By using Bitcoin and its blockchain, consumers can eliminate fee-charging intermediaries, such as banks and credit card issuers, while preserving their anonymity when transacting on the web.
Facebook Bypasses Ad Blockers
The annoying online ads that swarm web pages are detrimental to online publishers, advertisers, and consumers. Content providers cannot make money and users cannot enjoy content without suffering from irritating ads. As a result, each actor in this drama executes measures and counter-measures against each other.
For example, recently, to protect its advertising business, Facebook began bypassing ad blockers. To which, the ad-blocking community immediately counterattacked by posting on social media instructions on how to re-block ads on Facebook. However, to end this pernicious cat and mouse game, there is a win/win solution: Bitcoin and its blockchain technology.
Online ads are annoying and disruptive. Ads not only slow down the page you are downloading to read, but they also obfuscate the page content. As a result, consumers are avoiding pages with ads or using ad-blocking software. This directly affects the advertising industry, including Facebook.
Advertising is Facebook’s primary source of revenue. Presently, three million businesses from all over the globe actively advertise on Facebook, which represents a 50 percent increase in online advertisers in one year.
Therefore, ads are critical for Facebook. In this regard, Facebook hired Ipsos Mori to conduct a study about ad blocking and the personalization expectations among consumers. The Ipsos study revealed, “The main reasons cited for using ad blockers include avoiding disruptive ads (69%), ads that slow down their browsing experience (58%) and security / malware risks (56%).”
The Ipsos study also showed that “In general, younger consumers are more open to online advertising and data collection. But across the board, if consumers are going to see ads, they prefer them to be personalized and relevant.”
According to Facebook, “Some ad blocking companies accept money in exchange for showing ads that they previously blocked — a practice that is at best confusing to people and that reduces the funding needed to support the journalism and other free services that we enjoy on the web.” Consequently, on August 9, 2016, Facebook announced new tools to control the ads user can see on Facebook.
In effect, Facebook is preventing its users from using their ad-blocking software.
Opponents of this Facebook action were swift to counterattack. Almost immediately,Adblock Plus published instructions on how to start re-blocking ads on Facebook. Specifically, Adblock Plus posted the code needed to add a filter to the main EasyList, as follows:
Notice, Adblock Plus hastened to caution that, at any moment, Facebook could write a code line to make this filter useless.
Micropayments, Ad-Blockers & Bitcoins
Micropayments in the online content industry was a hot topic at the Blockchains + Digital Currencies conference held on July 28, 2016, in New York.
Specifically, expert panelists discussed how digital currencies, micropayments, andmonetizing content on the web could help online publishers and their consumers fight the irritating and dangerous proliferation of online ads.
Elissa Shevinsky, CEO Stealth Crypto Company, explained that online ads are not only annoying but also dangerous because they can deliver malware and violate our privacy. Ads with malicious software can even come from reputable sites such as the BBC and the New York Times, she said.
Victoria Van Eyk affirmed that the problems caused by the advertising industry had gone too far. “Online publishers lose money when readers block their ads,” Van Eyk said. To which Shevinsky posed the question, how will online publishers get money once 100 percent of the consumers are using ad-blockers?
Transforming Web Advertizing with Bitcoin
It is not convenient for consumers to pay bank or credit card fees each time they need to pay a few dimes to read an article online. However, by using Bitcoin and its blockchain consumers can eliminate fee-charging intermediaries, such as banks and credit card issuers, while preserving their anonymity.
In fact, regarding online publishers vis-à-vis consumers, an innovative combination of Bitcoin and micropayments offers an attractive win-win solution. For example, one idea forwarded by Shevinsky is the usage of browsers with a button, which would provide the consumer with the option to make digital currency micropayments for their favorite websites.
To this end, precisely, upcoming Bitcoin-based micropayment solutions are on their way. For example, the Brave Ledger platform focuses on speed, privacy, and micropayments. It will allow consumers to block trackers and intrusive ads while permitting consumers to pay directly to content providers. In turn, as Brave promises, “micropayments and better ads will give users and publishers a better deal.”