Basic Attention Token (BAT), the Cryptocurrency of the Brave Crypto-browser

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Basic Attention Token (BAT), the Cryptocurrency of the Brave Crypto-browser
Basic Attention Token (BAT), the Cryptocurrency of the Brave Crypto-browser

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency used by the Brave crypto browser. A key element of Brave’s proposal, the BAT token, is at the center of the decentralized online advertising ecosystem that the company behind the project, Brave Software, is seeking to develop. Overview of the role of BAT in what is known as ad-tech, i.e. advertising technology.

What is the Basic Attention Token (BAT)?

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a project that was born in 2017 under the aegis of Brave Software, Inc., whose CEO is none other than the famous Brendan Eich. He is the originator of the JavaScript programming language and the co-founder of Mozilla Firefox.

The BAT is what is called an ERC-20 token, i.e. it operates on the Ethereum blockchain. It is an inseparable cryptocurrency from the Brave crypto browser since these two projects form a whole.

To better understand the purpose for which this token is created, let’s go back to the motivations of the Basic Attention Token team. Indeed, the latter started from the observation that online advertising is not at all efficient as it stands.

This market is, according to them, plagued by the proliferation of intermediaries, malicious advertising, fraud or even violations of privacy. Ads overload user browsing, especially on mobile.

These numerous issues with web page loading times, battery life and lack of data protection when browsing the web have led to the increasing use of ad blocking software.

Naturally, the direct consequences are a loss of revenue for broadcasters and a reduction in consumer attention online.

Finally, the icing on the cake is due to the duopoly of Google and Facebook in the online advertising market. These two broadcasters together claim more than 73% of online advertising revenue, so it’s a very centralized market.

Thus, Brave Software offers its solution to remedy all these inefficiencies: a digital and decentralized advertising marketplace based on the blockchain. The two essential components of this solution are the Brave crypto browser and its Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency.

Brave is an open-source browser that aims to ensure user data privacy by natively blocking third-party ads and web tracking. It is also a question of making Web3 accessible to all by integrating, in particular, a native wallet, the Brave Wallet.

Its token, the BAT, is used as part of a decentralized advertising marketplace on Brave. It serves as a secure and anonymous means of exchange and connects the three main players in this market, namely users, creators and advertisers.

Concretely, the BAT rewards the user of Brave for their attention. The latter can choose to watch an advertisement in exchange for a reward in BAT tokens in a secure way since Brave guarantees the confidentiality of the data.

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Basic Attention Token (BAT) logo

The Basic Attention Token ecosystem

How does BAT’s advertising ecosystem work?

Concretely, a user provides his attention when viewing an advertisement. User attention, therefore, has a lot of value for creators and advertisers without being rewarded.

While browsing Brave, the user has the choice to enable ad viewing after creating their wallet on Brave Wallet. In return, he is rewarded with BAT tokens for his attention. As of May 2022, 41.37 million BAT tokens have been used to reward users in this capacity, equivalent to $23.59 million.

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Figure 1: Overview of the number of BAT tokens users received as rewards (May 2022)

This feature to enable indicates:

“The advertisements shown are based on your interests, inferred from your browsing behaviour. No personal data or browsing history leaves your browser.”

To do this, the Brave crypto browser integrates a register that anonymously measures user attention in order to reward creators with precision. Attention is therefore precisely measured when consulting an advertisement, only on the active tab and in real-time.

Thus, when an advertiser wishes to promote a product or service on Brave, he pays a certain amount in BAT tokens to acquire advertising space on the network.

It is possible to target a specific type of user based on the type of product or service broadcast thanks to the algorithm, which deduces a good match between the interests of a user and the advertising shown to him.

A portion of these tokens is returned automatically to users as a reward for their attention when viewing the ad in question, while a fraction is returned to Brave as a commission. Finally, the rest of the amount of BAT tokens paid by the advertiser goes to the creator.

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Figure 2: Diagram of the advertising ecosystem’s BAT token transaction flows

Users can also reward creators whose content they like with BAT tokens themselves. They must be registered as a verified creator with Brave to receive these types of payments. 

The BAT is, therefore, at the center of this flow of transactions. Thanks to the blockchain, this flow is publicly verifiable, which provides essential transparency to this type of market, which is intended to be decentralized.

