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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

A win-win-win solution: The potential benefits of blockchain technology in digital advertising for users, marketers and society

Published: May 28, 2019


Jan-Bernd Kröger, Bergische Universität Wuppertal; Ines Meyer, University of Capetown; Benedikt Hirschfelder, University of Cape Town


Blockchain Technology; Self Sovereign Identity; Digital Advertising


To ensure advertising reaches relevant audiences, digital advertisers rely on insights derived from data internet users generate. The collection, analysis and trade of user-generated data has thus created a lucrative industry of intermediaries: between data-generating users and advertisers. This theoretical paper proposes that the concept of self-sovereign identity through blockchain technology can address concerns which this current data- and payment-flow model creates for users (e.g. privacy concerns) and advertisers (e.g. unidentifiable data validity). It outlines how this technology - developed for use in different fields - can improve digital advertising. It highlights the benefits not only for internet users and advertisers, but also argues that it allows for a means of income in a world in which the opportunity for employment as primary income source for individuals is becoming scarcer. Using blockchain technology as an example, the paper encourages marketers to look beyond discipline boundaries to generate innovative solutions.