Advertising in the Bitcoin Era

3 min readOct 21, 2019

What started as an award winning project in the first ever Bitcoin Association hackathon is growing up fast. Since then, a lot has changed, and the future is looking bright for TonicPow.

Last month, we participated in Cambrian SV. It’s a Bitcoin developer event that took place in Bali, Indonesia.

There we laid the groundwork for something that we are officially unveiling today. It allows advertisers to offer bounties for their product or service. Anyone can be a promoter and share the offering to their audience. Just create an offer and fund it with BSV. When someone decides to share your link, they will earn Bitcoin for each referral.

In this post, we’ll cover some basics about why we are doing this and what we see for the a world where Bitcoin and advertising intersect.

The Privacy Problem

Advertisements are something we have learned to ignore. We largely tune them out. They show up in our social media feeds, and stand between us and the content we’re looking for every day. We’re great at clicking the skip button on YouTube as soon as it becomes available, and even better at ignoring the top few promoted results on search engines and other popular ad supported platforms.

Why do we feel this way? We believe it’s because people can’t trust it. It’s not necessarily the best product or service, and in many cases something we’re not interested in at all. Big advertising companies think they can monitor everything we do in order to tailor ads to our desires, but it just comes off creepy when we discover our phones have been listening to our conversations to supplement the ad curation process.

While we understand this is how they “improve ad relevancy”, we think voluntary human connections are better at this. We’re much more likely to listen to the recommendation of a friend than a platform that is listening in on things that are none of their business.

The Control Problem

Another big drawback of the current ad model is “advertiser friendliness”. This concept is how big ad platforms determine who should be allowed to monetize their audience. The problem here is, it assumes advertisers are a homogeneous group, and what one advertiser dislikes can be treated as a universal truth. We think that advertisers are as different as people, and a promoter that one advertiser dislikes may be ideal for another. Our goal here is to give as much control to both parties as possible, and limit our role to making the connection between the two parties.

TonicPow Offers represents the first step toward this goal. There will be many other features announced in the future that will reinforce this concept of giving more control to the market participants.

Next Steps

The next step for TonicPow Offers is deep conversions. We are currently testing an update that allows advertisers to trigger payouts based on any event they would like to incentivize, such as a specific product purchase. This feature is not quite public yet, and requires some deeper integration. It is currently being tested with a few of our partners privately but we’re looking forward to making an announcement on that soon. If you have a business that is interested in exploring this feature, we’d love to talk to you about it.

Check it out!