May 11, 2021

BAT: Getting paid for paying attention

Your attention is valuable. Online advertisers are willing to pay for it. What if you could get paid for paying attention when surfing the web? Well, that is now possible. Meet: the Basic Attention Token (BAT) 

What is the Basic Attention Token? 

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) was built to revolutionize the online ad space by connecting users, advertisers and publishers in an innovative blockchain-based ecosystem that eliminates predominant issues in the current online advertising industry. The BAT token is an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain and unfolds its full functionality when used with the so-called Brave Browser. 

To better understand the benefits and use case of BAT, we need to review the issues all stakeholders are currently facing in the online ad space: 

Advertisers want to reach target users with effective advertising that compels them into action so they become (repeat) customers. Major issues advertisers currently face are: 

  • advertising fraud through clicks by fraudulent bots, incurring high costs without effectively reaching target users 
  • scatter loss, online ads being delivered to uninterested, unqualified visitors, resulting in budget waste and weakened brand perception 
  • inability to specifically reach their target audience based on interests or personality traits  
  • lack of transparency into who saw their ads when and if they paid attention to the advertiser’s ad and what response and conversion rate was achieved 

Publishers want to monetize their content on owned media by selling ad space at premium price to quality advertisers that place relevant ads to the publisher’s content consumers. Currently, publishers often suffer from the following issues: 

  • selling ad space on their owned media through Google or Facebook ads who retain the major part of what advertisers pay for ad placement 
  • lack of high-quality advertisers and low monetization of ad space 
  • irrelevant or spam ads that annoy visitors and tarnish the publisher’s reputation  
  • inability to provide advertisers clear, transparent data as to target audience, response and conversion rates 
  • online users employ ad blockers to remove online ads on publisher’s website, resulting in loss of advertising revenue 

Users surf the web looking for information or entertainment. They want to quickly and effectively find the content they want and need. Users have the following issues with online advertising the way it currently is: 

  • the ad networks of Google and Facebook monetize the user’s data without paying users a single cent 
  • irrelevant and untargeted, spammy ads 
  • distraction, costing time and focus 
  • security issues through tracking of user behavior with cookies and other means; risks of malware or trojans being installed while browsing 

Based on this complex set of challenges, the BAT token sets out to use blockchain technology to build a better online advertising ecosystem for all involved parties. 

What is the idea behind it?

The goal of the BAT is to use a digital token exchanged between users, publishers and advertisers to build a better online advertising system for all and challenge the dominance of Google and Facebook in the online ad space. The immutability and transparency of the blockchain allows for more security, fairness and efficiency in the online advertising process and delivery.  

Users install and use the Brave browser which filters and blocks tracking cookies and other tracking mechanisms entirely. Ads can be completely switched off if users prefer. Or, if users want to be paid for paying attention to ads, they can activate the integrated wallet and be paid in BAT token for seeing customized ads. The Brave browser uses AI to customize ads shown to the users without tracking the user’s identity or browsing history.  

The benefits for each party are many: 

  • Advertisers who interacted how long with their ads on what publisher’s page. As each interaction is linked to a unique user ID (the user’s public key), ad fraud through all the traffic is eliminated and advertising costs reduced. 
  • Publishers can better monetize their ad space, offer more transparent advertising insights to advertisers and create an incentivize better engagement by visitors as they receive a part of the ad revenue. The ad delivery can be done without the ad networks of Google and Facebook, significantly increasing advertising revenue for publishers. 
  • Online users are paid to view online ads relevant to their person and interest. The higher relevance and lower number of ads combined with monetary compensation result in a significantly better browsing experience. 

How to use/earn it? 

To start earning BAT token, users simply download the Brave browser for desktop or mobile devices. Install and run the software, then activate the “Brave Rewards” settings and start earning BAT token directly into the BAT wallet integrated with the browser.  

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