How Token Incentives Create Fairer Models than Online Advertising

UTC by Julia Sakovich · 3 min read
How Token Incentives Create Fairer Models than Online Advertising
Photo: Unsplash

Gather’s cloud computing solution has already won over a slew of businesses, with over 200 companies signing up.

Online advertising has a reputation problem. From pop-ups to autoplay videos, to retargeted adverts that stalk their users from site to site, the world wide web is increasingly saturated with adverts. The more aggressive and intrusive this advertising becomes, the more the average internet user becomes wary of surfing online. Consumers are now so sick and tired of online adverts that as many as 1 in 4 consumers use an ad blocker while online.

Now, one blockchain startup is offering web admins the opportunity to monetize their site entirely advert free. Gather is a cloud computing service that gives website visitors the choice to opt-in and aggregate their idle processing power as they browse rather than view invasive adverts.

User processing power can then be sold to enterprises for computing problems or even for crypto mining. Users are incentivized to participate with the offer of an ad-free experience, and a potential share in the financial spoils. Payouts can be made in the users’ local currency $BTC, or the platform’s native cryptocurrency $GTH. With Gather, site admins and site users can both enjoy a more equitable relationship and an internet experience that is entirely free of ads.

A Long History

Online ads have been with us almost as long as the worldwide web. The first banner ad was purchased by AT&T as far back as 1994. That ad, which cost $30,000, enjoyed click-through rates of 44%. Fast forward, and the average click-through rate of an ad in 2019 was just 0.35%. For the vast majority of users, adverts are something to be ignored and avoided, and rarely is the product or service of interest. The current system is close to broken. Gather is the latest but by no means the only project which seeks to improve users’ experiences online and to create a fairer model with token incentives.

Another proposal for a fairer and more equitable advertising model is to instead pay people for the adverts the view and click upon. This has already taken a number of different forms with a multitude of businesses attempting to bring this idea to fruition. The pitch is simple: watching ads confers tokens which can later be exchanged discounts on goods and services or even exchanged for money. Non-crypto companies touting this kind of offer include Swagbucks and InboxDollars. Slidejoy takes this idea one step further by changing the user’s phone lock screen into advertising space.

Paid to View

Perhaps the most successful version of the paid-to-view concept is implemented in the Brave browser, which offers browsers the chance to earn its Basic Attention Token ($BAT) for viewing adverts while surfing the web. Brave’s BAT has allowed advertisers a fairer and more equitable way to sell their products while empowering customers to make decisions about what kinds of content they wish to view, and what kinds of content they don’t. Their success has demonstrated that, if handled properly, incentivizing internet users through tokenization can work. That’s encouraging news for any project such as Gather who are looking to take the concept and expand upon it in new and novel ways.

Gather’s cloud computing solution has already won over a slew of businesses, with over 200 companies signing up. With an incentivization model aimed at benefiting all parties, could vast portions of the internet be about to become ad-free? For every net user sick of online ads, Gather offers real hope.

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Julia Sakovich
Editor-in-Chief Julia Sakovich

Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.

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