Last editedJul 20212 min read
From Bitcoin to Litecoin, cryptocurrencies have become an increasingly popular investment, as well as a way to pay for goods and services. Basic attention tokens, or BAT, offer an innovative twist by blending cryptocurrency trading with digital advertising. So, what is BAT and how does it work exactly? We’ll explore the world of BAT coins below.
What is BAT?
Created by Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox, the basic attention token (BAT) is a digital advertising token. BAT uses the Ethereum blockchain and is designed to go along with a brand-new web browser called Brave. The concept behind both BAT and Brave is that they pose a more private and secure solution to traditional digital advertising thanks to the blockchain technology.
While most digital advertising relies on your moves being tracked online and data sold to advertisers, BAT offers a different format for monetizing user attention. Each BAT represents a unit of exchange and serves as the Brave browser’s native currency for advertisers and publishers.
Understanding BAT cryptocurrency
Exchanged over the Brave platform, BAT cryptocurrency can be used to obtain different advertising services. For example, BAT coins can be exchanged between users and advertisers. These exchanges are enabled by the Ethereum public blockchain, which underpins the Brave platform.
BAT was designed to solve a plethora of problems experienced not only by casual web users, but also by advertisers and publishers. Publishers have seen a drop in earnings as platforms like Google take cuts of their advertising revenue, while internet users are plagued by malware and bots. Every move is tracked online, with pesky pop-up ads slowing down the browsing experience.
The BAT developers aim to provide a solution with a better advertising experience, and BAT coins the medium of exchange. Users should experience fewer ads and a more secure browsing experience, and advertisers can target their marketing efforts more efficiently. All of this works over the custom Brave browser, which its makers claim loads 3-6 times faster than competitors.
Where do the BAT coins come in? While users of Brave can opt out of ads altogether, they can also opt in to view ads using the Brave Rewards program and earn BAT in return. This means users will only see ads from partners they’re interested in, and advertisers will only show ads to interested viewers. BAT cryptocurrency movements are tracked using a Brave Micropayments Ledger over the blockchain, with complete anonymity.
BAT, Brave and advertising
As Brave’s native cryptocurrency token, BAT derives its value from the platform’s growth. Brave is designed to be completely open-source and focused on user privacy, without any cookies, malware, or trackers. Instead, user data is anonymous due to blockchain technology.
However, its value also comes from the battle for user attention. Advertisers and publishers want to entice viewers and can earn BAT coins as a reward. The more views and sustained attention they receive, the higher their BAT revenue becomes. At the same time, viewers can also earn BAT as a reward for viewing advertisements should they opt in. This makes the whole advertising process more agreeable on both ends.
Because everything is monitored over the blockchain, it’s impossible to tamper with. All users have their browsing data completely anonymized, with third-party trackers blocked. A final benefit of using Brave and BAT is that the blockchain technology means that users don’t have to rely on external servers. Ad matching is conducted locally, with faster downloads and an uninterrupted flow of content.
The bottom line
The BAT cryptocurrency offers a completely novel approach to advertising online, and although it’s still new there is an expert team behind the Brave platform. While it’s unlikely to completely replace social media platforms and browsers like Google, it could become an industry game-changer in the advertising world.
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