The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the native cryptocurrency of the Brave browser. Brave is a privacy-focused web browser based on Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome. The browser provides an ad-free experience thanks to its built-in “shields” feature that blocks most ads and tracking cookies. But this begs the question: how do websites and content creators make money if there are no ads? That’s where BAT comes in.
The Basic Attention Token is an ERC-20 token built atop the Ethereum network. The cryptocurrency falls into the category of “utility tokens,” those cryptocurrency types that are intended to be used for a specific purpose. BAT crypto enables a brand-new advertising revenue model that preserves user privacy and freedom of choice.
People browsing the web on Brave can earn BAT coin by choosing to click on the non-intrusive ads that periodically appear. Users can then use this BAT to send tips to their favorite content creators. Or, they could buy BAT from an exchange and deposit it to the wallet stored in their browser, giving them a larger supply of tokens to use for tipping.
What are unique selling points?
Most internet users go out of their way to avoid online advertisements, but what if they had a monetary incentive to view them?
Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency intending to create a virtuous cycle around digital advertising that is equitable for creators and consumers.
Running on Ethereum (ETH) and integrated natively on a custom web browser called Brave, BAT can be exchanged between advertisers, publishers, and internet users based on their web activity and is intended to streamline commerce between all three groups.
Users are rewarded with BAT for viewing ad content, publishers can deliver higher-impact ads and advertisers can be assured their messaging is being viewed by a willing audience.
The end result is a new kind of digital advertising platform powered by BAT.
Users can either hold the BAT, exchange it for cash or other cryptocurrency, or pay it to support their favorite content creators.
How does BAT work?
All BAT transactions settle on Ethereum, a public blockchain that allows developers to create and deploy custom cryptocurrencies and applications.
BAT operates on a web browser called Brave, developed by the team that created the token. Brave is a free browser, which claims to load 3-6 times faster than competing offerings, as it only serves advertisements if users opt-in to seeing them.
Brave browser users can sign up for the Brave Rewards program, which allows them to be paid in BAT for viewing ads or to send BAT to content creators whose work they want to support.
Brave’s default setting is to block trackers and ads. It only turns on ads if the user opts in. Brave then serves up native ads from trusted partners, which users are rewarded in BAT for viewing.
Brave Micropayments Ledger
To track the movement of BAT, Brave uses the Brave Micropayments Ledger.
The idea is that the Brave Micropayments Ledger will allow advertisers, publishers and readers to enter into smart contracts to move payments between each other.
Brave is exploring the use of zero-knowledge proofs for its blockchain, with the goal of providing anonymity to stakeholders in online media transactions.
Why does BAT have value?
In advertising, eyeballs are money. Rates are paid to advertisers based on how many viewers they can get on their product or service.
But there’s no guarantee those viewers are actually paying attention. Since viewers are being compensated with BAT, the idea is advertisers using the platform can be better assured their ads are being seen and they’re willing to pay a premium for that undivided attention.
Brave pays BAT to users who view ad content as a form of revenue sharing. Users can exchange it for cash or hold it in a digital wallet. BAT can also be traded on exchanges.
BAT is also a finite asset, with only 1 billion BAT in circulation. Further, no new tokens will be created once Brave has distributed the 300 million BAT set aside to encourage user growth.
This means investors can be assured that their tokens represent a known percentage of the total supply of BAT.