Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a digital advertising token based on Ethereum. It is an open-source, decentralized platform that aims to disrupt the online advertising industry by establishing a fairer system for publishers, advertisers, and users. Let’s find out more.
- Brave Browser has experienced unprecedented progress since its launch
- BAT is a tokenized reward system that cuts out the digital advertising middlemen
- User micro-payments will democratize content creation
- People not normally interested in cryptocurrency, are opened to the experience through the use of Brave Browser.
You can’t talk about BAT without talking about Brave Browser, and since its launch in 2016, Brave Browser has experienced massive growth, with currently 5.5 million users and 28,000 verified content creators on the platform. Brandon Eich, the Founder and CEO of Brave Software, imagines an internet where users have a safer, faster, and better browsing experience. At the same time, growing support for quality content creators through the use of a tokenized reward system.
This is a vision shared by many industry giants, including Dow Jones Media Group, CoinDesk, and HTC, who will use the Brave Browser as the default browser choice in their up and coming blockchain phone – the Exodus 1. This is available to buy at the end of January 2019 using BTC, ETH, and LTC only. More details can be found in our article, “Blockchain Phone HTC Exodus Confirmed To Use Brave Browser As Default Web App”.
The Challenge for Publishers
At present, publishers increasingly need to acquire two streams of revenue. From advertisements, which is a system dominated by Google and Facebook, who are able to dictate terms, and from a user-paid model.
Brave, through BAT, will allow publishers and content creators to receive ad revenue and user donations in BAT tokens. This is particularly advantageous for publishers, who are now able to recoup income from ad-blocking audiences, and when tied with a generous referral scheme, the scope to monetize their audience becomes considerable.
This process effectively cuts out the advertising middlemen, meaning, not only do publishers receive the bulk of the ad revenue directly, but users get compensated for their attention watching ads (if they chose to opt in), and advertisers also benefit from having a higher ROI, and the delivery of more accurate data.
How Does Brave Browser Work?
As things stand, Brave Browser is the only web browser to use BAT. The team at Brave Software have publicly stated their intention to roll out add-ons to other browsers, but as yet, other than rumors about Mozilla being interested, nothing is concrete.
Brave Browser works through the use of smart contracts. The process starts with advertisers posting ads using a token payment that is locked for users. When a user views the ad, they receive a portion of that token payment, Brave Software also receive a portion, and the remaining funds are remitted to the publisher for providing the platform.
In light of concerns over privacy and data protection, Brave Browser is particularly appealing for users who are tired of being “a product”. Brave Software will not harvest your data, use trackers, or install malware.
After opting-in, users are rewarded in BATs for watching ads. They are then free to spend their BAT on premium content or donations to content providers. This system is being expanded to include micropayments for comments and up/down voting in forums, which will effectively democratize content creation.
Brave Software occupies a somewhat unique position, in that people who want to safeguard their privacy will come for the browser, many of which may not have an interest in cryptocurrency, but it’s likely that their experience will act as a gateway into cryptocurrencies.
Basic Attention Token
BAT is a pre-mined ERC-20 token, with a current circulating supply of 1,229,949,089 units, from a fixed supply of 1,500,000,000.
1,000,000,000 BATs were available to buy at $0.035 during their ICO, which took place on 31st May 2017. It raised $35,000,000 in less than 30 seconds, and ranks as the 38th best performing ICO of all time.
The current price is around $0.13, down from a peak price of just over $0.86 back in January 2018. More recently, being listed on Coinbase in late 2018 spiked the price to as high as $0.36, but since then it has suffered a retracement of fortunes.
AdEx is perhaps the most notable competitor to Brave. They are also an Ethereum based project working towards a decentralized advertising exchange. However, their focus is primarily on video advertising, while Brave is targeting a wider catchment in premium content, publisher support, and micro-payments.
Although not blockchain based, Google’s Funding Choice program presents a very real threat. Through this system, Google will enable publishers to ask readers, who use ad-blockers, for micropayments, also giving publishers the opportunity to recapture lost revenue as a result of ad blocks. Nonetheless, the lack of emphasis on users and content creators is where Brave Browser excels.
Brendan Eich (Founder) – an undergraduate of Maths and Computer Science, with a Masters in Computer Science. Brendan has extensive experience as a software engineer, most notably with Mozilla, where he worked for 11 years across various roles, including as CEO during a short stint. He left to found Brave Software in May 2015. His technical know-how, and knowledge of system architecture is impressive.
Brian Bondy (Co-Founder & Engineering Lead) – a Bachelor of Maths and Computer Science, Brian is a gifted software engineer with a broad range of experience in programming and networking solutions.
Scott Locklin (Smart Contracts Engineer) – a Ph.D. in Physics and data analytics specialist. Scott started out consulting for Brave, but this transitioned into an internal role concerned with data science, blockchain engineering, and machine learning.
Web browsing is a highly competitive market with big money at stake. Brave Software hopes to break the digital advertising duopoly by giving publishers, content creators, and users a better deal. The team is technically sound, and the project boasts a straightforward use case and a working product that everyday non-crypto enthusiasts can appreciate. With the growing importance of web content as a marketing tool and form of self-expression, it seems as though the stars are lining up for Brave Software.