Digital advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry, with a $30 billion spend just in the U.S. annually. The majority of this advertising — around 70 percent — is purchased using software.
Because of this, the digital advertising landscape is riddled with inefficiencies. When a brand wants to purchase a banner ad on, say, a popular media site, they have to go through the middlemen in the ad supply market, who take up to half of the total revenue.
The media site then has to wait up to 120 days to collect payment. During the transaction time, the process is also vulnerable to fraud on multiple fronts.
After spending a decade in digital advertising, Ian Kane saw this time and time again. But with the rise of blockchain, a secure, decentralized ledger technology, he saw an immediate use case where this could help digital advertising clients achieve transparency, reduce fraud, and speed up the payment process.
Could it help in other industries as well?
Kane partnered with Daniel Gouldman to build a scalable framework to help those in digital advertising and other industries verify users, instantly pay publishers, and protect advertisers from common forms of fraud using blockchain.
“Ternio‘s mission statement is to push the overall adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrency into everyday life,” says Kane, now COO of the startup.
“We built white label technology that different enterprise organizations, from digital advertising to government agencies, can use to get the benefits out of blockchain and crypto.”
With Ternio, large organizations can easily deploy distributed ledger technology within a cloud-based environment. This is useful for several different case scenarios, one being reducing fraud in payments. According to Kane, the framework is capable of delivering more than 1.2 million transactions per second.
It can also help enterprises solve transparency supply chain issues.
The Ternio team had seen substantial traction. While writing their white paper to explain their data, Kane said they added a paragraph about allowing advertisers to pay websites using cryptocurrency and enabling those websites to accept those payments.
“Instead of having to go through the very convoluted process of converting it to fiat so they can run their business, we’d just give them a credit card that they can put it on, and we’ll call it the Blockcard. We started getting inquiries from people asking if this was just for websites, or consumers too. So we built up this brand called the Blockcard and basically demonstrated how people can spend their crypto,” he explains.
“Today, we’re actually white labeling this card enabling other people who have digital assets or have a company who has their own digital asset to essentially offer users their own crypto card.”
Kane and the team also saw the value in offering the Blockcard directly to customers with their own branding.
The consumer product is a physical debit card that can be used to spend cryptocurrencies BTC, ETH, XLM, and TERN anywhere that VISA cards are accepted. Soon, the user will be able to manage their account through Ternio’s mobile app.
The company takes a transaction fee from each card use.
“I think in today’s marketplace people understand crypto, but everybody’s screaming for some kind of adoption. I want to be able to spend it, but I can’t do that anywhere efficiently. And that’s the role that our Blockcard plays,” says Kane.
Ternio is one of five companies within Amazon’s advanced technology tier, making their service one of Amazon’s top recommendations.
The team has fueled growth with a small angel round and is currently in conversations to raise their first venture round.
“When we raise this round, one of the most important things is to make our presence more well known. People are always stunned that we have this relationship with Amazon and VISA and they’ve never heard of us. We will be using these funds for marketing and to scale our small team,” says Kane.