● Zilliqa: Zilliqa is a blockchain platform tailored towards enabling high-throughput data-driven decentralized applications. Zilliqa also provides a secure and efficient smart contract layer to enable secure-by-design smart contract programming and verification.
The problem and the solution
Programmatic advertising is a term used to describe computer-based automated buying, selling, placement and optimization of digital advertising. In the United States alone, programmatic spending in 2017 is estimated to be US$32.5 billion.
However, only a fraction of money that advertisers spend actually reaches the publisher. A huge amount of money is lost through intermediaries or to ad frauds that are conducted by malicious bots. In 2017, it is estimated that US$16.4 billion is lost through ad frauds.
In Project Proton, we will explore solutions to address industry challenges in programmatic advertising through a few phases. For the first phase, we will aim to automate settlement based on viewability-verification methods that will help to enable a business model where the advertisers have to pay only for the ad impressions that have been deemed viewable, brand-safe and are free from any ad fraud.
We will keep the community updated about the progress on this landmark initiative along the way.
 Programmatic advertising. [online] www.statista.com. Available at: https://www.statista.com/topics/2498/programmatic-advertising/ [Accessed 7 Aug 2018].
 O’Reilly, L. (2018). The ad fraud issue could be more than twice as big as first thought — advertisers stand to lose $16.4 billion to it this year. [online] Business Insider Singapore. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.sg/thepartnership-msix-and-adloox-ad-fraud-2017-2017-3/ [Accessed 7 Aug 2018].