Basic Attention Token: New Era of Digital Advertising
6 Jan 2018
New token for the $205+ bln digital advertising industry that seeks to prevent it from drowning in fraud and abuse. It pays publishers for their content and users for their attention, while providing advertisers with more in return for their ads. Created by one of the greatest minds in tech space – Brendan Eich.
You know those annoying ads that play before a YouTube video? Or those adverts for ‘hot singles in your area’ that you see when you’re surfing the web?
Yes, that industry is worth $205 billion dollars. And it’s still growing rapidly.
After decades upon decades of dominance, the marketing ‘flippening’ finally happened. In 2017, digital ad spend overtook TV ad spend for the first time in history. And there’s no looking back.
Our analysts expect that Internet ad spend will exceed $1 trillion by the end of 2021.
Well, we’ve found something even crazier. This seriously undervalued cryptocurrency is set to take the world of Internet marketing by storm – and you’ve got an amazing opportunity to buy in for less than $0.60.
Let’s Talk About BAT
First, let’s take a quick step back and ask ourselves why the idea of blockchain technology is so popular.
The answer is simple: it gives people power over their own possessions. With Bitcoin, users get control over their finances. What is it that we gain with BAT?
Here’s a quote that sheds a better light on that topic. As Herbert Simon put it in an influential 1971 article: “
… in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.”
With BAT, we get control over that very attention.
With Brave we get back the control over our privacy.
Bravely Changing the Internet
So let’s look at how Brave is going to bravely change the way we browse the Internet.
People that browse the web with Chrome, Safari, Edge or any other browser generally fall into two categories:
1. People that download an extension that tries to block Internet adverts.
2. People that don’t know any better
Neither situation is ideal.
But what if we told you there was a third and fourth category?
3. People that use Brave Browser, allowing them to natively opt-out of intrusive advertisements
4. People that use Brave Browser and get rewarded just by seeing ads.
You can literally save time and money by not consuming advertisements – thanks to BAT and Brave.
BAT stands for Basic Attention Token. Its goal is to radically improve the efficiency of digital advertising using the power of the Ethereum blockchain. It does this through the Brave platform, allowing publishers and users to trade advertising and attention-based services.
Brave is BAT’s partner in crime. It is a modern, super-fast and open source browser that blocks malvertisements and privacy infiltrating trackers. Most importantly, it houses an anonymous ledger system that rewards both publishers and content consumers. There is no middleman to track, store and sell your private data with this model.
But BAT stands for much more than just awarding consumers for looking at ads.
We all know that ads and trackers contribute to longer loading times and higher data usage – but the extent to how detrimental ads and trackers can be is often forgotten by the end user. Currently, even up to 50% of page loading time is caused by the ads, trackers and cookies with purpose of learning more about your habits, your browsing history and you as a person.
That doesn’t sound like privacy to us. What we find even scarier though, is the effect on data usage: as claimed by Business Intelligence, one study found that up to 79% of mobile data on major publishing sites is coming from ads and trackers. When you consider that most of the world is not on infinite mobile data plans, this is significant.
Most of us have a rough imagination that trackers and adverts consume some amount of the loading time and the bandwidth but we don’t fully realise just how much it really is. As stated in BAT’s white paper, mobile advertising results in as much as 21% battery life and $23 (!) per month in data charges on average.
The calculation is as follows: a typical smartphone user consumes 1.8 GB data a month. Based on the carrier plans for 2 GB, this means that average users end up paying up to $23 a month just to download ads, trackers, scripts etc.
We, the Internet users are being monetized but not rewarded. We are being abused. We want privacy. The current digital advertising model is invasive and broken beyond repair. If you opt-in to receive ads with BAT, you will be able to receive up to 70%  of the ad revenue depending on the ad type the current publisher uses – without being tracked by the middlemen.
The BAT/Brave ecosystem puts the power back into our hands.
70% sounds like a lot – and it is. But this would be meaningless without transparency around how your browsing is being attributed to advertising revenue. Brave uses a crystal-clear measurement system to award you BAT, and you can track your progress whenever you like. It also shows you of how much time and privacy you were being robbed from before.
As we said in the beginning: it is again the people truly gaining control over their time and attention.
This is how the dashboard of Brave looks like after just one week of moderate Internet surfing. Take a closer look at the top-left corner and see for yourself from how many harmful trackers and ads it protects you.
Brave not only offers a helping hand to us, users but also to the publishers and marketers who have their own struggles within the now malfunctioning system.
Currently, before the marketer gets to the publisher there are at least 6 levels for him to get through. Every single one of these participants naturally wants to get their share at the cost of us all. Brave puts an end to it.
What BAT does is take the middlemen out of the system.
The Bigger Picture Behind Revolutionizing the Ad Industry
Let’s take a look at the basic principles of how the new system would actually work:
An Advertiser sends a locked payment in BAT along with the ad into the system. As the Users view the ad, the flow of payments unlocks, keeping part of the payment for their own wallet and passing on shares of the payment to Brave. The remainder is then passed on to the publisher.
The following chart pictures the said flow:
To determine how much of our attention a publisher is getting, Brave uses a system called ‘Basic Attention Metrics’ or ‘BAM’ for short. So far, several scoring algorithms have been tested with the Brave donation ledger system which automatically donates an amount proportional to the attention given to a website.
