The Basic Attention Token (BAT) has been designed to significantly improve the digital advertising industry. Developed on a decentralized, open-source platform, the BAT token can be exchanged between consumers, advertising agencies, and content publishers.
According to its official website, the Basic Attention Token has been created on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain network. BAT holders may use their tokens to pay for various advertising and “attention-based” services.
BAT Token’s Value Is Derived from “User Attention”
As explained by its developers, the utility of the BAT token is based on “user attention”, meaning that the token’s value and usefulness depends on whether consumers are mentally focused or engaged.
The BAT platform was developed to address the main challenges in the digital advertising industry. According to the token’s developers, the current online advertising business is “overrun by middlemen, trackers, and fraud.”
Intrusive Ads Drain Battery Power, Violate Users’ Privacy
At present, smartphone users’ data plans are being “abused” - as up to 50% of the data is consumed by ads and trackers, BAT’s development team claims. On average, mobile phone users are paying an extra $23 per month due to intrusive ads.
Moreover, ads reduce a phone’s battery life by around 21% and many large websites violate users’ privacy by using as many as 70 different trackers. As noted by BAT’s creators, the number of malicious malware programs, including ransomware, has increased by 132% in the past year.
Content Creators Are Not Being Fairly Compensated
Many criticize the existing advertising models for not allowing content producers to earn a reasonable amount for their contributions. Giant internet-based companies such as Facebook and Google reportedly take a 73% cut from the total ad revenue and also 99% of all growth on their platforms.
As noted by BAT’s creators, internet bots have “inflicted” $7.2 billion in fraud in the past year. In order to avoid potentially serious security issues and prevent annoying pop-ups, many users have installed ad-blocker programs - which may require additional time and effort to manage.
Most Users Tend to Ignore Ads Due to Poor Targeting
Brave and other critics argue that the current advertising model does not provide adequate information to advertisers so that they can make informed decisions regarding which types of ad services to purchase. Online marketers are also targeted by internet bots and fraudulent websites.
Meanwhile, the users usually ignore most online ads - as they may not find them interesting or relevant.
Improving User Experience with Brave Browser and BAT Tokens
In order to provide an improved user experience (UI), the creators of the Basic Attention Token recommend installing and using the privacy-oriented Brave Browser. As mentioned on Brave’s website, the open-source browser automatically blocks malvertisements and trackers found on most websites.
The Brave browser also uses a ledger system that “anonymously captures user attention” so that content producers are fairly compensated for their work. Rewards are calculated by Brave’s ledger system and payments to publishers are made with BAT tokens.
Publishers May Earn More Revenue with Brave Browser, BAT Tokens
According to its creators, Brave browser’s blockchain-based incentivization model is more efficient and transparent when compared to the existing digital advertising compensation plans.
In addition to providing a more accessible platform, publishers using the Brave browser and BAT tokens are able to earn more revenue. This, as the blockchain-enabled advertising system reduces the involvement of middlemen and fraud.
Advertisers are also able to make better decisions about which ads to purchase, as they get “better data on their spending”, Brave’s management claims.
Privately Monitoring User Attention
As noted by BAT’s developers, user attention is “privately monitored on-device” in the Brave browser. The platform’s creators have developed an “anonymity shield” which protects users’ private data by ensuring that it never leaves their device (computer or smartphone).
User attention is privately measured while viewers browse through content and view ads in the Brave browser. The platform’s software is able to determine which browser tab is active, in order to calculate rewards in real-time.
Machine Learning Algorithms Used to “Anonymously” Match Users’ Interests with Ads
An ad’s “attention value” is calculated by taking into account the amount of time users spend engaging with the content on webpages. Currently, Brave’s developers are working on developing various other ways of monitoring and monetizing user attention such as “cost-per-action” models.
Notably, localized machine learning algorithms are used to “anonymously” match consumers’ interests with the appropriate advertisements. According to Brave’s developers, users will mostly see ads about products they may actually want to buy.
Brave’s management intends to work cooperatively with advertisers and content creators to develop best practices for “judging” user attention.
Publishers Will Earn “Lion’s Share” of Ad Revenue
As explained, users may earn rewards in BAT tokens for viewing ads. BAT tokens may also be used to access premium content or special services on the blockchain-powered platform.
Brave’s development team claims that content creators will earn the “lion’s share” of the total revenue generated from advertisements. They also anticipate that some users might donate BAT tokens to content publishers, which could help them earn additional income.
According to CryptoCompare data, Basic Attention Token’s market capitalization stands at around $380 million - with BAT tokens trading at around $0.298665 (at the time of writing).
Brave, BAT’s Management Partners with TAP Network
In March 2019, Brave Browser and BAT’s developers partnered with TAP network, a crypto-related advertising firm. As mentioned in the announcement, the TAP advertising platform is affiliated with more than 250,000 brands. These include Amazon, Apple, Starbucks, Paramount Pictures, Red Bull, among others.
TAP network’s native cryptocurrency, called the TAP coin, is used to conduct transactions on the platform’s blockchain-based advertising system. TAP’s partnership with Brave and BAT’s creators will allow users to redeem their earned BAT tokens within the TAP ecosystem.
More Than 30 Million Brave Browser Downloads
Launched by Brendan Eich, a former Mozilla Firefox executive, the Brave browser project has been funded through an initial coin offering (ICO) in which BAT tokens were sold to investors. As a privacy-focused platform, the Brave browser features a built-in ad blocker. Trackers are also blocked by default by Brave’s software.
There’s also a tipping feature in the Brave browser, which is available for desktop users. The feature is expected to be available on mobile devices for both Android and iOS devices at some later point. According to AppBrain, the Brave browser has been downloaded more than 30 million times.