ICO Analysis: Papyrus


Blockchain is regarded as the most disruptive technology of the 21st century. Because of its ability to decentralize, secure and validate transactions, blockchain has the potential to disrupt most of the existing industry infrastructures.

Digital advertising in one such industry which can be restructured using blockchain.

Although it looks efficient on paper, the programmatic advertising ecosystem has many underlying issues. One of the major issues is that it lacks transparency. There is an indiscriminate collection of user data and users do not have any idea who is accessing their data nor are they asked for consent. Since billions of ad impressions are sold every second, it is difficult to keep a tap on the transactions being done. As the information from users is taken haphazardly by multiple entities, most of the ads are low quality and ROI for advertisers is very low. A large amount of fraudulent non human traffic is generated, which the advertisers have to pay for. The advertisers have to be dependent on intermediaries like ad networks to gain insights on their campaigns, data quality, governance etc. resulting in the creation of many intermediaries which is economically inefficient.

Understanding Papyrus

The project aims to solve the existing issues in the digital advertising industry by creating a decentralized ecosystem for the exchange of value between users, publishers and advertisers.

Papyrus is the world’s first fully comprehensive and highly scalable decentralized ecosystem for digital advertising that radically improves the programmatic advertising stack to provide efficient, transparent and mutually beneficial environment for users, publishers, advertisers and decentralized application (dApp) developers using blockchain architecture.

To get an understanding of Papyrus, let’s have a look at how the programmatic advertising ecosystem works. Data management platforms(DMPs) collect and store all the user’s data on central databases. Demand side platforms (DSPs) use this data and work with marketers/advertisers and help them access ad spaces, while Supply side platforms (SSPs) enable publishers to sell their ad spaces. These transactions are enabled by multiple ad exchanges and ad networks.

The Papyrus decentralized ad ecosystem will work as follows:

The entire ecosystem runs with the help of dApps (Decentralized Apps). Papyrus will create decentralized protocols on how the ecosystem should function on the Ethereum blockchain. Using these protocols developers will be able to build any kind of dApps with integrated advertising monetization economies for use within the ecosystem. These dApps will be bounded by smart contracts based on the decentralized protocols created by Papyrus.

For an example, Papyrus will create a default dApp for setting up the user’s account which will manage his identity, configure personalized advertising policy, data sharing etc. Using this dApp,  users will have an opportunity to control their own data and to earn compensation for sharing their interests and other relevant ad targeting information with advertisers. There will be one default dApp for publishers which will identify them and create personalized advertising policies.

Key elements of the advertising ecosystem like the DSPs and SSPs will have their own third party dApps and will be governed by Papyrus’s underlying protocols.

A decentralized exchange will be developed which will facilitate the interactions and transactions between different elements of the ecosystem.

Each layer of the ecosystem from the infrastructure layer (dApps) to the application layer (user/publisher accounts) will be based on Papyrus’s decentralized protocols, policies, governance model and smart contracts. Papyrus will identify each element of the digital advertising ecosystem and govern them with a set of protocols and smart contracts. Papyrus aims to solve the existing issues in the industry by introducing accountability, governance and trust to the ecosystem.

There are already several projects that aim to leverage blockchain technology in the area of digital advertising. BAT and QChain are some of the similar projects. Papyrus is more like an ecosystem which can integrate a project like BAT within it in the form of a dApp. QChain is also creating a marketplace like Papyrus. Papyrus is expected to solve the issue of scalability much better than QChain as the network infrastructure will be similar to Raiden Network or Lightning Network which will help it to support billions of ad impressions every second.

Token and Crowdraise

There will be 3 token generation events (TGE) conducted by Papyrus. The first TGE will begin on 12th October 2017, the second one by the end of the 2018 and the third TGE will be conducted in 2019. A $5 million dollar hardcap has been set for the first TGE. Papyrus will introduce two different tokens: PRP – Papyrus Prototype Tokens will be used in the ecosystem prototype and PPR – Papyrus Permanent Tokens. The PRP or the Prototype Tokens will be distributed in the TGE 1 while PPR or the permanent tokens will be distributed in the TGE 2. PPR/permanent token will be the final form of the token on the platform going ahead. 100% of prototype tokens emission will be exchanged to 15% of overall permanent tokens emission after TGE Round 2.

Papyrus plans to suspend support of the prototype ecosystem and continue with development of permanent ecosystem after TGE Round 2 is complete and the exchange of prototype tokens to permanent ones is opened.

The token will be used for payments across the platform. Advertisers will use the token to make payments for their ad campaigns, publishers and users will be compensated in the form of the token. Third party dApps like DSPs and SSPs, validators will also get paid in the form of the token.

The Team

There are 12 members in Papyrus’s team. Most of the team members are based out of Russia while the entity is registered in Singapore. The team members bring in varied experience from multiple spheres including digital advertising, mobile traffic analysis, PR & marketing, software development and research. They have also hired a blockchain expert to help integrate the systems with blockchain.

Papyrus has 11 advisors supporting the project which includes team members from Ark and Bancor. Although the team lacks experience in developing blockchain based projects, they seem to have compensated this by hiring blockchain experts and having 11 experienced advisors.


Having analyzed some traditional digital advertising based companies before, the author knows how inefficient these systems are, especially for advertisers and the users. We like what Papyrus is trying to do, and the idea if implemented correctly will bring in many positive changes in the advertising industry. The major concern lies around the complexity of the project. The project is complex and requires each element to build its own dApp to integrate itself within Papyrus ecosystem. This will create some entry barriers for the early adopters.


  • Digital advertising industry is a duopoly controlled by Facebook and Google with more than 65% of the total digital advertising industry’s earning going to them. The entire digital advertising ecosystem revolves around them. There is no scale without the active participation from these giants. -3.5
  • The complexity of the project will make adoption quite tedious for 3rd party components like DSPs and SSPs. -2.5

Growth Potential

  • The project and the implementation details are very well thought out and extensively expressed in the whitepaper. +3
  • Papyrus’s technology is better than similar blockchain based companies working on the project. +3.5
  • Although the adoption process is tedious for ad ecosystem participants like DSPs, SSPs or ad networks, Papyrus has real benefits for users and advertisers who are the only 2 components that really matter in advertising industry. +3
  • Papyrus is working in an industry which is highly inefficient and needs an urgent revamp. +2


We arrive at a score of 5.5 out of 10 for Papyrus. Although it would be difficult to scale in the real world, we view Papyrus in the positive light because of its competitive superiority and the improvements it brings in the digital advertising ecosystem.

Investment Details

The first token generation event begins on 12th October. You can participate here.

Aakash Kawale is a financial analyst based out of Mumbai, India. He is the lead analyst at a Singapore based organization and has extensive experience of analyzing US and Indian equities. Aakash is a strong advocate of the Blockchain technology and has been analyzing cryptocurrencies since 2015.

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