3 ways digital signage can benefit from blockchain
If you regularly follow financial news, you almost certainly will have heard by now of bitcoin, the decentralized virtual currency that soared in value before the holidays to nearly $20,000 before settling back to the $10,000 range.
You might have also heard about blockchain, the decentralized ledger that supports bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Blockchain isn't just for digital currency, though. It is now finding application in sectors ranging from banking to government to retail to shipping and more.
Here's how blockchain could apply to one particular industry — digital signage.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a decentralized database that contains a permanent and immutable record of every transaction performed within the database.
According to the bitcoin wiki: "A full copy of a currency's block chain contains every transaction ever executed in the currency. With this information, one can find out how much value belonged to each address at any point in history."
This characteristic of blockchain can be especially useful in ensuring that users do not double spend (i.e., accidentally or intentionally conduct transactions in two different places at the same time using the same currency).
Many industries, such as banking, are recognizing the power of distributed ledger technology to generate smart contracts.
For the digital signage industry, possible uses include trading, advertising and decentralized content production.
For the digital out-of-home industry, blockchain can provide a wide range of tools. For example, it can help create a more secure and stable trading platform, because of its immutable nature. It can also employ advanced techniques such as document registration and fingerprinting to assist with user verification.
It can also enable users to trade directly with one other. The peer-to-peer nature of the blockchain works well with DOOH platforms that allow users to trade advertising space on digital billboards.
In such a case, the purchaser of ad space might receive a token upon that verifies ownership of that space, and allows the purchaser to send that token to another user in a secure, trusted transaction.
On a broader level, the blockchain can help improve advertising using digital signage. In fact, MetaX, an adtech company, has launched adchain, a tool that allows users to tag and track a particular advertisement.
Customers can use adchain to find out where and when an advertisement ran, who saw it, how much of the budget it consumed and what conversion rate it achieved.
For the digital signage user, blockchain can help to provide a clear, verified indication of the effectiveness of an online ad versus one using digital signage.
Decentralized content production
Producing and managing quality digital signage content can be a difficult task for both vendors and end users. Blockchain can help make this process a little easier by facilitating content trading platforms.
For example, a company could launch a decentralized trading platform for digital signage content that end users could easily search to find what they need.
Additionally, an artist could also register archived content using blockchain, ensuring that when their work is used, it is properly identified and the artist is properly compensated.
With a decentralized network, an end user isn't locked into working with just one company. Instead, the user can engage with a variety of content creators to get exactly what they need to make their digital signage campaign a success.
A little perspective
Blockchain is still in the early stages of experimentation and trial, and we are only just beginning to see potentially viable solutions emerge.
This early stage of development is an ideal time for companies to begin to develop and test blockchain applications that can help them increase the efficiency, security, trust and competitiveness of their business.
Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for DigitalSignageToday.com. His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.www