Kochava CEO, Charles Manning, is starting to spread the word about XCHNG, our company’s blockchain technology specifically architected for the digital advertising industry. Earlier this week, he was interviewed by Mobile Growth Fellowship on the company’s angle in designing a blockchain cryptoledger. To listen to the podcast interview, click below.
To access the podcast and original publication of this podcast and interview, visit mobilegrowthassociation.com.
Charles Manning, Founder and CEO of Kochava, explains their innovative blockchain-based framework XCHNG and its far-reaching benefits for buyers and sellers of media.
MOBILE GROWTH: I’m here with Charles Manning from Kochava. How are you doing Charles?
CHARLES MANNING: I’m doing well! Thanks for having me.
MOBILE GROWTH: I know the folks in mobile marketing space probably know Kochava already, but for those who don’t, could you give us a little introduction of yourself and Kochava as a company?
CHARLES MANNING: You bet. Kochava is one of the leading mobile attribution analytics platforms out there today. We have tier one brands and agencies who rely on our technology. We’re measuring over 6 billion dollars in ad spend annually, and we’ve got over 3000 different ad networks, publishers, and ecosystem partners that are integrated directly into our platform. What our customers use us for is to measure the effectiveness of the ads that they’re delivering to drive traffic to their websites, their mobile websites and their mobile apps. As part of that, we deliver return on ad spend, we help them appreciate cohorts that are doing well, and really help them drive into where should they spend more money, where it would be more effective.
MOBILE GROWTH: Tell us a little bit about yourself as well.
CHARLES MANNING: My background is in the technology and data side. After school I started working at Oracle, in the 1.0 days of the web and when the internet and internet computing started to hit scale. Just before the dot com push started to really explode, I had the privilege of being a part of building the first web system where you can buy a cell phone online and have it Fedexed to you. I built the first subscription management system on the web, where you can download virus detection template files off of Symantec, I also built the first printing and imaging configuration system for HP, where you could download new VIOS registries for your printers off of the internet. It was really the first instance where the utility of the internet started to come to play, and mostly in a B2B context where my interest was.
Since Oracle, I started a handful of companies and exited them as well. I built an enterprise management software company that monitored the health, availability and performance of web systems and IT systems for the web, and later built some pretty neat technology in the video game space around MMOs, Massively MultiPlayer Online Games. We built a heads up display where you could chat with your friends while you remained in game. About 5 years ago we started Kochava, when we saw the smart phone era start to hit scale. The team and I realized that there was a fundamental need for measurement that just didn’t exist that people were used to having in the display world, in the display advertising space.
MOBILE GROWTH: You’ve been working on some interesting additional initiatives around blockchain. Aside from fraud, blockchain seems to be a hot topic with mobile marketers and advertisers. Can you summarize some of the new things you’ve been working on over there?
CHARLES MANNING: I think you nailed it – blockchain is a hot topic for sure and fraud is the only thing that I think rivals it. Interestingly, the same emotional reason that people are wanting to talk about fraud in advertising is the same emotional reason why people are talking about blockchain. It’s fundamentally this issue of trust. There has been a progressive erosion of trust in the supply chain of advertising, that starts all the way back in the display world. From when the first ads were delivered in 1994 on the internet to today where there’s over 220 billion dollars worth of digital ads being bought and sold. There are fundamental trust issues globally because there’s such a prevalence of robots that are masquerading as real users and they’re stealing dollars from marketers.
What’s become a very hot trend specifically in the mobile space is attribution fraud. Fraudsters who are trying to get last click attribution are synthetically triggering clicks or capturing otherwise organic conversions that they want to get credit for. Looking at it through that vantage point, it makes a ton of sense that here’s a company, Kochava, that’s in the nexus of advertisers and publishers. And what we’re observing is as an independent third party/independent referee are advertisers who want to have verification that the media that they’re buying is in fact real, that it results in real value, that there’s trust that can be established. In the context of that, we have been building some awesome tools around fraud.
