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AdSigma proposes to improve the world of digital advertising. Using blockchain technology, its platform aims to allow advertisers who want to place online ads to connect directly with digital content publishers who have ad space to sell.
By removing the need for intermediaries to connect advertisers to publishers, AdSigma promises significant cost savings for both groups. The company also says that its technology will make ad placement more transparent, fairer, more effective, and more secure.
The ICO for AdSigma's token, ADSi, takes place April 5 through May 20, 2018.
The Problem and Solution
Traditionally, advertisers who want to run an online ad and online content publishers who want to sell ad space have not been able to engage with each other directly. Instead, they rely on intermediary services, such as Google Adsense, to place ads. These services use data that they collect about individual users and websites to determine which ad to serve to which user on which website.
While ad placement services provide some value, the founders of AdSigma, along with a fair number of other observers of the digital advertising industry, think that it comes at too high a cost. The middlemen who separate advertisers from publishers collect the lion's share of the money that is spent on digital advertising, leading dollars to "disappear" as they travel down the digital advertising supply chain.
This means that advertisers end up having to pay more to place ads than they would if there were fewer middlemen, or if those middlemen charged lower rates. At the same time, online content publishers receive only a fraction of the money that advertisers spend on ad placement, which limits the profits they receive from selling ad space.
Beyond problematic cost margins, AdSigma believes that the role currently played by middlemen in online advertising causes other issues, too. One is a lack of transparency; ad placement services typically do not share data with advertisers or publishers to explain why a particular ad was served where it was. As a result, ad placement is a "walled garden." The lack of transparency makes it difficult for advertisers to measure the effectiveness of an ad campaign accurately, or to negotiate for lower rates. Likewise, content publishers have little means of knowing whether the ads that are served on their websites are generating the highest possible revenue. This problem has already led to lawsuits.
Along with a lack of transparency comes potential security problems. Because it is impossible in most cases for outsiders to track how and why an ad is placed on a particular website, it is difficult to ensure that everyone is treated fairly, data is kept private, and information is not manipulated.
Finally, AdSigma mentions the problem of "irrelevant" advertisements as another issue to solve. Many of the ads that consumers see may not be relevant to them. That is bad for consumers, who are bombarded with ads they do not want to see. It is bad for advertisers, whose ads do not reach qualified prospects. It is bad for publishers because companies will invest less in advertising if their ads prove ineffective.
AdSigma aims to solve all of these issues by using a blockchain to store information about ad placement. In addition, it is building a decentralized network of ad servers that make it possible for advertisers to connect directly with publishers, without having to rely on middlemen. Because smart contracts control how ads are placed, the risk of irrelevant ads and fraud is virtually eliminated.
AdSigma has four co-founders:
Suumit Shah, who comes from a digital marketing background. Shah is the current CEO.
Kapil Bhosale, a software developer.
Akshay Mohite, also a software developer.
Ravi Tamada, a software developer specializing in mobile and big data.
The co-founders have been involved with other startups in the past, but none of their companies has made it into the big leagues so far.
The primary purpose of AdSigma's token, ADSi, is to facilitate payments between publishers and advertisers. Transactions are processed by smart contracts to ensure that publishers are not paid until ads are placed effectively.
AdSigma says that it is using the Bancor Protocol to create a reserve of other currencies to back ADSi tokens, although the company has not revealed details about exactly how much will be held in reserve or what the backup currency is. Assuming this feature is properly implemented, it could ensure that ADSi tokens can be liquidated at any time.
Shah, the CEO, has given a public interview.
Compared to the typical blockchain startup, AdSigma looks to be doing an above-average job of communicating and maintaining transparency. It also has more open source code available on GitHub than many other projects in this market.
The digital advertising ecosystem has real problems, and AdSigma has a strong vision for solving them.
The company's biggest challenge, however, is that it is not particularly unique. Several other startups, like MAD Network and XCHNG, are building platforms that have a very similar architecture and are designed to solve the same set of problems. Enterprises like IBM and Unilever have gotten into this market as well by promising their own blockchain-based solution for digital advertising, although they have not yet revealed details about how their solution works.
While it is likely that multiple blockchain-based ad placement services could coexist at the same time, the high level of market competition makes it unclear how much opportunity AdSigma has to grow.
That said, from an investment standpoint, AdSigma stands out for having what appears (based on its GitHub repositories) to be a mature platform. The fact that its founders hail from India may also give it an advantage in the South Asian market; most other companies in the blockchain advertising market are based in the United States and will likely have a tougher time expanding to Asia.
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Questions and Answers
How many ADSi tokens are available for sale?
60,000,000 tokens are available for sale.
Is there a pre-sale bonus?
Yes. There is a 25 percent pre-sale bonus for ADSi tokens.
Which currencies can I use to buy ADSi tokens?
Payment is accepted only in ETH.
When was AdSigma launched?
The project started in late 2017.
Where is AdSigma located?
The company is based in India.