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“Stop conflating bitcoin with blockchain,” says Daniel Gouldman, CEO of Ternio

beyond bitcoin

Ternio is looking to solve the biggest problems that plague the digital advertising space: transparency in the digital advertising supply chain and ad fraud.

Ternio, an enterprise blockchain in the programmatic advertising space, boasts a third party verified 1 million transactions per second.
Highlight and Share any textIf we were in 2017, this verified million transactions feature would have pushed the FOMO engines of the crypto machine, however, we are in 2019 and people are treading carefully around these claims.

Why do a million transactions per second matter when visa only processes around 1700 transactions per second?  Is this all just hype or is there a logical reason to it?

It turns out, at least in the industry Ternio operates, there is a real need for such scalability. We sit with Daniel Gouldman, CEO of Ternio, to learn more.

Don’t go looking for a problem

Most blockchain whitepapers address real-world issues with a phantom solution. Or sometimes they have a grandiose solution for a problem that simply doesn’t need blockchain.  

Ternio is one of those blockchain projects that actually is aiming to solve a real-world issue that can use blockchain solution, however, sheer scalability that is needed to serve this space has kept most ideas at bay.  Even at a million transactions confirmed speed – Ternio still is not at par with the number of transactions that take place in the digital ad space.

In truth – 1 million isn’t enough in digital advertising.  It’s an industry that handles more than 10 million TPS at any moment; it’s a massive scale relative to data,” Daniel said.

Look beyond Bitcoin

beyond bitcoin

Daniel views the majority of blockchain space still under-educated. “Stop conflating bitcoin with blockchain,” he says passionately, “I hate that I’ll go to a meeting supposedly with people talking about blockchain and the people on the panel devolve into talking about Bitcoin.”

Daniel is interested in use cases of both public and private blockchains.  There are a lot of creative solutions brought to life every day in the blockchain space.

“It’s another level of stupid because even in the world of cryptocurrencies – there’s so much amazing innovation happening with aasset-backed tokens and smart contracts, look beyond Bitcoin,” he said.

Both private and public blockchains have their specific use cases depending on the industry and need: “If you think only one has a use – you’re missing half of the important developments happening in the industry,” he concluded.

$50 Billion dollar problem in $630 billion market

Digital ad spending is expected to continue its upward trend into the year 2022.  The spend that is at about $630 Billion worldwide at 43.5% of total ad spend is expected to reach 50% of total ad spend by 2022.

That is a huge upside.

With that upside comes to the increase in the fraud in this space, that is already at $50 Billion annually.

A traditional solution just doesn’t cut it when it comes to the trust issue at this mass scale.  Solutions like Ternio will become the norm in the coming decade.

In conclusion

Ternio is spearheading a solution to address rreal-worldissues and they are seeing traction in the space.

They are not trying to change the structure of the supply chain, instead, they are bringing transparency into the existing business model.  This transparency and ability to settle directly instead of relying on third parties will eventually make the whole supply chain lean.

You face resistance when you want to change the whole structure of any given supply chain, however, if you bring about the blockchain technology to work within the existing framework and eventually change it during the natural course of progress, such solutions have a greater shot at adoption.

Ternio is seeing the traction, “We have announced several partnerships publicly and many more not publicly. Many large companies prefer to wait to publicize anything until it suits them.  Nothing I can add here that’s not already public. We recently communicated being one of only five blockchain companies that is an advanced tech partner of Amazon and we’re proud of that,” Daniel said.

Enjoy the interview.

Ternio Exclusive Interview Transcript

CryptoTapas: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what in your view makes you (and your company) ideal players in the blockchain space?

Daniel: Well for myself, I have a long history in management – managing people, products and the overarching business itself.  As for our company, we have a very talented team of people with backgrounds in large corporations, startups, public and private sector.  We have a very tech-oriented team and we’re breaking ground to solve problems that others have yet to solve.  Ternio team

CryptoTapas: How did you get started in the Blockchain space?