Finally, to summarize, here is what Brave and BAT bring to players in this market:

UsersDiffusersAdvertisers
Increased privacyRevenue increaseBetter ad allocation(more precise targeting)
Increased securityIncreased transparencyLess expensive advertisements
More relevanceon the ads viewedReduced fraudReduced fraud
Improvedbrowser performance
Rewards in BAT tokensfor viewing advertisements

Decentralized finance with BAT

Brave Wallet offers access to decentralized finance (DeFi) since the Swap function of the wallet allows its tokens to be exchanged in a decentralized way against any other ERC-20 token (including BAT), i.e. on the Ethereum network. Brave Wallet integrates the decentralized exchange aggregator 0x to do so.

Figure 3: Brave Wallet Swap Feature Overview

More recently, it is possible to exchange Solana’s cryptocurrency (SOL) and SPL tokens, the standard for tokens on the Solana blockchain.

Holding BAT tokens also saves on swap fees during these exchanges since an automatic discount is applied to them.

What are the Roles of the BAT Token?

As we have seen in detail, the BAT token is at the center of the flow of transactions that make up the decentralized online advertising market offered by Brave Software. It is a utility token, and advertiser payments are made in BAT tokens while users are rewarded in BAT for their attention.

The BAT token also gives its holders the ability to make payments to creators whose content they enjoy.

The BAT is the keystone of Brave’s Web3. In the future, the uses will multiply in accordance with the roadmap, and ideas are being raised to use it as a means of payment in many other cases, such as premium content (on a newspaper, for example), e-commerce or VPNs.

A vote in BAT tokens on a comment section could allow comments to be ranked based on the amount of tokens received or even condition the possibility of posting a comment against payment in BAT tokens. Either way, the possibilities are endless.

BAT Fundraising and Tokenomics

A few months after the announcement of the project, Brave launched the BAT token in May 2017 through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) of 1 billion BAT tokens for 35 million dollars, i.e. a price of 0.035 dollars per token.

As for tokenomics, the Basic Attention Token has a total supply of 1.5 billion tokens distributed at launch as follows.

Figure 4: Basic Attention Token (BAT) Tokenomics

The funds thus raised by Brave Software made it possible to finance the technical development, the marketing of the project, etc.

The Basic Attention Token Team and Partners

The BAT Team

The Brave crypto browser and its BAT cryptocurrency were developed by Brave Software Inc. Composed of more than 100 employees; the Brave Software team is made up of:

Brendan Eich: Founder and CEO of Brave Software, also known for being the originator of JavaScript and Mozilla Firefox;

Brian Bondy: co-founder and CTO of Brave Software;

Yan Zhu: Director-General of Security and Information;

Annie Katrina Lee: Marketing Director;

Bill Engles: Chief Financial Officer.

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Figure 5: Overview of Brave Software Founders

BAT Partners

Brave has many partnerships, whether with content creators or companies that accept the BAT token, such as Binance, Crypto.com, Coinbase, Nexo, FTX, Vimeo, Slate, The Washington Post, Qwant, Duckduckgo and Gala Games, to recite nobody else but them.

Brave works with the biggest brands in the advertising industry and also has a partnership with the Solana blockchain, whose ecosystem is completely integrated into the browser. The wrapped BAT is thus available on Solana via Wormhole, as well as the SOL coin and all its SPL tokens directly on Brave Wallet.

How to Buy BAT Tokens?

BAT is available on many exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, KuCoin, Gate.io, and FTX.

Explanations for Buying BAT on Binance

  • Register on Binance;
  • You will receive an email and need to click on a link to verify your account;
  • Deposit funds on the platform;
  • Click on the Market menu and search for the  BAT/USDT pair ;
  • All you have to do is buy BAT for the amount of your choice;
  • Congratulations, you are now in possession of BAT tokens.

Our Opinion on the Basic Attention Token

This is a solid and very innovative project that has been around since 2017. Supported by the great team at Brave Software Inc., the BAT cryptocurrency is at the center of the Web3 Brave browser since all transaction flows pass to Brave through the BAT.

It is worth noting that there is no on-chain governance since it is Brave Software that takes care of the development and implementation of new features.

Over time, Brave has convinced a lot of players in the industry. At the time of writing these lines (July 2022), Brave has 56 million active users each month, including 18 million active daily. Around 1.5 million creators have verified themselves with Brave, while 10.6 million Brave Wallet wallets have been created.

In addition, Brave Network plans to develop a software development kit (BAT SDK) to allow developers to integrate the BAT token into their own applications with the aim of monetizing them.

Brave is showing good growth, which is good news for the BAT token. It will be a question of continuing on this momentum while continuing innovations and multiplying the cases of use for the BAT in order not to be caught up by the increasingly numerous competition.

The giants Google and Facebook are part of it. They are increasingly interested in Web3, but not only since other crypto browsers have more recently appeared, such as Opera Crypto and Osiris.