About two and a half years ago, when bitcoin was active within the crypto circles but wasn’t being talked about too much in the mainstream, there was a neat little project called Ethereum that was getting deployed. I remember being avidly enthusiastic about what Ethereum represented, because it was less about a crypto currency and more about a blockchain framework; it was a distributed ledger that was immutable and trustworthy, and could be utilized effectively like a clearing ledger or a system of record that could not be messed with. It could not be touched after being written, and after consensus was reached. It was around that time that I started to really unpack it, where the questions started to percolate, especially because of the busiest that we are in at Kochava. What if we were to build a custom blockchain implementation, that was specific to the digital advertising world, whereby we could make it open much like Ethereum and it could be available to anyone in the ecosystem of advertising? Its purpose would not be to be an alternative crypto currency specifically, but rather it would be a general manifestation of what a buyer and seller of advertising would come to an agreement on with a smart contract. We started to think about that, and we architected a framework; we filed for some patent coverage. What came out of the other side of the gate is building what we call XCHNG. It’s a website placeholder, where location is exchanged at IO. The real objective of XCHNG is a blockchain-based framework to manage the insertion orders, or the contracts between buyers and sellers in media, and to facilitate the activation of those contracts across all of digital advertising in an open and unfettered way, with protocols that are specific to the advertising space.
MOBILE GROWTH: So for those who want to spell it easily, it’s basically the word exchange without vowels.
CHARLES MANNING: That’s right the vowels were too expensive. So we decided to opt out of those.
MOBILE GROWTH: Can’t buy a vowel on this one. How exactly do you see blockchain working in the advertising world, and would XCHNG replace all other ad exchanges?
CHARLES MANNING: That’s a normal assumption in a massively disruptive short circuiting fashion, especially with its naming of the project. I would say on the contrary; I think XCHNG provides a mechanism for the existing exchanges to become blockchain enabled, and have a very different and more expansive value prop than what they potentially have today. I’ll walk through a narrative that puts some perspective on that.
Today, the digital ad ecosystem is made up of impressions that are manifested, because users are looking at a website or they’re looking at apps, There’s an opportunity for an ad to be shown, and that’s a singular impression. That media is bought by advertisers in a CPM basis, cost per thousand impressions shown, or a CPC basis when it’s a little bit more performance oriented. I only pay if the end user actually clicks on it, so I want to create a compelling event to make a click happen. There’s obviously more exotic models: a CPI, cost per install, or a cost per action, and the point is these ads can be bought in various currencies. I say ‘currencies’ in the context of ways in which you buy the ads. But the interesting thing is, the technical stack that enables that ad to be bought is largely a centralized clearinghouse of publishers to ad networks. To call it exchanges, as you described, where all of the inventory is presented and then cross referenced with demand side partners who buy against those exchanges, and because of the centralization but also the decentralization of the environment today from an advertising technology perspective, I as an advertiser could work with 2 different DSPs who are actually bidding against each other on the same supply partner. I could be competing against myself without even knowing it, because as each one of these tiers of extraction exist, the opacity gets worse and worse. As an advertiser, I know that I want to target a certain audience, but I have no idea from a supply chain perspective how that actually manifests all the way down to that actual impression that gets presented to the user.
With each one of those steps, it’s like one big washing machine of cash, where different folks are selling a piece of inventory, and then someone else is buying that inventory, then they’re reselling it, someone else is buying it, and that’s where you get into these problems around brand safety and problems of fraud. It’s where you get into all of the problems in those pockets in the middle of the supply chain. So what XCHNG really is, is a mechanism where we’re facilitating the work flow of buying and selling ads through smart contracts of these insertion orders. We’re enabling the related targeting and activation of audiences in a completely decentralized way. In other words, instead of routing all of the traffic through a common exchange clearinghouse to a common set of demand side partners, every single inventory source can read off the chain and can make their inventory available and be contracted under this immutable contract on blockchain. The difference being, in one case, all of the lines are directed towards the same direction where all inventory comes together between demand and supply in the decentralized model that’s more representative of how publishers are today. Where you’ve got a whole bunch of different publishers out there, but everyone is making their available inventory and everyone is then abiding by this common blockchain. There’s a common set of ad tech tools to link what’s in the insertion order to what’s actually getting delivered, in terms of the serve and the delivery. It’s less about, how do we remove the existing exchanges from existence today, and more about, how do they morph to a more decentralized fashion.
