Basic Attention Token (BAT) ExplainedCryptocurrency
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Basic Attention Token (BAT) — the native token of the Brave ecosystem — has been something of a sleeping giant.
It had a bit of a pump in November 2021, hitting all-time highs, but has now pulled back a bit.
But what is Basic Attention Token and how does it work?
Well, to really understand any cryptocurrency, you have to look at its whitepaper because a cryptocurrency’s whitepaper explains it better than anything.
The problem is that sometimes these whitepapers are hard to understand, but I just read the entire Basic Attention Token whitepaper and go over its highlights for you in this article.
Be sure to read until the end of this article because at the end I will tell you three ways to get Basic Attention Token for free — yes, you can start getting free BAT today!
Who Is Behind Basic Attention Token (BAT)?
But first, I want to talk about who’s behind this Basic Attention Token.
This is because when you invest in utility-based crypto projects like Basic Attention Token, you’re really investing in the team as much as you’re investing in the utility of the project itself because a project can plan to have the greatest use case ever, but if the team can’t deliver, it’s useless.
The CEO and co-founder of Brave — which is the company behind Basic Attention Token — is Brendan Eich, and this guy’s no spring chicken.
Who owns your attention? Who owns your web browsing experience? Who gets paid? If not you, then you’re “product”.
Time to get paid.@Brave
— BrendanEich (@BrendanEich) April 8, 2016
- Loading new web page content without reloading the page
- Web page animations
- Browser games
- Controlling the playback of streaming media
- Generating pop-up ads
Yes, I’m serious. The guy who is basically responsible for the existence of pop-up ads is now disrupting the internet advertising ecosystem.
Eich also co-founded Mozilla, the parent company behind the Firefox browser.
So if there’s anybody that I could get behind for a blockchain-based disruption of the mess that is digital advertising via means of a new browser (the Brave browser, which I discuss later in this article), it’d probably be Brendan Eich.
What Is Basic Attention Token (BAT)?
Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency that serves as a token for decentralized internet advertising based in a browser called the Brave browser.
Digital Advertising Is Broken
The premise behind Basic Attention Token and the Brave browser is that digital advertising is broken. The whitepaper begins:
“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.”
And by digital advertising they’re referring to the ads that pop up on websites.
So for example, the website you’re reading right now makes money from affiliate links (like this one to Gemini, where you can get $10 in free bitcoin as well as earn interest on your Basic Attention Token), but it also makes money from the display ads that appear on-screen as you consume the content on the site.
As the site owner, I know that people aren’t big fans of display ads — but they make money, and I need to pay my team to keep the lights on and make some profit for myself as well.
Anyway, the Basic Attention Token whitepaper begins by saying that this system of digital advertising — the one that incorporates user tracking and cross-party sharing to show you targeted ads within the content you consume — is a broken, overly-complex system, and invasive system.
And the “yuckiness” of this system is why more and more people use ad-blocking software, but as a result of ad-blocking software, publishers have lost approximately two-thirds of their revenue over the past decade.
The Industry Middlemen
The Basic Attention Token whitepaper postulates that digital advertising, in its current state, is a lose-lose-win whereby the end consumers — the readers — lose because they have to put up with these ads with all the privacy invasion that comes with them.
And if they’re sick enough of these ads they use ad blockers — though then their data and privacy would still be being invaded.
Current digital advertising is a losing situation for publishers because the more people use ad blockers or find ways to consume content without putting up with ads, the less revenue they make.
But who is the current system a win for? The middlemen of the display advertising world.
And you can see what these middlemen look like the image below.
The whitepaper refers to these middlemen as “an excessive number of intermediaries that stand between the ad and the end user.”
And why are these middlemen necessary? Well, it’s not like on my website, a display ad pops up because I directly talked to the advertiser and said, “Hey, I’ll give you an ad placement in my article about Basic Attention Token.”
No, this is all programmatically done — the ad network I use it has data points and that they know about you so they programmatically determine that you might be interested in a certain product or advertiser and hence an ad for that product is displayed on my website when you view it.
And making this happen is not simple, and there are certainly a lot of middlemen in this world, such as agencies, agency trading desks, the creative team, the demand-side platforms, the ad exchanges, the networks, and more.
So the Basic Attention whitepaper is saying that all these middlemen create a losing situation for both publishers like me and readers like you:
“Publishers lose revenue from each middleman transaction. Each one of these transactions also detracts from the user experience in terms of latency, eating into a user’s data plan and battery life…According to Pew Research, ‘Fully 91% of adults agree or strongly agree that users have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies.’ A large majority, 64%, believe that the ‘government should do more to regulate advertisers’ regarding how they use and store personal information. This is not surprising, given that a visit to a popular media site can often have 70 trackers set loose on the reader.”