We really like Brave’s customizability in this area, because the user is free to determine how many seconds of time or ‘attention’ is worth how many points. Brave also have plans to introduce new metrics of user attention in the future.
The solution isn’t just within our grasp, it is already here. You can start using the Brave browser for free – today. In fact, the term ‘Brave Browser’ is already getting over 100,000 searches per month (through search engines like Google and Bing). We believe this will grow to over 1,000,000 searches per month well before the end of 2018.
BAT and Brave are getting a lot of mainstream media attention too, with outlets like Bloomberg, NASDAQ, CNET, Engadget, TechCrunch putting the project in the lime-light recently. The project has also been promoted by Ubuntu Linux on Facebook (this page has over 1 million followers) and Rocket.Chat on their official blog.
It’s easy to overlook social media data like this – but in our experience, huge gains usually trail this kind of exposure (assuming the project is sound, which in this case it is).
To summarize, the BAT system provides:
• Users: strong privacy and security when viewing advertisements, improved relevance
and performance, and a share of tokens.
• Publishers: improved revenue, better reporting, and less fraud.
• Advertisers: less expensive customer attention, less fraud, and better attribution.
And it’s all tied into a beautiful and fast web browser that lets you know how much time and attention it is saving you.
What Can I Do with My BAT?
Let’s say that you’ve been using Brave for quite a while now, saving your time and money. We wouldn’t dare suggest how you should spend that spare time, but let’s take a look at all the possibilities that being rewarded in BAT presents to you.
First, and in our minds, most important application of BAT is supporting your favorite providers and publishers. Just think about all the interesting Youtube videos or Twitch streams you keep watching. The viewers that are determined to show their support can do so via some external donation methods, like Patreon or SMS donation.
In all of these cases, you have to first transfer money to or via a third party which can eat up a nice chunk of your donation. Think of all the articles that you’ve read on your favorite websites. With BAT you can support them within just a few clicks.
There are also some other usage possibilities for BAT that might come along together with its wider adoption in the near future.
For example, think about the sites that share their most valuable content only with their subscribers. You could purchase such a subscription with BAT or perhaps buy the access to the content relevant for you. You could even rank or vote on comments that you especially like with your tokens; similarly to Reddit Gold.
As time goes on and the ecosystem develops, another prospect could come true and that is the purchase of digital goods with BAT. It could be anything from high-resolution photos (or videos) through data services to one-time usage of some tools that you would normally have to pay the full price for. Of course, BAT could also be used as a reward system for games and apps (both of which are fast growing industries).
Currently, there are tons and tons of similar ideas with millions and billions of revenue behind them, each of them neglecting either the user or the rewarding system. For instance, let’s take a look at the aforementioned Reddit Gold. It’s a basic solution which could be taken to the next level with BAT. To obtain it, you’ve got to pay for it with your physical money which creates an extra middleman.
There is also Blendle, a sort of iTunes for journalism, offering micropayments on a perstory basis. It gives readers a collection of stories based on preferences. On this platform users merely go about their business on the web and publishers are rewarded.
And then finally, there is Google. They make about 90% of their entire revenue through ads – that was $89.5 billion in 2016. They’re at the center of the existing digital advertising ecosystem with a 54% share of growth from the entire ad business (with Facebook right behind them at 45%). By oftentimes exploiting if not straight up abusing our privacy, they cut a much bigger share for themselves than they deserve, leaving the publishers with much less than they’re due and users with nothing at all. BAT and Brave will give us the opportunity to put an end to it.
By glancing over these examples we see that the need for a major, unifying change is there – it just needs to be handled correctly. BAT and Brave do exactly that. So, who is leading this ambitious project?
The Team Of Dreams
What would be Apple without Steve Jobs, Microsoft without Bill Gates or SpaceX without Elon Musk?
Well, we’ll answer that question with another question.
What would the Internet be today without BAT’s founder Brendan Eich?
Back in 1995, Eich started working for Netscape, a company developing various web products, such as the Navigator Browser or SSL (which was the predecessor to TLS – the cryptographic protocols that provide the security of any network and website connection which has the ‘s’ after ‘http’, like in https://londonletter.org).
Yup, almost a blank screen
The Internet without it just doesn’t work the way we’re used to and now it’s essentially unimaginable to surf the web without it.
In years to come, it might just be unimaginable to surf the Internet without using Brave and BAT.
Brendan’s team is solid. It features staff from huge multinational corporations like Microsoft, Yahoo, Evernote and AOL just to name a few. But there is one advisor that has caught our particular interest…
Ankur Nandwani is the Product Manager for Coinbase. He is the same guy that announced that Litecoin would be getting listed on Coinbase earlier this year.
Interestingly, the CEO of Coinbase (Brian Armstrong) tweeted on March 30th, 2017 that BAT is “exactly the sort of token we’d like to support on Coinbase and GDAX over the coming year, make it easy to buy/sell these with gov currencies.”
Why We’re Buying In Today
BAT is an incredible project that is still cheap – and the current advertising system is starting to be exposed for the flawed system that it is:
• Ad revenue is declining.
• The number of users using an adblocker is drastically increasing.
• The current advertising model is expensive for publishers.
• The end user’s privacy is being neglected.
• The end user faces huge issues like excessive data usage and shortened battery life.
With an already functional product, a stack of mainstream media attention and a talented team, we have no apprehensions in recommending BAT for a buy right now.
Throw in a likely Coinbase listing and things are looking exciting for BAT investors.