AdEx Network, a decentralized advertising platform, opened its technology to all advertisers and publishers after testing the platform for six months with select companies. The announcement, made Monday, comes after 100 advertisers running roughly 300 campaigns.
The company's platform -- which runs on the Ethereum blockchain to establish a direct connection between advertisers and publishers without targeting third-party intermediaries -- uses tracking cookies, but the information remains on the device browsing the internet, rather than the ad network copying the information and loading it on its servers.
The concept seems similar to Google's description of Privacy Sandbox, where the technology gathers anonymized aggregate user data and keeps much more of it on the device, rather than storing it in the cloud.
“We’re using Ethereum to write information about impressions on the network and to do micro transactions that correspond to each impression,” said Ivan Manchev, communications specialist at AdEx Network. “The goal is to keep the data safe and secure.”
Unlike traditional ad networks, AdEx will not collect any information about the users and store it in the cloud, reducing the risk of leaking data.
The technology matches the visitor with relevant ads by their preferences and the context of the content they interact with on the publisher’s site. The anonymized information about these preferences is stored in the user’s local storage on their device.
Manchev said company developers have been working on the technology for about three years. They anticipated an industry shift to protect data and user identity based on GDPR and a series of data breaches that took place in the past few years.
Storing information about ad impressions on a blockchain public ledger is intended to reduce ad fraud, according to the company.
Advertisers and publishers receive the same data and transact directly on the platform without the intermediaries in the traditional framework, eliminating the chance of false reporting and added fees.
AdEx also plans to launch a feature later this year that allows users to access the information gathered about them from the cookie on their browser.