How blockchain-based identity could change digital marketing
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.
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.