Today, if I were to buy all of the inventory of ESPN for the month of December in the exchange world, I could do that, provided that ESPN’s inventory is on exchange. But, what that really means, is that ESPN’s inventory is on exchange for anyone to buy. And the second that it’s bought, it’s almost treated like an asset class. Think of it like a tradable equity. Knowing that you have the entire month of ESPN for the month of December, Provided that it’s brand safe, the contract holder could turn around and say, I want to sell Monday morning the first of December between 9-10AM, just that inventory. They could resell that out, almost like a derivative, a secondary market model. And I could make money on the margin, between what I bulk bought all of December, and what that I made available elsewhere. The reality is, advertising works today exactly like that. But it’s not traceable, it’s not actually technically connected. There’s a whole bunch of opportunity for fraud to come in the midst of it, and what that means is that ESPN makes less money on yield, and the advertiser is able to put less money to work on buying more premium content, more premium ads.
So this is really about flattening that out, and removing the technology hurdle from the middle of it. But, every existing actor that works in the space today continues to be able to act in the space, and it’s open source so there’s no strings attached from having to give up your sovereignty as a particular actor by using this system, if that makes sense.
MOBILE GROWTH: So if there was someone who was a repeat offender, would they be blocklisted from the XCHNG?
CHARLES MANNING: Love it. One of the great things about blockchain is that almost everything is assuming zero trust, and almost everything has to be consensus driven. I’ll just walk through some of the actors in our system. We have buyers and sellers – so buyers buy media, sellers sell media. They contract together on a smart contract insertion order. Then you have four additional actors that ride alongside those contracts. We’ve got verifiers, ratings providers, payment providers and arbiters. The verifiers are people like Kochava. So today, Kochava acts in a role as a verifer; we measure ad delivery, we measure the effectiveness of those ads, and we serve the advertiser in being an independent third party. What we’ve done is we’ve designed in this blockchain implementation of digital ads a role for verifiers. What’s great is because we built it as an open source system, we’re not intrinsically making Kochava the only verifier, ‘if you use XCHNG you have to use us’. We just happen to be the first to be on it because we invented the system. But we very much want to have an open-ended framework, so that other verifiers can exist as well, because that’s a normal free market environment.
To your question about blocklisting, that’s exactly the role of ratings providers. From a code based and algorithmic based approach, the ratings providers actually rate the performance of all of the actors on the ecosystem for each and every contract. So if advertiser X buys inventory from publisher Y, and publisher Y lies about the inventory they have and doesn’t deliver or under-delivers, that ends up being a code based, immutable distributed ledger proof point of the rating of that provider for all to see. It’s this awesome, transparent mechanism that’s all code driven and consensus driven, where actors have to behave well or there are consequences, versus them being in the shadows or the corners of the space.
MOBILE GROWTH: Here’s a little bit of an aside – you know how there’s 6 blocks and then it becomes permanent, is it the same structure?
CHARLES MANNING: The relationship between transactions to blocks can be different, on different blockchain implementations. We’re using the blockchain as a mechanism to not only persist the contracts, the smart contracts of the insertion orders, but we’re also using and have built peer to peer discovery protocols, so that buyers can have discreet auction events with sellers, all within the open source system. The number of transactions per block is different in different implementations so that’s not much of the specific science.
MOBILE GROWTH: So what’s to prevent someone from entering in false information that’s derogatory towards another person or another company?
CHARLES MANNING: A very common construct of blockchain is this notion of the hashes; each one of the blocks is related to the previous hash of the previous block, and then each one of those hashes becomes cumulative, (provided that you start the chain out properly), those hashes are congruent, consistent. There’s this thing called the 51% rule, where if nefarious actors can represent 50% of the compute power, they could potentially override the truth in the distributed ledger. But, that’s really only in the beginning. Because after a number of these hashes are in play, it’s incredibly hard to actually recreate those, it’s next to impossible. Which is why no one’s been able to recreate the bitcoin blockchain, and claim the balance holder of bitcoin is totally different and wrong, etc.