Basic Attention Token’s Solution
So what is Basic Attention Token’s solution? It is, in the words of the whitepaper, “attention-based economics on blockchain.”
The theory is that human attention is valuable.
Information is cheap — we can get information all over the web for free — but human attention is valuable.
However, the modern display advertising ecosystem essentially cheapens it and doesn’t give human attention that value that it warrants.
In fact, due to this mispricing, our brains learn to just ignore these ads on websites.
If the modern display ad ecosystem did correctly price human attention, ads wouldn’t be such a bad experience for users.
So, practically speaking, Basic Attention Token’s solution starts with a new browser — the Brave browser, which compensates the user for their attention while protecting their privacy.
The Brave Browser
Brave is an open-source, Chromium-based web browser that is the backbone of the Basic Attention Token ecosystem.
How the Brave Browser Works
Users and publishers alike are rewarded for using the Brave browser.
On Brave, there are no display ads. But in their place you do see while using Brave every now and then and only if you opt in to them — what Brave calls “truly relevant ads.”
For example, usually when I open a new tab in the Brave browser, I am greeted with a nice photograph of nature that someone took.
But every now and then, Brave will serve me an ad in the new tab like the one below for Abra.
I don’t mind this ad at all, really — it’s simply something that pops up when I open a new tab. I can choose to ignore it if I want or, of course, I could click the tiny “Learn More” button in the bottom left to learn more about the offer.
And honestly, the few ads I’ve gotten while using Brave have been pretty relevant.
And here’s the cool thing. As a Brave user, I am rewarded with Basic Attention Token whenever I view an ad.
Yes, the advertiser basically pays me, the user, a certain amount of Basic Attention Token for viewing their ad because it’s my attention — my basic attention — that they’ve gotten from me in that split second in which I saw the ad.
Here is what the Brave website says about this rewards process:
“Brave Rewards is built on the Basic Attention Token (BAT), a new way to value attention, connecting users, content creators, and advertisers. When you join Brave Rewards, your browser will automatically start tallying (only on your device’s local storage) the attention you spend on sites you visit. Once a month, Brave Rewards will send the corresponding amount of BAT, divided up based on your attention, from your local browser-based wallet to the sites you’ve visited. You can remove sites you don’t want to support, and tip creators directly too.”
So instead of this yucky programmatic-type advertising, the Brave browser is all about nonintrusive ads whereby the reader is actually rewarded for viewing ads.
Brave, of course, gets a share of the Basic Attention Token paid by the advertiser as well.
The Brave Wallet
One thing that is pretty cool that Brave is rolling out is the Brave Wallet.
Many of you are familiar with browser wallets such as MetaMask for ethereum, Yoroi for Cardano, and Phantom for Solana.
Well, the Brave Wallet is the first secure crypto wallet to be built directly into the browser rather than as an extension.
This theoretically means faster performance because the wallet is native to the browser rather than an add-on extension.
It also means less CPU usage and less memory usage.
And the Brave wallet is not only for Basic Attention Token — it will support many crypto assets with live and historical market data and prices built into it via CoinGecko.
3 Ways to Get Free Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Here are the three ways to get free Basic Attention Token (BAT).
1. Use the Brave browser.
The first way to get free Basic Attention Token is to simply start using the Brave browser.
For example, last month, I earned a total of 9.1855 BAT simply for using the Brave browser — 6.1245 BAT for using the Brave browser on my computer and 3.061 BAT for using the Brave browser on my phone.
At current BAT prices, 9.1855 BAT is over $12!
So that’s awesome, right?
So that’s way number one you can get free Basic Attention Token — just go to brave.com, download the Brave browser, and start using it as your main internet browser.
2. Get rewarded as a Brave creator.
The second way to get free Basic Attention Token is to create content online and let people who use the Brave Browser tip you in Basic Attention Token.
You don’t need an entire website or YouTube channel to do this.
If you have a Twitter account, people can tip you there.
People can also can tip you on Reddit, Twitch, Vimeo, and GitHub.
If you’re interested in being rewarded in Basic Attention Token for your online content, sign up at creators.brave.com/sign-up.
3. Earn interest on your BAT.
And finally, the third way for you to get free Basic Attention Token is to earn interest on it.
Right now, Gemini — which is one of the best places to earn interest on your cryptocurrency — is offering the highest interest rates on Basic Attention Token at 3.49%.
I personally have my Basic Attention Token directly deposited from Brave to my Gemini account every month, so every month, Gemini pays me a little bit of Basic Attention Token simply for holding my Basic Attention Token with them.
Also, right now, if you use our link to sign up with Gemini, you will get a $10 bitcoin bonus if you buy or sell at least $100 worth of cryptocurrency on Gemini after setting up your account through our link.
Sign-Up Bonus$10Paid in BTC
BAT Interest Rate3.49%Paid in BAT
Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.