Bitcoin—a solution to the ad-blockers?

Luke Graham | News Assistant

Bitcoin and bitcoin technology could be the solution for media sites who've witnessed revenue falling due to the rise of ad-blocking software, according to one industry expert.

Digital publishers lost an estimated $22 billion in revenue in 2015 due to ad-blocking technology with around 198 million global users using the software, according to PageFair, which provides solutions to counter ad blocking.

Karen Bleier | AFP | Getty Images

The problem for publishers is likely to get worse as more and more companies, such as Samsung and Three, announce plans to let users block online advertisements.

"Several companies have jumped on the ad-blocking bandwagon," said Daniel Knapp, director of analysis at IHS Technology, to CNBC in an email.

"Ad blocking is an expression of massive consumer dissatisfaction with the way the ad industry works."

One alternative to funding content besides ads would be a system of micropayments, where users pay a small fee for each page they view, according to David Schatsky, senior manager of emerging technology and business trends at Deloitte.

"You could have an option to not view advertising and instead pay a couple of pennies per page as you go," he told CNBC in a phone interview.

He explained that micropayments - facilitated by bitcoin – could be given to a publisher for the time a user spends on their site.

The challenges of using blockchain technology

According to Schatsky, using the cryptocurrency bitcoin would make a micropayment system feasible due to its low transaction costs. The blockchain, meanwhile, which is the underlying technology behind bitcoin that works like a huge, decentralized ledger recording every transaction, would be able to keep secure records of which pages are viewed and for how long.

The main appeal of a micropayment system would be to give more choice to content consumers.

"Publishers who find a way of creating choice for users, most of whom are reasonable and recognize that it costs money to host content, you can imagine them opting into another program where rather than blocking ads they simply pay a nominal amount for the privilege of viewing content and they won't see the ads anymore," added Schatsky.

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