But your question is totally valid, and that is, how do you make sure that there is trust in a system where there’s no central authority? Our perspective is, you can do it straightforward with math and we’ve got proven models with bitcoin having done that, with the actual chains and the hashes.
Let me back up for a quick second – there’s an interesting thing happening where Facebook and Google have both demonstrated incredible leadership in the digital advertising space by making it incredibly simple for advertisers to buy media that’s well targeted and consistently delivered. That’s the reason why in Q1 of this year, of the 3.7 billion in incremental growth in digital ad spend, 98% of that growth was found just in Facebook and Google. The point is, those two companies, that duopoly, represents all that growth because they make it simple for advertisers to buy at scale. The splintered, independent hodge lodge spaghetti of vendors that make up everyone else is what makes it difficult to buy it at scale, with good targeting, consistency, traceability, good absence of fraud, good transparency, etc. So the thesis here is, if you have an open source implementation, where code is the basis of truth because of CRC crypto algorithm approaches, and there are opportunities for commercial vendors to participate on this common set of rails, then the independent non-Facebook, non-Google vendors can actually band together and work on a common framework without necessarily having to own the framework. And instead of us saying, ‘we own it, so you guys need to submit to our authority and leadership’, we’re saying, we don’t need to own it. We’ll actually build it, submit it and make it open source with an open source foundation, so that it gives people the comfort and confidence that we’re not going to change the rules on day 30.
MOBILE GROWTH: Since this is built on blockchain, would you then carry it to the next level and allow all sorts of crypto currencies to pay for ads? If not, how would you stop it?
CHARLES MANNING: That’s an awesome question, and I think it absolutely makes sense. One of the things we talk about is tokenizing the digital ad workflow. What that means is, being able to use a common currency, i.e. an exchange token that advertisers can buy for any number of services, whether it’s verification, or the actual ad, or its viewability, or its creative ad unit delivery. In a world where there’s a crypto-backed smart contract that represents a buyer and seller on a particular inventory definition, there’s an opportunity to actually bind that together, pay for it with tokens, and potentially trade it in a secondary market-like format. It’s like the example I gave with ESPN earlier. By the way, that was a fictitious example, I’m not claiming that ESPN does that today. You have to be careful with that.
By having the workflow backed by a token, it also means that there’s fundamental liquidity. In any market where you have buying and selling, it’s not really a market unless there’s liquidity. And digital ads is probably the largest marketplace where it’s not really a marketplace, because there really isn’t liquidity. There’s a bunch of fake representation of liquidity; an ad network may go to a publisher and say, ‘hey I like your inventory, I’m going to pre buy all of your inventory’, but it’s an exclusive and it’s really saying, ‘I want you to effectively hand over all the ad tech stack to us and I’ll tell you what you’ve earned. Trust me, the check is in the mail.’ So that’s not really a market driven, a liquidity driven marketplace. It’s not something where you can have inventory that’s then put in this open market, a protocol-based framework where you settle on terms that are contracted, and then you activate and deliver on those terms, i.e., ads are served and then treated like an asset class. We fundamentally believe that this the opportunity to do that. Because there will be all sorts of interesting secondary and tertiary business opportunities that can layer on top of that.
When you think of the role of a Neilson or a com score, they’re rating the industry and engagement on a particular property, like how many people go to this particular website in comparison to these others. They use panels that are typically not very big. Imagine a scenario where there’s a true and accurate full representation of usage and engagement, without jeopardizing end user privacy. What if that was a possibility, where you could actually see counts of engagement in a immutable and unchangeable way, where you could rate one property over another? To no longer get into this business where someone says that they’ve got this monthly active user count, but in fact everyone except for the dumb people know that they’re lying about it. It just clears the air of this space.
