What Is Basic Attention Token?
The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency token catered to the world of digital advertising. The token promises to be open source, transparent, decentralized, and efficient – which are the same promises made by other cryptocurrencies.
What makes Basic Attention Token different from other cryptocurrencies? The token is catered towards the world of advertising. Here’s how the company explains it:
“Basic Attention Token radically improves the efficiency of digital advertising by creating a new unit of exchange between publishers, advertisers, and users.”
The token is based on the Ethereum blockchain. The value of each token is based on the user’s attention – described as “a person’s focused mental engagement.”
The tokens are designed to be used by three groups of people – the user, the advertiser, and the publisher. These three parties will make up the Basic Attention Token ecosystem.
Why Do We Need Basic Attention Token?
In the words of BasicAttentionToken.org, we need the BAT because “digital advertising is overrun by middlemen, trackers and fraud.” In the current situation, all three parties mentioned above (users, advertisers, and publishers) are losing.
Here are the problems the Basic Attention Token is trying to solve for each group:
Users Are Abused
- 50% of the average user’s mobile data is spent loading advertisements and trackers, which means users spend more on data plans every month than necessary
- Advertisements take about 5 seconds to load over mobile devices, on average
- Ads decrease a phone’s battery life by as much as 21%
- Large media websites host up to 70 trackers on a single page, which means each user’s privacy is continuously violated
- Malware, including malicious advertisements and ransomware, have risen by 132% in a single year
Publishers Are Hurting
- Google and Facebook take an overwhelming share of ad revenue, bringing in approximately 73% of all advertising dollars and 99% of all growth
- Revenue in the publishing industry is down 66%
- Bots inflicted $7.2 billion in fraud on the industry last year
- Over 600 million phones and desktops run advertisement-blocking software
- Publishers are struggling to seamlessly monetize value-added services without losing users or degrading the quality of their product
Advertisers Are Losing
- Advertisers struggle to access good information on what they’re paying for
- Marketers can be fooled by bogus websites or fraudulent bots
- Targeting isn’t accurate, which means users are more likely to ignore ads when the ads are irrelevant to their needs
How Does Basic Attention Token Work?
The Basic Attention Token is based on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s a decentralized, transparent digital ad exchange that relies on two core parts: the Basic Attention Token (BAT) and the Brave Browser.
Brave is a unique type of browser launched last year. The open-source, privacy-focused browser blocks malvertisements and trackers while still letting publishers earn advertising revenue. The Brave browser uses a ledger system that anonymously captures user’s attention in a way that accurately rewards publishers.
The Basic Attention Token, meanwhile, is a unit of exchange between publishers, advertisers, and users. The token is derived from – or denominated by – a user’s attention. Attention, as mentioned above, can be defined as “focused mental engagement”. In this case, users are focusing on an advertisement.
The Basic Attention Token ecosystem relies on the two parts mentioned above. Basically, the Brave browser knows where users spend their time, which means the Brave browser can be used to calculate and reward publishers with BATs. This leads to a transparent and efficient digital advertising market based on the blockchain.
Everyone benefits: publishers receive more revenue because middlemen and fraud are reduced. Users who opt in receive fewer ads, but better-targeted ads, that are less prone to malware. And advertisers get better information about their spending.
Here’s how the benefits break down for each of the three parties that make up the digital advertising ecosystem:
- Users: Users receive BATs for focusing on advertisements. A user’s attention is privately monitored on-device using the Brave browser, and a user’s private data never leaves their device.
- Advertisers: Advertisers achieve higher ROI, better targeting, and reduced fraud.
- Publishers: Publishers receive BATs based on user attention. As inefficiencies decrease, revenues increase.
One of the key parts of the Basic Attention Token system is an “Anonymity Shield” that protects users. This shield prevents advertisers and publishers from collecting information from users, or from tracking them across the internet.
How Does Brave Measure Attention?
The entire system is built on the concept of “attention” – which is why the tokens are called Basic Attention Token. So how does the Brave browser measure attention?
Attention is measured when users are viewing content and ads in the browser’s active tab in real time. Ads will also have an “Attention Value” that’s calculated based on incremental duration and pixels in view in proportion to the relevant content.
Brave will measure customers’ interests using local machine learning algorithms. It will look at which ads you spend the most time paying attention to, then recommend ads based on that information. That means fewer irrelevant ads.
About Basic Attention Token
Basic Attention Token (the company) is led by Brendan Eich (Founder, Vision, Strategy) and Brian Bondy (Co-Founder, Browser Engineering Lead). The company’s initial coin offering (ICO) is scheduled for May 31 to June 30, 2017.
Basic Attention Token is based at the following address in San Francisco:
1161 Mission Street, #401
San Francisco, California
You can get in touch with the company by email at [email protected]
Stay tuned for more information about Basic Attention Token as the token rolls out over the next few months. The company has ambitious plans to revolutionize the world of advertising and digital publishing as we know it.