How blockchain-based identity could change digital marketing

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The MetaMask plug-in turns Chrome into a blockchain browser, offering a glimpse of how a new kind of consumer identity and e-commerce might work.

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The logo for MetaMask

If it catches on, the biggest effect on marketing from blockchain technology could be on identity — and on all the tools that depend on identity, like customer relationship management or identity-based ad targeting.

Blockchain advocate Jeremy Epstein, CEO of blockchain consultancy Never Stop Marketing and a speaker at our recent MarTech Conference in San Francisco, recently showed me a glimpse of what this might mean for marketers.

Blockchains are the underlying technology on which bitcoins are built, but bitcoins are only one application. A number of experimental projects, and a few startup companies, are now exploring how this tech could be employed in such areas as financial transactions, contracts and product tracking.

As a “universal shared ledger,” blockchain allows the storage of immutable values — currency, identity, trails of products from their source to market — that are immediately available to any participant in that blockchain.

Ethereum, the name of an open software platform based on blockchain tech, lets developers build and distribute blockchain-based applications.

And a recent Chrome plug-in, which Epstein brought to my attention, can act as the “bridge that allows you to visit the distributed web of tomorrow” by making blockchain data available to a browser user.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

About The Author

Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.



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