AdLedger Announces CryptoRTB Protocol For Digital Advertising

MadHive Donates Open Source Cryptographic Toolset For OpenRTB To Consortium

AdLedger, the non-profit consortium building open standards that leverage blockchain and cryptography in digital advertising, announced its CryptoRTB protocol to address widespread industry problems. The open-source technology injects cryptographic tools such as digital signatures into OpenRTB protocol to identify illegitimate ad supply, create a verifiable chain of custody, and create mechanisms for data access and validation for the digital advertising industry.

“OpenRTB represents incredible innovation that powered the rise of digital advertising, but as consumer technology evolved over the last decade, problems were introduced into the ecosystem,” said Christiana Cacciapuoti, Executive Director at AdLedger. “We now have technologies like blockchain and cryptography, which can work in tandem with OpenRTB to power a system where privacy and profitability can coexist.”

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The next-generation protocol was developed by digital advertising solutions company MadHive, which is donating the technology to the Adledger consortium, whose members include companies like Omnicom, IPG, Publicis, GroupM, Dentsu, Hershey, Hearst, Meredith, and Viacom. The protocol leverages the MadNetwork blockchain, an open-source sidechain of Ethereum, which serves as a sophisticated and scalable key-value store for identity validation and data storage.

“The e-commerce industry has been relying on cryptography to ensure trust, transparency, and security for decades, and now we’re leveraging it to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse in digital advertising,” said Adam Helfgott, CEO at MadHive and Project Lead at MadNetwork. “CryptoRTB’s ability to turn verification and attribution mechanisms into irrefutable, immutable proof that events transpired will go a long way in preventing these systemic problems.”

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Although the consortium is still actively working to test and improve the protocol, there have been several successful in-market pilots with AdLedger members. Early studies show that CryptoRTB’s underlying cryptography makes it 25x faster – and therefore 25x cheaper – than ads.cert, critical to creating negligible latency. CryptoRTB can be deployed by publishers with a few lines of code that “talks” to blockchain to create and validate cryptographic signatures, and inserts them into the extension field of a bid request, There is currently no implementation lift for brands/agencies.

AdLedger was founded in 2018 by TEGNA, IBM, and MadHive with a mission to unite key industry stakeholders in their efforts to leverage blockchain and cryptography to promote transparency, efficiency, and accountability in digital advertising. The consortium’s work has resulted in exposing that 20% of CTV inventory is suspicious, with fraudsters siphoning more than $1.4 billion from advertisers last year.

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