What is BAT?

The basic attention token (BAT) is the currency that powers a blockchain based digital advertising system made up of users, publishers, and advertisers. The BAT is an ERC20 utility token for the Brave browser — an open source browser with a privacy focus. When BAT is integrated into the Brave browser, the attention that a user gives to content on the browser is valued in BAT tokens; users receive a payout (in BAT) equal to 70% of the gross ad revenue, and publishers receive a percentage of the remaining 30% as well as a payment (in BAT) from the advertisers whose content they publish.

In June of 2018, the user trials of the BAT advertising system went live. Brave browser users were allowed to opt-in to download a special version of Brave that enables them to view advertisements and receive BAT tokens in return. In the future, the BAT team plans to open user trials to a larger pool of people.

How does BAT work?

Advertisers pay BATs to publishers to run their ad campaigns, and users are rewarded in BATs for viewing ads on the Brave browser. User attention is measured in real time on the Brave browser; valuation metrics are applied to this attention which takes the visibility of the advertisement, time spent on the ad, as well as the traditional cost-per-action model of user engagement, into account when deriving attention value.

The Brave browser anonymously records user attention statistics to its ledger so that publishers can be accurately rewarded for the amount of attention a user gives an ad. The BAT uses a blockchain to reduce fraud on behalf of advertisers, and increase the effectiveness of targeted ads (ad relevance is addressed by machine learning models that anonymously match ads with user’s consumer interests) without sacrificing user privacy (BAT only keeps the user’s private data on the device that they are using the Brave browser on).

Why BAT?

The basic attention token team hopes to create a more transparent, fair, and safe environment for advertising; allowing advertisers to have better insights into their ad campaign, publishers to experience less friction (no intermediaries) when doing business, and users to earn revenue for the attention they pay to advertisements while preserving their privacy on the internet.

Brave Software the parent company of the Brave browser and BAT, founded by Brendan Eich, the creator of Javascript — saw that the digital advertising market was dominated by middlemen that sometimes deliver virus filled advertisements, commit multiple user privacy violations, and track users across multiple devices. This causes users to use ad-blocking software, but ad-blocking software has created a 66% loss of revenue over the last decade for publishers. This de-incentivizes publishers to create and promote quality content. But the team at BAT sees the BAT, “and associated technologies as a future part of web standards, solving the important problem of monetizing publisher content while protecting user privacy.”

The BAT cuts intermediaries out of the publishing processing and instead, allows advertisers to pay publishers directly — increasing the percentage yield publishers receive. BAT’s machine learning algorithms help advertisers receive better data on their spending and help them launch more effective ad campaigns in the future. And BAT allows users to securely browse the internet while earning revenue from the advertisements they give their attention to.

Where to find BAT and the Brave Browser

The Brave browser is available on Mac OS, Linux, and Windows operating systems; and the Brave software team plans to extend BAT compatibility to other browsers in the future.