The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency token created to address consumer targeting issues in the digital advertising space. The space at the moment is “filled with middlemen and fraudsters, hurting users, publishers and advertisers.” On the internet, many fraudulent products are marketed to users based on users cookies, browsing history, and other personal information.
This is a big issue in the trading education and cryptocurrency space at the moment. Many “pump and dump” ICO’s market through YouTube and other online social networks to get funding. After they get funding and start trading on exchanges, the insiders will dump all their tokens causing the price to crash and investors to lose a big percentage of their investment into the token.
Many fraudulent trading education services (forex trading courses are a big one) are marketed to uneducated users and are deceived by promises of “get rich quick schemes”. Usually, the head trader of the service does not trade with real capital and posts fake profits to get unsuspecting individuals to shell out thousands of dollars on their courses, claiming that they will give them the knowledge needed to replicate their success. The BAT team is addressing a big inefficiency in the digital advertising space.
The Basic Attention Token
The BAT token is “an ERC20 token built on top of Ethereum, and will be the token of utility in a new, decentralized, open source and efficient blockchain-based digital advertising platform. It is a utility token based on the Ethereum technology that can also be used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers, and users in a new, blockchain-based digital advertising and services platform. The token is not a digital currency, security or a commodity.” The last sentence is a key distinguishing trait between the BAT token and other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. BAT is a utility token, not a digital currency.
In the BAT ecosystem, “advertisers will give publishers BATs based on the measured attention of users. Users will also receive some BATs for participating. They can donate them back to publishers or use them on the platform. This transparent system keeps user data private while delivering fewer but more relevant ads. Publishers experience less fraud while increasing their percentage of rewards. And advertisers get better reporting and performance.”
Learn more about the white paper here.
The Brave Browser
The BAT team has created their own browser to start addressing these issues in the digital marketing space. The Brave Browser is a “fast, open source, privacy-focused browser that blocks ads and trackers, and contains a ledger system that anonymously measures user attention aggregate to accurately reward publishers.” The browser is also one of the fastest out there at the moment. You can download and try out the Brave browser yourself here.
The Team Behind BAT
The BAT Roadmap
The BAT team explains on their website what their roadmap is for the next 18 months. There big picture goal is to build and scale the BAT system to have “complete user control and much better economics than the failing ad-tech ecosystem upon which the Web relies today”.
Read about their plan here.
The browser space is very competitive at the moment, as the BAT team will be competing against Google AdEx, Reddit Gold, Steem, and other established companies. Google at the moment does not have a blockchain based tokenized system of offering rewards. However, if Google decides to make a system for rewarding users with tokens in exchange for viewing ads the BAT platform will be competing with Google directly for potential advertisers.
Weaknesses and Potential Issues
One of its main issues is that it is very reliant on the Ethereum blockchain. If a major issue were to arise with the Ethereum blockchain the utility and the security of the BAT token would decline significantly.