I used to think that Bitcoins were part of the dark web, but it turns out they’re more mainstream than that. In 2017, Bitcoins increased in value more than 20 times, starting with $1,000 and reaching nearly $20,000. With such significant returns, some people want in on the action. Others say that the bubble will burst and they don’t want to be caught in it.

Nevertheless, it’s apparent that bitcoins have a place in society and won’t be going away anytime soon. Bitcoins were created in 2009 and are not regulated by the government or state. All information is stored on a public ledger known as “blockchain.” This technology is always operating, and it doesn’t care who you send the money to.

Knowing how powerful blockchain is, can you imagine how it might have an impact on digital marketing? I have, and here are three things I’ve come up with.

1. Data Collection

Anyone can access the web, but in order to do so, they must go through web browsers and ISPs. This is how companies learn about their customers. Whether right or wrong, personal data on web users can be bought and sold to advertisers to help with their campaigns.

Blockchain could change the way data is collected and shared with others. Personal data may remain with the user instead of on servers. Already, Blockstack has created a network built on blockchain technology. It calls itself “a new internet for decentralized apps.”

Can you imagine how advertising would be if marketers didn’t have access to user data? Data would have to be gathered from prospects and customers directly.

2. Display Ads

Online display ads have their advantages, but they’re also expensive and difficult to control. Plus, they’re mainly controlled by Google and Facebook. From a user’s perspective, display ads can be annoying and intrusive. Blockchain could change the way ads are run and the way users interact with them.

Here’s a potential example. An advertiser buys an ad in the form of a push notification, private tab or landing page using online currency. Users who want to opt in to view the ads could and would be rewarded with currency for doing so. Advertisers would learn about which products and services are most popular based on user behavior. Under this arrangement, publishers would be compensated as well.

3. Digital Assets

Lastly, blockchain may give artists the ability to create their own online communities without having to pay YouTube or Apple Music to stream their songs.

For example, bands could sell a specific amount of online currency to their fans and then release exclusive content in exchange for the money. The more popular the artist becomes, the more the coins are worth. It’s certainly a different approach than what we’re used to, but a blockchain-based entertainment economy would put the power back into the artists’ hands.

What do you think about the effects that blockchain could have on digital marketing? Would you be in favor of this technology or no?