The HTC Exodus crypto phone will use Brave Browser by default
Some phones have a nice camera, some have a headphone jack and some reinvent advertising paradigms.
The HTC Exodus is a blockchain smartphone, with a built-in hardware wallet to hold your cryptocurrencies and built-in access to blockchain applications. Basic Attention Token is one such application, and it's also the go-to cryptocurrency of the Brave Browser.
Put them together, and you might have a very practical real-world application for cryptocurrencies and blockchain, such that if you pick up an HTC Exodus, you can immediately feel noticeable improvements over a regular phone.
Brave Browser is a privacy-centric web browser that generally doesn't harvest or store user information except in very specific situations, such as live-testing periods, where the user is explicitly told what data is being collected, how it will be stored and for how long, and gets invited to opt in.
Where data is stored, it's held on your device itself, rather than beamed back to the advertisers' and websites' mothership. This stands in sharp contrast to many of the most popular browsers that look over your shoulder right out of the box and harvest your information.
This is a very real problem. If you just browse on your phone normally, as much as 50% of your mobile data is being used for ads and trackers, according to BAT.
If you see an ad on your phone, you are probably paying money to see it. And when your browsing is being tracked or your data is being yanked away without your permission, you are paying money to send it off.
It doesn't help that most of the ads you see online are of zero interest to you. You probably have no interest in finding out why "doctors HATE this one simple trick," or what exactly it is that "will SHOCK you", and as a result, you're probably not going to click on a malware-ridden ad to get the answer. It's no surprise that people are installing ad blockers, but it's unfortunate that these are choking the revenue streams of legitimate and high-quality entertainment and news sites – places that produce actually desirable content.
By contrast, Brave Browser with the Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency can actually pay you to view ads and aims to provide relevant and high-quality advertising experiences when you do.
Where does the money come from?
These payments take the form of the Basic Attention Token cryptocurrency, so-called because that's exactly what it's meant to represent – a few moments of your attention.
Basically, if you opt in to view advertising on Brave Browser, you can receive payments for watching ads. The money is fronted by advertisers who want to reach eyeballs and shared among the following:
- Brave/BAT co. They need to keep the lights on and fund further developments.
- Publishers. These are the content creators whose media you are viewing. They're the actual news sites you visit, the individual video creators whose content you're viewing and the individual independent bloggers you're reading.
- You. You.
This system cuts out the advertising giant middlemen, such as Google, which currently dominate the Internet advertising world and take very hefty cuts for themselves. It's estimated that Google and Facebook currently take 73% of all ad dollars between them, while raking in money from all directions.
Cryptocurrency is what makes this kind of system possible because it's the first time in history that instant, global, programmable micropayments have been possible. This is what lets advertisers, publishers and users seamlessly send small amounts, just a few dollars or cents, anywhere in the world, automatically divvying it up between different parties as appropriate.
This foundation is enough to bring you back into the system.
At the end of the day, everyone in the advertising and publishing Internet ecosystem is looking for exactly the same thing. They just want attention.
Publishers want attention because it helps them impart their messages more widely or can be converted into revenue through advertising or other systems. And you want to give your attention to sources that inform or entertain you. And advertisers want to capture attention too because it helps drive the sales of other products.
This ecosystem drives an extraordinary amount of value around the world. For some perspective on how much your time as a viewer is worth, you just need to remember that media sites will sometimes advertise their free content on other sites – directly paying money in exchange for your attention.
BAT's goal can be summarised as wanting to drive this attention-based economy as equitably and efficiently as possible. You're the person who "manufactures" attention, the valuable resource that underpins it all, by consuming content so it's only fair that you get your share. And so, when you opt in to viewing ads, it means you can get your share of the value produced by that transaction.
Publishers, meanwhile, might be thought of as the attention processors. They corral a lot of attention all in one place and can present it in a more valuable way for other third parties who want a cut of it. A model train enthusiasts' forum, for example, is likely to attract a lot of model train enthusiasts whose attention is on things related to model trains and who won't be averse to high-quality advertising related to model trains.
But part of this economy is understanding that it's not just about advertising. Consuming surplus attention (aka entertaining you) is also a valuable service, as is converting their attention into useful information (a la new sites, advice services, etc). To that end, users can also opt to pay publishers for these services with BAT tokens on a case-by-case basis.
In other words, users can also support sites by making BAT support payments rather than by opting into advertising, if preferred. This can be done on a case-by-case basis to give complete control over the browsing experience back to the user.
And coming back to the HTC Exodus, its built-in hardware wallet will allow you to securely make or receive these payments more easily and directly from the phone or convert your BAT to and from other currency types if you want to buy or sell it.
And someday that hardware wallet might even start storing non-crypto data, such as browsing preferences, personally identifiable information or other valuable data, in a more secure way.
Can your phone do that?
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