Daniel: My partner and Ian and I have had several years in the digital advertising space in various ways.  We had a couple of developers who thought they could use blockchain to solve for the scalability issue based on architecture; in order to address issues in the digital advertising industry – you really need tremendous scalability.  It’s not uncommon for ad tech companies to handle 10 to 15 million ad impressions per second; it’s a really massive scale we’re talking about. We can thank IBM for their contribution with hyper ledger fabric that allowed us to jump in.

CryptoTapas: What is your elevator pitch for Ternio (for blockchain naïve crowd)?

Daniel: Well, if it’s someone who doesn’t understand Blockchain, that’s a bigger conversation. I usually say Blockchain is a technology that is well suited to internal and external supply chains. It’s really just a bunch of redundant databases that prevent any one person from gaming the system on their own and allows for real-time data sharing.  The big problem is that it’s slow and Ternio makes it fast.

CryptoTapas: If you were to choose only two BIG problems that blockchain can solve in the advertising industry using blockchain, what would those be and why?

MediaDaniel: Tracking the supply chain of media spend and ad fraud.  Advertisers spend about 70% of their money on just paying the middlemen; there is no other industry that has that inefficient a supply chain.  Additionally, tracking the supply chain of fraud is something that doesn’t presently exist.  The way we use blockchain, we can solve that problem.

CryptoTapas: What makes Ternio better than other blockchain solutions in the advertising industry space?

Daniel: We’re the only company that can track ad impressions on an impression level basis. Everyone else is tracking it in bulk files which really makes blockchain obsolete.  That’s because they don’t have speed and that’s because they don’t have a solution for the scalability challenges of the technology.  We are one of only two companies with our own technology as far as I know; we’re not using other people’s systems exclusively.  We built our stuff in house minus our integration of Hyper Ledger Fabric.

CryptoTapas: Since June 2018, has your user | publisher | advertiser base grown?  Can you shed light on growth statistics of Ternio?

Daniel: We have announced several partnerships publicly and much more not publicly.  Many large companies prefer to wait to publicize anything until it suits them. Nothing I can add here that’s not already public.  We recently communicated being one of only five blockchain companies that is an advanced tech partner of Amazon and we’re proud of that.

CryptoTapas: Why not connect the publishers and advertisers, and why have you decided to enable existing ad supply chain distribution channels instead of removing middlemen?

Daniel: We’re agnostic to the process; we simply focus on making sure that people know where the media spend is going.  That transparency will drive the advertiser and publisher closer naturally. We simply provide the tools that enable better decision making with real-time analytics on supply chain spend.

CryptoTapas: Why is the race for 1 million transactions per second (TPS) such a big deal when Visa only processes 1700 transactions per second?  Is there a logic to competing on the TPS ground or is this what digital ad space requires?

Daniel: Well, people get stuck on this 1 million TPS thing.  It’s much bigger than that.  In truth – 1 million isn’t enough in digital advertising.  It’s an industry that handles more than 10 million TPS at any moment; it’s a massive scale relative to data.  But this scalability will prove to be just as important with things like Artificial Intelligence. It comes down to data passing from A to B to C.  Doing 2k TPS is a joke in digital advertising, candidly. I think that will prove to be the same with AI due to the weight of that tech on the blockchain.

CryptoTapas: What would you do differently based on the experience you gathered since launching Ternio and living through this crypto winter?

Daniel: I’m a firm believer that you learn from everything – good or bad.  I’m not sure I’d do much different honestly. I don’t dwell on the past and I think we’ve pivoted quickly when we make those inevitable mistakes.

CryptoTapas: What impact did Ternio have on you as a person?  How (or what) did it change in you?

