Basic Attention Token, also known as BAT, is an Ethereum based, ERC-20 based token developed and maintained by Brave Software International. BAT is completely open-source and aims to fix what Brave calls a “digital advertising platform that is broken”. The white-paper is freely available to review.
One of the key members of BAT, and Brave co-founder, is Brendan Eich, of both Mozilla and Firefox fame. Brendan brings much needed reputation and experience to the development team and one of the major driving forces for Basic Attention Token’s wider adoption.
BAT had one of the most successful ICO’s (initial coin offering) to date, with $30m worth of BAT purchased within the first 30 seconds of the offering. This is testament to the genuine use case of BAT and it’s associated Brave Browser.
But what is Basic Attention Token exactly? BAT is the token rewarded to users for their “attention”, paid out via the Brave Rewards program which is implemented inside the companies Brave Browser. To earn BAT, users are required to download Brave Browser and enrol in the Brave Rewards program. The program serves privacy respecting ads to it’s user, who are paid BAT in return. The browser blocks all other ads, including those served by Google. BAT can also be purchased on most of the major cryptocurrency exchanges on the internet.
The BAT token sits atop of ad platform developed by Brave, who claims is more privacy focused, faster and fairer when compared to other programs such as Google and Facebook ads. The aim of the project is to improve the digital advertising landscape by getting rid of third-party exchanges, reducing the risk of ad fraud, and protecting the privacy of users. This is a significant difference from Google and Facebook ads who are not rewarded for their attention, and are in fact are giving away valuable information about themselves which improves those programs even further, rewarding Google and Facebook specifically.
Advertisers can purchased BAT directly from Brave, who can then create their own marketing campaigns directed towards users enrolled in the Brave Rewards program. There are promising results from Brave already, with user engagement higher than other platforms, a positive for both advertisers and end users.
BAT and the ad platform are still in their infancy, and there are plans for BAT to extend beyond Brave Browser, with stores accepting it as methods of payment for goods and services, and website allowing users to bypass pay-walls by transacting in BAT.
For now, and should a holder of BAT wish to do so, BAT can be “tipped” or automatically contributed to content creators of the users choosing. Creators who are signed up to Brave’s Creator Program can retrieve the BAT and transfer them to fiat currency if they desire. The tipping feature, which can go directly to Twitch streamers, websites and Twitters users, is designed to reward content creators in lieu of the ads from Google and Facebook being blocked by the Brave Browser.
BAT and Brave both have an exciting future. You can start protecting your privacy online and earn BAT at the same time by downloading the Brave Browser and enrolling in the Brave Rewards program.