Light at the end of the tunnel #TSOA — Edition 5

Welcome back readers, if you are not familiar, the state of advertising address talks about advertising and what’s wrong with it, it aims to inform readers about some of the nuances that exist, such as retargeting ads and privacy issues and how such blatant unethical practices lead to co author, Alex to quit the industry. While we have discussed a few of the problems that occur in the industry, in today’s edition we discuss how some startups are trying to create solutions for the slew of different problems within the industry, in their own unique way, all with the aim of trying to fix the broken advertising industry.

Brave Browser

First and probably the most well known is the Brave browser and it’s utility token BAT ( Basic Attention Token ) which launched in early 2016 with the initial features of an ad blocker and enhanced privacy. Since then Brave has transformed into an ecosystem for content creators, advertisers and end users. Brave uses the Basic Attention Token as a form of payment within the brave ecosystem, in which advertisers pay using BAT for showing ads either directly to end users or in-directly via a publisher, of which the majority is paid to users, who can then optionally support content creators and publishers by “tipping” them. The idea behind Brave is to monetize the attention of a user using BAT, which is a powerful idea, compared to traditional advertising, Brave cuts out majority of the middlemen as well, — boasting 70% of revenue going to users — which is a lot. This unique approach of a consent and privacy focused model focused on monetizing attention has garnered support and acceptance, proven by its adoption growth; Having achieved a 5X in terms of active users from 2018–2019 and an impressive 7X in number of publishers for the same time period. Such adoption shows that Brave has hit the nail close to the head.


Bittube launched in 2018 with the initial goal of providing a P2P based content sharing and streaming platform, it since has pivoted and added new a range of new features. The most notable of features being the decentralized video sharing website and the Bit Tube browser and Air Time monetization extension. The airtime extension allows users to “tip” content creators with Tube Tokens, while the browser has a whole suite of a privacy related features. BitTube provides a decentralized and censorship resistant method of content monetization and storage — A problem which as proved to be a cause for concern, an example being when the popular TV show South Park was seemingly removed overnight from existence on the Chinese version of the internet ( Google The Great Firewall of China). Bittube uses the Tube token as means of payments within the ecosystem, for rewarding content creators and users, paying for premium features and channel subscriptions along with other features as outlined in the whitepaper. Clearly the problem of censorship resistant content and monetization has been well received by the market — Creating a 5x in user growth in only four months and an explosive 15x of video and image content for the same time period.


JSECoin or JavascriptEmbed Coin started in late 2017 with the aim of creating a cryptocurrency that can be mined by websites and everyday users, and get compensated for it. JSEcoin is differentiated from both Brave and Bitube as it looks to monetize spare compute power of users instead of their attention, this system effectively reduces the dependency on advertising and shifts the paradigm of how publishers earn and are rewarded. The JSE ecosystem also includes an ad exchange and sub-chain validation as well. The ecosystem uses their JSE token as a form of payment both for mining and advertising. Users and Publishers receive JSE tokens for consenting to the use of their spare system resources while advertisers pay publishers for serving ads to their users. In terms of adoption, JSE has been well received by the market; showing a 60% growth in registered users from 2018–2019 and currently has close to 30,000 registered publishers.

Advertising and marketing has many facets to it, be it social media, influencer marketing or traditional ads, a large part of the system is broken and needs to be fixed. A fundamental shift has lead to the creation of radical and innovative solutions and it’s good to see that different organizations are trying to tackle these problems in their own unique way, as the founder of Gath3r ( we monetize your spare compute power and reward you for it ), I am happy to see that others are trying to solve the problem, as that serves as validation. The market is large enough to have multiple players, but who will take the spot of market leader? Only time will tell.

Special mentions to other platforms include: Social media platform Howdoo, which monetizes user engagement. AdEx, which is uses blockchain to reduce click fraud, Metalyfe which monetizes your data via it’s browser ( Disclaimer Metalyfe is a partner of Gath3r ). As always, none of the above constitutes any form of investment advice.

The State Of Advertising is a weekly address that discusses the digital advertising landscape and the problems that lie within it, and how blockchain is helping to solve it. The weekly series is co-authored by Alex Libertas from the Daily Chain, and Reggie from Gath3r.





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