Daniel: Ternio has definitely taken over my life.  For my birthday – my cake had Ternio’s logo on it.  I can’t think of anything that has changed about me personally since my voyage began.  I’ve always been obsessed with my work. I marinate in my work and really enjoy what I do.  The experience has allowed me to learn a lot about the technology, the very real differences between blockchain and cryptocurrency, and – however egotistical this may sound – I honestly feel confident that I can speak to blockchain’s use in enterprise in non-technical terms relative to how to craft use cases better than most people on the planet.

CryptoTapas: In your own words, can you talk about the use-cases in non-technical terms?

Daniel: Whereas cryptocurrencies are excellent for peer to peer payments, blockchain excels in many things including what’s called “Track and Trace”. 

It especially excels in complicated supply chains where there are many different companies operating together.  One example of this is in programmatic digital advertising.  70% of all money spent by advertisers in this programmatic digital advertising world that includes Google and others gets spent on the middlemen that sit in between the advertiser and the publishers. 

There is no other industry with supply chain costs like this.

So, what blockchain is able to do is to prevent one company from gaming the system; firstly, advertisers can use blockchain to verify ad impressions, and secondly, they can use it to track where all their money is being spent from who, what, when (right now they have literally no idea). 

Thirdly, they can use blockchain to track the supply chain of fraud which is currently a $50 billion problem in the industry.  And fourth, instead of paying this guy to pay that guy to pay the next guy – they can pay everyone in the supply chain from the top to the bottom. 

These are all revolutionary shifts from what exists today, made possible by blockchain technology. 

CryptoTapas: Talk a little bit about BlockCard, the purpose it serves in the Ternio’s ecosystem?

Daniel: The BlockCard is awesome because it allows users to keep their crypto in crypto until they spend it; right now other cards force all deposits to convert to a fiat currency immediately. I envision BlockCard as more than just a card – we have some big plans for BlockCard. The special thing we do is the technology behind the card. 

CryptoTapas: Are you planning on listing on more exchanges to be able to be accessible to more users?

Daniel: There are very few real exchanges that would make any kind of meaningful impact on Ternio in this crypto winter; to the extent that an exchange would make that impact – we would be interested of course.  But if a token is truly a utility token, exchanges are irrelevant.  They’re relevant because most tokens have no real purpose and aren’t actually being used for utility – just fundraising.

CryptoTapas: What excites and pushes you every day about blockchain in general and Ternio in particular?

 Daniel: There’s always deals happening. Its exciting times filled with lots of peaks and valleys. I love working with my team; we have really good people – not just great workers – on the team.

CryptoTapas: How do you strike a work-life balance? How do you stay away from digital noise?  Any tips?

Daniel: I don’t care about work-life balance.  Work-life balance is a joke.  I like what Jeff Bezos said: work-life harmony.  I work a lot.  I love my work; it’s an extension of me and we’re crafting, building something.  I don’t have a 9 to 5; I wouldn’t want a 9 to 5.  As for being efficient – I know what my mission is.  It comes down to this: how am I going to make money today.  We do whatever it takes to be successful – to close deals – to execute on our plans.

CryptoTapas:  Is there anything you would like to add as your closing comments to the blockchain community?

Daniel: Stop conflating bitcoin with blockchain. 

I hate that I’ll go to a meeting supposedly with people talking about blockchain and the people on the panel devolve into talking about Bitcoin.  It’s another level of stupid because even in the world of cryptocurrencies – there’s so much amazing innovation happening with asset-backed tokens and smart contracts, look beyond Bitcoin.

Understand the differences between private blockchains vs. that of public blockchains; each has an important use depending on the circumstance.  If you think only one has a use – you’re missing half of the important developments happening in the industry.

Thank you for reading this article.


Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

CryptoTapas does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

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About the author

RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

RK Reddy is an ardent fan of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. You can see the excitement about this new technology in every article on Sometimes this excitement leads to an overly optimistic view. Guilty as charged. RK Reddy says what may seem like an ‘overly optimistic expectation’ today may become an everyday norm in 5-10 years; look at the history of cars or airplanes, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies belong to a similar frame of reference.”  Of course, that is just his opinion.


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