What it's about and where to get it.
The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency designed specifically for use with the Brave web browser.
It aims to reshape the current landscape of the internet, with a focus on eliminating malware, the unsustainable arms race between ad blockers and ads, and the expensive middlemen such as Facebook and Google which capture so much of the market.
Where to buy BAT
Find out where and how to buy.
Note: You cannot buy Basic Attention Token on Cryptopia. The BAT listed there is a different coin entirely.
How Basic Attention Token works
BAT and the Brave browser work hand in hand. This browser lets users opt into ads, and blocks ads for anyone that didn’t opt in.
Users that opt into ads will be rewarded with BAT tokens for doing so, and shown content to specifically match their interests.
The goal is to persuade people to willingly accept advertising, with the understanding that it’s high quality, potentially useful and that they’re getting paid for it. In turn, advertisers are able to get better results from higher quality products more closely tailored to individual users.
Meanwhile, publishers can successfully monetise sites without needing to give up the lion’s share of profits to middlemen like Google AdSense.
If it all works as planned, the end result is a win-win-win for users, advertisers and publishers, and an incentive for all to participate.
How BAT tokens are distributed
There’s a total limit of 1.5 billion BAT tokens, of which 1 billion are in circulation. There is no inflation.
BAT will be circulated and divided among the winners:
- Users: Users are the viewers that opt-in to advertising on the Brave platform. They receive a small portion of the Basic Attention Tokens distributed for their attention. They can use BAT to sell, tip publishers, purchase premium Brave services or features, or anything else they want.
- Advertisers: Advertisers pay BAT to capture a user’s attention.
- Publishers: Publishers are the YouTube content creators, website operators and similar. They earn the majority of BAT involved in a transaction.
One of the main differences between BAT and fiat currency advertising models is that the Brave browser is specifically designed to facilitate higher quality advertising. This means more compelling ad content for users, that they’re more likely to watch.
For advertisers, it means better returns on investment through higher audience retention, more accurate tailoring of content to interest and more effective tracking of audience engagement. These measurements are facilitated through:
- Machine learning algorithms that track user interests and show matching ads.
- An “Attention Value” for each ad, calculated by duration and pixels in view in proportion to relevant content, prior to any direct engagement with the ad. In other words, an ad is more valuable the longer someone sits and watches it before committing to a click.
What to consider before buying BAT
BAT wasn’t designed to be bought and sold. Its creators specifically say as much and haven’t gone to any particular effort to get it listed on exchanges. This hasn’t prevented it from being listed on a wide range of popular exchanges though.
Depending on how you look at it, this might be a great reason to get involved or a reason to stay away.
The main problem in the way of widespread BAT use is probably uptake of the Brave browser. The browser market is hotly contested, and Brave is among the dozens of browsers with a market share of a fraction of a percent.
Persuading people to change browsers isn’t easy either. Just look at Microsoft’s concerted efforts to push people to the Edge browser, then consider that the fact that the older Microsoft Internet Explorer still has around three times the market share of Edge.
For most people, browser choice isn’t so much a question of brand loyalty or functionality, as the sheer force of habit. If Brave doesn’t make a serious dent in the browser market, the coin likely won’t take off either.
From an advertiser’s perspective, Brave is also likely to have a relatively homogenous user base compared to other browsers (think young, male, cryptocurrency-inclined early-adopter), which might limit the number of advertising partners they could sell on Brave and BAT. It also assumes that people will actually be opting into ads.
The dystopian vibe you get from directly monetising user engagement might be enough to put a solid lid on the size of BAT’s potential userbase.
The long-term success and growth of Brave and BAT are also largely dependent on Google, Facebook and others standing still. The actual functions of Brave and BAT (ad blocking, machine learning algorithms to determine user interests, various measurements of user engagement) also exist in various forms already, and despite the disruption that blockchain brings, it’s hard to imagine a future where Google foregoes its share of the ad market to an upstart like Brave.
The system may also run into problems if users start “mining” it through the deliberate viewing of ads on multiple devices, manipulating the algorithm to trigger larger rewards. This might be compounded by collaboration with publishers. If BAT ever becomes valuable, these issues will almost certainly start occurring.
BAT is rife with problems, but the upside is that these don’t necessarily mean it’s a bad item to purchase. Brave and BAT don’t need to take over the world for the coin’s value to increase, and even within all these constraints it still has room to grow.
Take a look at the current value, the coin supply and the future of the market, and consider whether it might still be undervalued despite all the problems.