MOBILE GROWTH: Advertising usually sees a much greater volume of transactions, like millions per second, but some blockchain transactions max out in under a dozen, like maybe 10, 8, 9 – so how does this affect the ability to use blockchain at scale for advertising?
CHARLES MANNING: That’s an astute question, totally right on. I think the people who are embedded in advertising, who know quite a bit about blockchain, know that those two things don’t compute, they don’t align well. And indeed, we saw the same thing. On one hand, when we first started architecting the system two years ago, we thought we could make it work, we could shoehorn it in and we could engineer it so that it was possible. The problem is, in a fundamentally peer-to-peer consensus driven, multi-node decentralized model, it’s not something that you can viably expect to do. Our strategy and approach to that lined up very well with the business dynamics of what happens in advertising anyways, and we thought, well, gosh – what if we did it this way, we would accomplish both things. Let me walk through what those two things are.
So in advertising, an advertiser, based on our own experience, discovers that where they advertise, how they advertise, and when they advertise is as differentiating and as competitively advantageous as anything else that they may have in their product or service. In other words, the approach that they take in growth hacking is a competitive advantage to them. And they do not want, despite their desire for transparency and immutability, those methods and processes to be exposed. It’s the same reason why our customers, when they use Kochava, they don’t want anyone knowing about their data or their volumes because they don’t want to share any of that. We always respect that, that’s our schtick, our customer data is our customer data. Our approach to this was, we have this architecture in which we have buyers and sellers, and then separately signed into the same contract we have verifiers and ratings agencies and payment providers. As a verifier, Kochava is effectively verifying all of the millions of transactions a second, but then when cleared or when attributed, we’re then writing to the chain the summarization, almost like a clearinghouse. So we’re using the blockchain and the related transactions to the smart contract as a mechanism to prove yes, this trusted verifier who is signed to be part of this contract is asserting because we’re trusting them that this is what happened. But the detail behind what had happened behind that summary is not exposed on the chain, so it kills two birds with one stone. Not only do we keep our customers’ granular details private, we also alleviate the need to have every single transaction written, read and synchronized over the chain. So all we’re really writing to the chain is a summarization on a minute, hourly, daily basis, and we maintain the persistent data from all of the millions of records prior to that. That still allows the whole workflow to operate. The payment provider can release funds, based on what’s been cleared, the ratings provider can still rate all of the actors, based on what’s been cleared, but the actual granular transactions are off chain.
MOBILE GROWTH: You talk about some of the obstacles to making this a reality; are there any more large obstacles that you’re aware of, that you’re looking to overcome?
CHARLES MANNING: We’ve got a handful of obstacles; we think we’ve solved them, but obviously the proof is in the pudding in terms of our delivery. One of the things that is related to this notion of privacy is something that we invented, it’s called a daily rolling chain. In a traditional blockchain implementation, one must download the full chain from day zero, in order to participate as a node on the chain. And they do that as a mechanism of consensus and to confirm that they’ve got the accurate version of the chain. A combination of our ratings role within the system, as well as a proof of stake model that we have in our system, enables us to heavily prune the chain. So any flight, any insertion order, any flight that’s prior to today is actually pruned off the chain. The chain only consists of contracts that are active today and moving forward. What that does is keeps the nodes very nimble and very light, and it also enables a bit of obscurity of how certain advertisers have advertised in the past. It speaks to that whole benefit to the advertiser on what their tactics have been. We’re a product of our own customer base. We have some of the largest, most aggressive advertisers as our customers, and so we are always very tuned in to what matters to them. The DRC, or the daily rolling chain, is a big thing that’s going to be a bit of an innovation in the blockchain space in general. It’s very applicable to the advertising space and other vectors, other verticals are going to end up finding that interesting.
