Four pioneers of the blockchain digital advertising industry gathered at Blockchain Festival Vietnam to discuss how to return the control of data to consumers
Author: Wang Yanhua
HO CHI MINH — The Cambridge Analytica scandal broke out in March this year and sparked furor among Facebook users at how their data was egregiously exploited.
Three weeks ago, Cambridge Analytica closed its doors for good. Blockchain startups have long been vying to replace the disgraced firm’s business model with their visions of letting consumers control and monetise their data.
On Friday, the second day of Blockchain Festival Vietnam, the panel “Disrupting content and advertising block by block” generated much excitement from blockchain believers in the conference hall.
The panellists were global head of business development of DATx Mona Du, CEO of UUNIO Connor Tack, co-founder and CTO of Bigbom Eco Alex Tuan Co, and chief strategy officer of Airbloc Lee-On. The panel was moderated by founder and CEO of PolicyPal Network Val Yap. The companies of all four panellists are interested in data.
Du said, “We use blockchain technology to have decentralised data storage. Nobody without consent can get data again, because data is encrypted in the blockchain. What Cambridge Analytica did won’t happen again.
“DATx collects behaviour data, like browsing behaviour. It benefits both consumers when they are rewarded for their data and advertisers when they effectively market their products.”
Personal data is now widely regarded as the new oil. Smartphones and the internet have made data abundant, ubiquitous and far more valuable.
This new commodity has spawned lucrative, fast-growing industries, and prompted society at large to re-look at how to restraint the flow.
Lee-On said, “Personal data is extremely valuable, especially for targeted advertising. Traditional marketing tactics are extremely unprofitable. As an enterprise you don’t know who you’re targeting.
“Then, how can we buy quality data? Right now it doesn’t exist. All the applications on your phone are collecting data without your consent and making money from it.”
The panellists also discussed how to design token economies so that they can grow their products effectively.
Tack said, “As a startup guy I think it’s better to test out your token economies first for lean startups, and be transparent with all the currencies you’re issuing.”
Lee-On said, “I think it’s very important that every single blockchain startup comes up with a long enough period for testnet. For Airbloc, we’re going to conduct a lot of tests to see whether algorithms are effective.”
To conclude the session, Tuan Co expressed his hopes for blockchain to engender disruption in the industry, “What we have in common is blockchain technology. I hope people can work together so we can find common things and opportunities to make broad disruption in the future.”
Du said, “I think people tend to have overly high expectations of short term returns. Our target is to have sustainable systems, so we go for public chains and long term returns.”