Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Basic Attention Token or BAT is a digital advertising token built on the Ethereum blockchain. BAT attempts to create an advertisement exchange marketplace that connects advertisers and publishers, with users in a decentralized ecosystem. An in-house “privacy and speed” centric native browser is created by the BAT team called Brave, which will use BAT tokens.
This guide will talk about the purpose of Basic Attention Token, its creators, the way it works, and various uses and applications.
What Is BAT Designed For?
Basic Attention Token’s founder Brendan Eich is looking to change the advertising game completely, by monetizing attention and paying users to watch ads. The marketing sector has turned into a dinosaur, where the last successful advertising model has not been changed in years.
BAT is an attempt at overhauling this industry, which is desperately in need of some major changes. The current digital marketing tactics employed by online advertising giants – YouTube, Facebook, and Google, work on a hit and miss concept, which is not subtle or compelling enough to hold attention.
Users no longer have any real incentive to watch ads, and the platforms (YouTube, Facebook) tend to take most of the revenue from advertisers and publishers. This is why BAT was created - to integrate blockchain technology into the digital advertising industry. It is designed to bring in decentralization, privacy, transparency, and honesty by connecting advertisers and publishers directly with consumers, skipping the middlemen.
Who Is the Team Behind BAT?
Other notable members of the team include Yan Zhu (security and privacy), who is part of Forbes 30 under 30. She also played a significant role as part of Yahoo’s security engineering team and was elected to the World Wide Web Consortium’s Technical Architecture Group (TAG).
How Does BAT Work?
Currently, Brave is the only web browser that supports BAT.
However, the original 2018 roadmap states that the BAT system will be integrated into other applications and browsers, as well. This priority seems to be pushed back by the BAT team, for making a place for other ambitious projects.
Advertisers can use smart contracts to send ads to users along with a token payment, which is kept in a locked state.
Users who view the ad are provided with a portion of the token payment. The Brave browser also receives a small part of the token payment. The remainder of the payment is given to the publisher who hosts the advertisement. The Brave browser calculates attention to value for each ad, based on the incremental time the ad is viewed, and the number of visible ad pixels in proportion to relevant content.
It also uses a background ledger system to anonymously track the sites and content, where more time is spent.
What are Current and Future Applications of BAT?
Users can spend BAT in several ways on the Brave browser. They can pay for premium content, including articles and products. They can donate to content providers or give monetary tips. Users can also purchase high-resolution photos and data services.
Brave has officially launched tipping on Twitter following its beta phase in August 2019, where users can tip content producers in BAT. The tips can also be automated, which means that tips can be customized to be sent to favorite content providers, in timed installments.
The BAT ecosystem is expected to expand its services to be used for micropayments in forums, for voting and comments shortly.
Basic Attention Tokens can be earned through tips or watching adverts, and purchased from various exchanges. Binance allows Bitcoin and Ethereum pairing, while BitPanda allows BAT to be bought with fiat currency in Europe.
The BAT system is advantageous to everyone and works to ensure that the digital advertising space is transparent. The brave browser works to monetize user attention and allows them to surf privately again. Publishers are incentivized by receiving a significant share of revenue, which was previously lost to bots and middlemen.
The BAT ecosystem enables advertisers to improve their campaigns by helping them convey their messages more effectively and efficiently, with better data exchange.
Basic Attention Token is one of the very few cryptocurrencies that have a good chance of attaining mass adoption status. The browser Brave, which was released on April 2019, already has a whopping 5.5 million active monthly users. Combined with the impressive resume of its founders, BAT is expected to become a household name in less than a decade.