Another big challenge has largely been solved by some other blockchain implementations, this notion of side chains or interchaining data sets. In the world of advertising, where you’ve got targetable audiences and you’ve got metadata about those audiences that’s used in the targeting and the protocols, you want the ability to say hey, I want to find all the iOS 10 with iPad mini 3 users that are in Brisbane CA. I want to be able to engage them in a smart contract, and I’m wiling to engage them provided that the publisher’s rating is over x, and I want to pay them on a net 180. That whole query set is a pretty complex query set, especially when you think about a world of 10 billion devices out there that will largely be on this blockchain implementation, globally deployed. So it’s this really interesting, peer-to-peer protocol that’s querying, and then having other peers query on its behalf, if inventory fits that criteria, to bind into an agreement. It’s going to be a challenge that we’ve got a handle on, but it’ll be really interesting to see how we roll that out.
This is a whole new chapter in digital ads. When we have a world where your refrigerator has a visual interface that’s a connected device with an ad unit, and that ad unit is an addressable ad unit targeted to you and your household, that’s separate and distinct from the node that represents your smart TV, and the blockchain knows that there’s a relationship between those things, we’re in a very different world. It’s a very neat world, and there is no one overlord that’s controlling that, it’s just the blockchain that knows that. Now all of a sudden, buyers can target without one singular monopoly running all of that. It’s so fascinating to think of the implications of what’s possible in digital ads when it’s really that splintered.
MOBILE GROWTH: This is obviously a big play, you wanting to unify all of advertising on one common open platform. Are you just a mad scientist, Charles Manning, or is this actually possible?
CHARLES MANNING: I think it is a big play, no question, and it could be crazy or it could be really a neat opportunity. We wouldn’t be doing this if it was a fool’s errand. We knew going into this that if we were to do this, it was a big play and there was certain things that we were going to have to do. We had to decide that we were building tech, that we were going to set free and make open. If we tried to convince every ecosystem partner to take our proprietary code and put it in their systems, that would be a dead on arrival proposition. There’d be no way in hell we’d convince anyone of that. Even if you were Facebook or Google, you couldn’t convince the ecosystem to do that. At best, what you can do is build an eco device that sits in your living room. Or you could build a Google assist device that sits in your living room, and you could try to control and own that ecosystem because of your own devices and components. Our thinking behind this was, there’s a whole industry out there that represents the other 50% of digital ads. Outside of the duopoly, who aren’t likely going to build economies of scale, building momentum great enough to have the simplicity and the ease for advertisers to spend money at scale, so it won’t work unless they centralize around an open system.
We’re one of the very few companies who’s an independent third party. We’re neither a buyer nor a seller. We’re a referee. We’re the measurement tool, so we’re already sitting at the nexus between buyers and sellers. We’re not an existing exchange, we don’t have a dog in the hunt with regard to wanting to push our technology stack because it will help us sell more media. We truly have that independent capability. I would argue there are few people that could pull this off, and this is the type of company that we are. One of my team colleagues asks this all of the time, to other people: do you believe that blockchain, in its very nature, is going to pervade and seep into every element of software? And I fundamentally believe that. it’s like saying in 1994, do you believe the internet is going to have a pervasive dynamic in computing? Absolutely. The premise here is, like the http protocol for the internet, this is the exchange protocol for the digital ads. We’re making it open, we’re making it available and we’re allowing this collaboration to happen. If you believe blockchain is going to make an impact in digital ads, and if you believe that our independent role is uniquely qualifying to enable that, then I think it’s a forgone conclusion that we certainly have a fighting chance at making it possible.
MOBILE GROWTH: One of my colleagues says you have internet, then you have mobile, then you have blockchain – it’s just the next level.
CHARLES MANNING: I think you’re right.
MOBILE GROWTH: You have Kochava and you have this new XCHNG; so are these two things the same thing, or are these different initiatives?
CHARLES MANNING: Kochava is our company; we’ve built a leading measurement platform. Off of that, as a side effort, we’ve built XCHNG. As I mentioned before, we’re finishing the development of XCHNG and making it available in an open source foundation – we’re going to be a forefather or governing supporting point to it. What we see so often is working groups and standards groups who talk a lot about what’s the best way to do certain things, and it’s a lot of jockeying for control and nothing actually gets built. No one commits to actually building code. Our position has always been, as a real time company and as a real time systems vendor, we’ve got actual delivery. You’ve got to build code for it to be useful. So we’re building that code, we’re going to make it available in a foundation and an open source framework. As a company we’re going to be, a., one of the forefathers; and b., a large token holder of that process, because it’s something that we’ve invented, just by virtue of wanting to steward that effort moving forward. But our enterprise value is going to be, how do we become the best verifier on this system and expand our market share as a result of that?
