Quick FA: Basic Attention Token (BAT)

What is BAT?

A decentralized, transparent digital ad exchange based on the blockchain.

What Problems is it trying to tackle?

According to BAT, digital advertising is broken as the traditional marketplace, once dominated by advertisers, publishers and users has become overrun by “middleman” ad exchanges. Simply, BAT is trying to overcome the high transaction costs in the ad exchange market.

  • Users face privacy violations, slow page loads, and mobile advertising costs them as much as $23 per month in data charges, and 21% less battery life.
  • Publishers have lost 66% of their revenue over the past decade as a result of the payments for intermediaries.
  • Advertisers are affected by fraud (fake sites with fake traffic developed by hackers) which costed them $7.2 billion in 2016, and they do not have enough data to determine the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

How will it work?

The BAT team intends on beginning by rolling out a new browser, Brave, a fast, open source, privacy focused browser that blocks intrusive ads and trackers and contains a ledger system that anonymously measures user attention to accurately reward publishers. This will then be followed by introducing the basic attention token (BAT). This is a token denominated by user attention, for decentralized ad exchange. It connects advertisers, publishers and users to create a new efficient market place.

A user  would have the freedom to opt-in or not to see ads. Having opted in, the user would receive ads in the platform that are privately matched to his/her interests and anonymously confirmed as the use remains anonymous to all parties. If the ad captures the attention of the user, the publisher would be rewarded accordingly with BAT tokens, while the user receives a share of the BATs that can be used on the platform.

Going back to the problems outlined above, BAT’s proposition would result in the following benefits:

  • Users: Faster page loads, uncluttered screens, relevant ads, no malware, privacy and control of browsing history, rewards for attention
  • Publishers: Larger revenues
  • Advertisers: better data on ads effectiveness and improved matching of ads to users based on their interests and machine learning algorithms

Future Goals:

  • Brave Browser
  • Basic Attention Token
  • Basic Attention metrics for user attention
  • Machine learning tools to match truly relevant ads to content from a level that middlemen with cookies and third party tracking are unable to achieve. “Get the best possible product match that they’re most likely to convert into a transaction”.
  • Potentially: Given the open source nature of the project, BAT could also be used on platforms other than Brave Browser that integrate with the Brave ledger. Potential examples include: other browsers, telegram bot, WeChat, and games.

The team: This is perhaps one of the best teams for all Cryptocurrency projects. The founder is Brendan Eich who previously created Javascript and co-founded Mozilla & Firefox. Other team members have experience in companies such as: AOL, netscape, Khan Academy, Evernote, Yahoo, and the Internet Engineering Task Force.


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