What is Brave’s Basic Attention Token?

Everything you should know about Brave's open-source web browser and the BAT token

Intrusive advertisements are a common and recurring issue that almost every internet user encounters when accessing the web. Sadly, the end to this privacy invasion is still a long way off.

While ads can be quite annoying, Brave browser gives you a reason not to dislike them, by offering incentives using its native currency – Basic Attention Token (BAT). 

About Basic Attention Token

Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox, created Basic Attention Token (BAT) as the native currency for the Brave web browser. 

According to him, the open-source project which leverages Ethereum blockchain technology is an attempt to improve the security, fairness, and efficiency of digital advertising.

Although the project’s beta version hit mainstream sometime in 2020 as the first of its kind, BAT’s white paper dates back to January 7 2018.

What problem is BAT solving?

One thing that every blockchain project does in common is to bring modern solutions to what may otherwise appear as a legacy problem. 

It is no longer unfounded truth that the online advertising industry is fraught with sore experiences, particularly for customers who are frequently robbed of their privacy. Often, apart from having to deal with intrusive adverts, “internet users” are also subjected to malware from text or banner ads. 

On their own end, “legacy publishers” such as microblogging sites or native websites, which formerly enjoyed large ad income shares are now losing out due to huge price cuts from the likes of Google and Facebook – two of the largest ad firms to ever exist.

These ad firms, in addition to bringing down the cost of information, are also getting a sizable percentage of the total ad revenue, owing to their proprietary right.

Not only that, but publishers have also had to deal with issues arising from bots and malware attacks at the end of each passing year, while some others, as a result of these attacks, have continually suffered from credibility-related crises.

Advertisers and content providers have also had their fair share of the problem because the vast majority lack a targeting strategy – an issue that advertising companies are attempting to address with so-called “targeted advertisements”. 

However, while the issue has persisted over the years with measurable improvements, advertisers still often fail to deliver their contents effectively or, in some circumstances, to the wrong destination. 

You can also read our previous article that highlights how disadvantaged these three stakeholders can be by the old method applied in the digital advertising industry.

In providing a lasting solution to these apparent setbacks in the digital advertising space, BAT creators believe that by analysing how people engage with digital advertising material and preserving that data in a distributed ledger, they can improve the overall experience for advertisers, publishers, and the users alike.

What is BAT’s solution?

By implementing its open-source webs browser and leveraging Ethereum blockchain technology, the possibilities for stakeholders are endless.

Creators, and publishers have been the biggest benefactors of intrusive advertisement. However, with BAT in place, users will see fewer advertisements and, if at all, it will be information that is more relevant to them. Not to also mention that they get incentives for their attention.

On the other hand, publishers will develop new revenue streams with a considerable share, while advertisers will be able to better target specific users based on user content choices and interests that have been established. They will also be able to detect and prevent fraud more effectively. So how does BAT really help?

How does Basic Attention Token work?

BAT is a cryptocurrency designed to bring equity for ad creators, publishers, and consumers alike. Built on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, BAT is integrated as a native digital currency on the Brave web browser. 

The cryptocurrency is typically used as an exchange token in a triangular network consisting of the ad creators (advertiser), publishers, and consumers (users).

Technically dubbed as the marketplace for the aforementioned stakeholders, Brave browser incorporates BAT tokens via two channels – BAT advertisement and Brave Payment. 

The former requires that advertisers must use the token to execute network transactions in order to buy ad spaces, allowing them to sell their product to consumers who, in return, are incentivised for their attention.

BAT payment, on the other hand, necessitates the use of the BAT token in order to disburse revenue generated via ad placement on the BAT network.

In this instance, online users receive a greater portion of the profit-sharing – they are entitled to up to 70% of the total revenue generated, while advertisers (content owners, for example) and publishers (Brave, on this occasion) are equally entitled to the remaining 30%. 

Talking about incentivisation, BAT uses an algorithm to track consumers’ attention spans (overall time spent while utilising the Brave web browser). Furthermore, the algorithm measures maximum engagement among millions of users who have an option to watch different advertisements in return for BAT tokens.

On the advertiser’s end, the more effective their contents are in retaining users’ attention, the more revenue they are entitled to at the completion of a campaign.

Security-wise, because the BAT network is an open-source project, users’ data privacy rights are a top priority. All user data and tracking information, according to the creator, is saved exclusively on the user’s device, guaranteeing that it remains anonymous and private.

Ultimately, customers see fewer advertisements and are only targeted by relevant adverts, as opposed to the legacy approach.

BAT token value and investment potential

Just like other blockchain projects, Brave web browsers also make use of a native currency – the BAT token – which is used as an exchange among stakeholders. 

Based on its white paper, BAT token aimed to raise a total of $24 million. However, according to Kraken, after Brave completed an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017, it was able to raise $35 million in 30 seconds, selling a billion BAT out of the total 1.5 billion to be supplied. 

As of then, the remaining 500 million units of BAT were reportedly put into the reserve by Brave software. Of that 500 million, 200 million were set aside for the Brave team, while the rest was reserved with the intention to be sold at a later date to promote the platform.

Notably, because the BAT token is built on the Ethereum blockchain, the value is adjusted proportionally.

BAT traded at an all-time high of $0.999568 in January 2018.

Would you like to use the Brave web browser someday? If so, which of the features will be most beneficial to you? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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