MOBILE GROWTH: Let me give you a bonus question. You talked about blockchain; and since crypto currencies are all the rage, and everyone’s trying to do ICO’s and buy into them, what top three investment strategies would you suggest if someone on a personal level wanted to jump on the crypto train?
CHARLES MANNING: Awesome question. The ICO market, like you said, and the TGE market, token generation event, there are different ways people are talking about it. Both have obviously increased in popularity and momentum in 2017. This is the year of the ICO, no question. I think in June it was the first time there was one new ICO a day; and if my metrics serve me right, we’re on the verge of one and a half to two a day now. There’s a lot of people asking if this a bubble, with regard to crypto currency; they’re speaking largely with regard to bitcoin, but I think they’re generally wondering how the whole world is going to have a token economy for every single thing. Is it really going to be the case where you’ll have a token for a babysitter, separate from a token for a municipality, separate from a token for file storage, and all of these other things? I think we’ve got a whole new world in front of us. I don’t know the full answer as to how many tokens are going to exist. Obviously, token exchanges are going to be very important if that continues to go.
In the context of your question, what are the investment strategies or approaches you want to take if you’re a layman and you’re just getting into this? There’s no question in my mind that bitcoin has value, and it’s going to continue to demonstrate and appreciate in value. I’m not a financial advisor and I’m certainly not giving anyone financial advice, so I don’t want to take any responsibility for people who just decide to buy now and then it changes. I would say that a currency’s value is a function of its usage in economy, and its applicability to the things that can be bought and sold. The frequency of buying things and the applicability of what you can buy, that’s what makes a currency valuable. That’s why bitcoin has been appreciating; more and more people are accepting it and are participating in that currency movement.
Not to toot the horn of XCHNG too much here, but XCHNG has a target market of a 225 billion global opportunity in which ads are bought and sold every day at that tune, every year. Kochava already represents 6 billion in ad spend across its existing customers. I think XCHNG has a great use case. So going back to your question, bitcoin is obviously an awesome one to get into as a layman. But I would also recommend industry specific tokens. I think those are going to be the winners over tool-based tokens, unless the tool-based token is a loyalty framework. I think there’s a lot of value in loyalty frameworks. It’s been proven time and time again, especially with airline points and punch cards at a local coffee shop. People tend to equate loyalty to perks as a mechanism. That’s what tokens are, one big loyalty system in many utility use cases. In vertical use cases, it’s a mechanism to remove fees, inefficiency and opacity. Those are the two categories, outside of straight bitcoin, that I would suggest from an outsider perspective.
MOBILE GROWTH: As a final follow up, do you think the fact that a lot of crypto currencies aren’t AMLKYC compliant might have an issue with some of this stuff?
CHARLES MANNING: Yeah, I think there’s a reckoning with KYC. The heritage with crypto currencies is one that did not encourage and celebrate KYC. You could say there’s a whole sub-audience that are perfectly fine not having it be KYC associated. Look at Civic as an example, Civic’s whole core principle is set attestation; so you can flatten inefficiency for credit checks and for identity checks. That’s an awesome use case where KYC is not a liability, it’s an asset. And that asset removes a whole bunch of garbage that centralized services have charged a premium for, with frankly nothing to deliver the service.
MOBILE GROWTH: Kochava is going to be at Mobile Growth Europe in Berlin in October, and we’re also planning on having you again at our Mobile Growth summit, the largest event to date, in its fourth year in San Francisco this coming February. It will be great to have you – you guys always present great information. Don’t expect product pitches, they’re going to share tons of awesome data that can help everyone. So with that, Charles Manning, thank you very much for taking the time to share your expertise and to talk about XCHNG.
CHARLES MANNING: Thank you, I’m thrilled to share it, I really appreciate the opportunity.