Basic Attention Token (BAT): Fueling Blockchain-Based Digital Advertising

While trying to explore the internet, no one is immune to being bombarded with advertisements. Read about how Brave is utilizing BAT to improve the current state of digital advertising for all users.


Brave Software invented the Brave web browser in order to promote openness and privacy in the digital advertising sector. This cutting-edge browser not only disables third-party advertising and trackers that you’ve had to put up with in the past, but also replaces them with a transparent ledger system that monitors your attention and pays you and your favorite publishers correspondingly.

Basic Attention Token (BAT) is an Ethereum-based digital advertising token that supports Brave’s efforts to improve the browsing experience for all parties involved: users, publishers, and advertisers.


Problems With the State of Digital Advertising

While perusing the internet, we all come across digital adverts. While advertisements are ubiquitous, they are frequently implemented at the expense of the user. Digital advertising is a chaotic, unregulated field where ads monitor users across numerous devices, acquire private data, exchange user information with third parties, and more.

For users, publishers, and advertisers, the digital advertising sector faces a number of issues that can result in a lose-lose-lose situation.

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To begin with, as a user, you almost always have a subpar user experience. While surfing the web, you will be assaulted with adverts that will slow down your computer, deplete your battery, collect personal data using trackers, and even contain viruses (malicious software).

To combat the overwhelming volume of advertising, many individuals install ad-blocking software on their computers and mobile devices.

Then there’s the publishing house. Google and Facebook are the two behemoths of the digital advertising market. By 2020, these two companies have garnered 72 percent of all advertising spending and 99 percent of all growth. However, ad-blockers, fraud, and harmful bots are still a threat. Overall revenue for publishers has dropped by as much as 66 percent recently.

Google and Facebook are both ad-tech companies, resulting in significant conflicts of interest throughout the ecosystem.

Finally, advertisers are wasting money on advertising that isn’t doing as effectively as it could be due to fraud, ineffective ad targeting, and users ignore ads. Brave is convinced that there is a better way.

Blockchain-Based Advertising With Brave Browser Rewards

Brave’s new approach to digital advertising, which is based on blockchain, aims to improve on the existing quo. It is based on a decentralized, private, and transparent ad exchange. The Brave browser, which has steadily grown in popularity, now has over 20 million monthly users and over 960,000 recognized publishers and creators as of December 2020.

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Users who use the Brave browser agree to participate in an attention-based, all-encompassing, and rewarding advertising campaign. Users are presented with privacy-preserving adverts that they may choose to pay attention to (or ignore), and are paid with the Basic Attention Token (BAT) as a result through Brave Rewards.

The Brave web browser measures user attention using complex algorithms (based on time and total content viewed). The adverts are secure and anonymous. Brave and its partners do not collect or monitor personal information from users. Users can now use their BAT tokens to reward their favorite content creators for creating great content.

The Brave ecosystem produces a better ad placement experience for advertisers, a more efficient experience for publishers, and a more pleasant experience for users, who see fewer and more relevant advertising for which they can be rewarded.

Basic Attention Token in the Brave Browser Ecosystem

BAT is used to power the Brave ecosystem and is earned by securely and on-device tracking a user’s attention in the active tab of the Brave web browser. BAT is an ERC-20 token based on Ethereum that allows users to participate in the advertising and publishing industry.

The total supply of BAT tokens is restricted to 1.5 billion. There are currently 1 billion BAT in circulation, with the remainder set aside for development and user grants. No more BAT tokens will be created after the total BAT User Growth Pool is drained — not through staking (Proof of Stake) nor mining (Proof of Work) methods used by other tokens.

The advertiser issues smart contracts that are used to deploy BAT. These smart contracts pay publishers BAT based on how much people pay attention to them.

Users who watch the ad will receive a portion of the BAT included in the smart contract, which will cause the BAT to be delivered. In their Brave Rewards Wallet, users receive BAT tokens. Users can then donate BAT to their favorite publishers, use it inside the ecosystem, or send it to another wallet address.

Brave intends to expand support for the BAT system beyond its own browser to include other popular third-party web browsers. More applications for BAT micropayments are also being considered, such as the possibility to:

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  • purchase digital goods
  • access premium content (in lieu of a subscription-based model)
  • unlock the right to post comments on certain content
  • leverage BAT tokens as collateral to upvote or downvote on comments
  • incorporate gaming rewards in video games and apps
  • extend Brave functionality beyond Brave’s browser to integrate with leading third-party web browsers

Brave established a partnership with Uphold, a digital money platform, in October 2019 to provide a gateway into and out of the Brave ecosystem’s Brave Rewards Wallet.

This update allows users to earn BAT by watching adverts in the Brave browser and then transferring the rewards to an external wallet rather than retaining them in the Brave ecosystem. Users may now fund their Brave Rewards Wallet with BAT via Uphold, allowing them to support the publishers and content producers of their choice even more.

Brave and Gemini teamed in August 2020 to establish a Gemini Trading Widget within the Brave browser, allowing users to buy, sell, and store crypto, as well as monitor their Gemini account balances and access their deposit addresses, all without leaving the Brave environment. Additionally, Brave-verified content creators can use the Gemini Creator Wallet as their Brave Rewards wallet, making it easier for them to keep track of their revenue.