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.
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 who didn’t opt in. Users who opt in will be rewarded with BAT tokens for doing so, then shown content that specifically matches their interests.
The goal is to persuade people to willingly accept advertising, with the understanding that it’s high quality, potentially useful and 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, with an incentive for all to participate.
Where to buy, sell and trade BAT
BAT cannot be bought directly with EUR – instead, you’ll need to trade other cryptocurrencies for it through an exchange.
Here’s how to buy BAT:
- Buy Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) after comparing exchanges.
- Trade BTC or ETH 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.
You can also download the Brave wallet to directly deposit ETH or BTC and have it directly converted to BAT on deposit.
Wallets to hold BAT
You can use the Brave wallet, which can also directly convert Ethereum or Bitcoin to BAT to fund your wallet.
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 who 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 more. 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 translates to more compelling ad content for users, who are 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.
How to sell or trade BAT
- Visit the exchange platform that you have BAT on. If you have BAT in a digital wallet, you can choose a platform to use to complete this transaction from the list above.
- Using the platform, transfer your BAT to ETH or BTC.
- Continue to follow the instructions on the platform to sell or trade your ETH or BTC.
Before you buy: Things to consider
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. Because of this, BAT has specific details you should keep in mind:
- The browser market is hotly contested – Brave is among the dozens of browsers with a market share of a fraction of a percent. Because 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 – 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.
- Success depends partially on advertisers – Advertisers will need to consider whether Brave will be able to attract a diverse user base and whether people will actually opt into ads.
- Brave isn’t the first of its kind – 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 impact the 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 to consider whether it might still be undervalued despite all the problems.