Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Nowadays, digital marketing is considered a very lucrative business, but when you take a closer look, most of the money goes to middlemen instead of advertisers and publishers.
In 2019, Google made over 134 billion US dollars from ad revenue! And that’s only one of the many web giants.
Today, we’ll introduce you to Basic Attention Token (BAT), a decentralized ad platform that plans on turning this industry upside down! Stay with us as we uncover the story and vision behind this project.
As mentioned, BAT stands for Basic Attention Token, an ERC20 token built on top of Ethereum’s blockchain.
It was designed to address the challenges faced by digital advertising as we know it today. It’s not a digital currency but a utility token to be used by the BAT decentralized ad exchange and it’s integrated with the Brave browser.
BAT’s ecosystem makes use of these tokens in the following way: publishers are paid by advertisers in BATs based on user attention. The users are also rewarded with BATs for taking part in the ecosystem. They can either donate these tokens to the publishers as support for their content or spend them for services on the platform.
The result is fewer ads but quality ones. The system rewards users for their attention when viewing ads but also gives them content that’s tuned to their interests.
By implementing blockchain technology, the platform connects users, publishers, and advertisers in a decentralized environment and gets rid of the nagging presence of third-party intermediaries. It reduces advertising expenditures, monetizes user attention, and multiplies publishers’ profits.
The BAT team hopes that in the future, other developers will use their code to find new applications for the BAT token:
As Brave moves to a fully distributed micropayment system, we expect other developers to use our free and open source infrastructure to develop their own use cases for BAT. We want BAT and the tools associated with it to eventually become important web standards for future development of web content. Publishers, advertisers and users who view web content deserve a private, secure and well-engineered future. (BAT’s White Paper)
What’s Brave Browser?
One of the biggest problems of digital advertising is the growing users’ adoption of ad-blocking software as the most efficient way to deal with fake advertisements, extend battery time on their devices, and prevent personal data thefts.
This makes it even harder for publishers and marketers to target the right audience and significantly reduces the publishers’ revenue.
Brave is a fast, privacy-focused browser that controls the ads that appear on your device, blocking third-party ads and trackers. It uses a built-in blockchain system to measure user attention and pays the publishers for that attention.
The blockchain keeps a record of the content on which you’re spending the most time. This data is encrypted and protected, with no one having permission to edit or delete it.
In an interview for Medium, Brave’s CEO, Brendan Eich, explained the following:
There’s no need to install or configure extensions for these [Brave’s] benefits. Protection against tracking, third party ads, and fingerprinting is on by default. Sites load faster (up to 7x on Android, 8x on iOS), users save time and money (up to $23/month) on data plans, and malware that hides in ads (to attack users via popular sites that rely on automated ad exchanges) does not get past Brave’s shields.
Digital Advertising Is Broken
Everyone thought that the Internet and the rise of digital advertising will help marketers to get closer to their audience and consumers. They could do data analysis and identify their audience, make evaluations, faster distributions, etc. They would track users’ attention and tweak their ad strategies properly.
Instead, the one group that profited the most from digital advertising was the web and social media giants. They’ve been monitoring user behavior, collecting user data, and selling them to digital marketers.
Digital advertising is broken. The marketplace for online advertising, once dominated by advertisers, publishers, and users, has become overrun by “middleman” ad exchanges, audience segmentation, complicated behavioral and cross-device user tracking, and opaque cross-party sharing through data management platforms. Users face unprecedented levels of malvertisements and privacy violations.
So, how does BAT plan to address these problems?
Their ad exchange will focus on the three target groups mentioned above: users, publishers, and advertisers.
BAT promises users not only more privacy and security when they’re looking at ads, but the ads themselves will be relevant to what they really want to see. On top of that, they’ll get a share of tokens themselves.
Publishers won’t lose their revenue paying for the middlemen services, enjoying “better reporting and less fraud”. Finally, advertisers will be protected from fraud and be better able to identify and get a hold of their customers’ attention.
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