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The Top Four Open-Source Blockchain Projects in Media

Blockchain technology has become best known for its role in the worlds of cryptocurrency and financial transactions.

But blockchain-based platforms are wielding a growing influence in the media and advertising markets as well. In this space, open-source projects are leveraging blockchain technology to build new solutions for displaying ads and engaging with customers.

Here’s a look at four media projects that are building innovative platforms or concepts based on blockchain and open source.

1. Brave Web Browser

Once upon a time, getting users to pay attention to ads on webpages was the biggest problem facing online marketers. Today, that challenge has grown even more daunting. Convincing users not to block online ads entirely has become a major task in online media.

Brave is an open-source web browser that gives users the option to block the ads that they would normally see when they visit a website. If the user so chooses, Brave replaces those blocked ads with ones tailored to a user’s preferences. The browser gives the users a slice of the advertising revenue from the tailored ads. By paying users to view ads tailored to them, Brave delivers a better user experience, while also making it easier for advertisers to reach qualified leads through online ads.

Blockchain technology enters the picture in two ways. First, Bitcoin is used to facilitate financial transactions between Brave and its advertising partners and users. Second, Brave uses the Bitcoin ledger to store data about user browsing behavior. This eliminates the need for a centralized database where specific users' behavior would be linked to their names. Instead, browsing behavior remains anonymous and essentially un-hackable.

In both respects, blockchain technology reinforces Brave's focus on privacy. Alongside improving the online advertising experience for consumers and marketers, protecting digital privacy is an important part of Brave's value.

2. Zero Dollar Homepage

Inspired by the The Million Dollar Homepage, which charged advertisers one dollar per pixel to display ads on a site that probably only became famous because of its novelty, French company Marmelab launched the Zero Dollar Homepage.

Instead of paying in dollars to display an ad on the Zero Dollar Homepage, advertisers write open-source code for the company. Marmelab uses smart contracts hosted by the Ethereum Virtual Machine to manage transactions for the project.

Zero Dollar Homepage is a proof-of-concept project, rather than something that will directly disrupt the media industry. In fact, the platform was rendered non-functioning because of changes to Ethereum. But it still serves as an interesting concept for the space because it introduced the idea of paying for services through open-source code contributions, with everything managed via the blockchain.

3. Open-Source Advertising

Open-Source Advertising is not a software development project per se, but rather an initiative that promotes blockchain-based media frameworks. It’s led by Proof of Work, a design consultancy.

The project’s aim is to spread awareness of blockchain-based alternatives to traditional media and advertising platforms. As its name implies, it also favors open source. In a sense, then, Open-Source Advertising is a marketing campaign that aims to promote blockchain-based marketing campaigns.

4. Steem

In many cases, good content is key for spreading a message online, especially when the content is shared across social media. That’s what content marketing is all about.

Steem is building a new social media platform that writers can use to create and share online content. The platform is still new, but it could become an important hub for online advertising and content marketing.

Steem’s premise is pretty simple. Users write content and get rewarded for effectiveness, like if that content becomes popular or for contributing content consistently and so on. Rewards come in the form of “STEEM Dollars,” a blockchain-based cryptocurrency. STEEM Dollars can be exchanged for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency or traditional cash.

Looking Forward

There are a number of other organizations and projects out there that use blockchain technology in the media and advertising realm, but not all of them have a keen interest in open-source code.

For organizations that are pairing the worlds of blockchain and open source, however, the combination seems to make perfect sense. Both types of technology encourage openness, transparency and the decentralization of control. It’s only natural for open-source and blockchain technology to go hand-in-hand.

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