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.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific
provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.
Where to buy BAT
Find out where and how to buy.
To buy BAT you will first need to buy Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH), and then trade that for BAT at these exchanges.
The coins accepted may vary depending on the exchange.
This involves creating an account on the exchange, and then sending coins from your wallet to that exchange. At this point, they can be exchanged for BAT.
After the exchange, your BAT will either be deposited to your account on the exchange or sent directly to the wallet address specified.
If you don’t already have BTC or ETH, you’ll need to get those first.
You can also download the Brave wallet to directly deposit ETH or BTC and have it directly converted to BAT on deposit.
You can use the Brave wallet, which can also directly convert Ethereum or Bitcoin to BAT to fund your wallet.
You can also purchase it on exchanges and use wallets such as the multi-currency Jaxx or MyEtherWallet.
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 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 a reader’s interest and more effective tracking of audience engagement. These measurements are facilitated through the following:
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 browser market is hotly contested, and Brave is among the dozens of browsers with a market share of a fraction of a percent. Since BAT is designed for use on the Brave browser, you will need to decide if this will affect the widespread use of BAT.
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 the fact that the older Microsoft Internet Explorer still has around three times the market share of Edge.
Advertiser’s will need to consider whether Brave will be able to attract a diverse user base and whether people will actually opt into ads.
You may also decide that directly monetising user engagement is enough to put a solid lid on the size of BAT’s potential userbase.
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, Google will probably fight to keep its share of the ad market.
Traders will also need to consider the possibility of users “mining” BAT through the deliberate viewing of ads on multiple devices, manipulating the algorithm to trigger larger rewards. If BAT ever becomes valuable, you will need to give these issues serious consideration.
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.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly
volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of
future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information.
You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory
requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Andrew Munro is the cryptocurrency editor at Finder. He was initially writing about insurance, when he accidentally fell in love with digital currency and distributed ledger technology (aka “the blockchain”). Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, and has written guides about everything from industrial pigments to cosmetic surgery.
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