BAT, or Basic Attention Token, used in the Brave browser, is a new way to manage the online advertising industry.
Since advertisers are spending money for your attention, shouldn’t you be paid when you watch ads? The goal of BAT is to build a better advertising system that rewards consumers directly for their attention. This way users and content creators (rather than middlemen) get the money that advertisers pay.
In addition, the new system will address problems with the current online advertising industry, such as protecting user privacy and reducing the way that loading ads slow down websites.
If it’s successful the billions of dollars spent on advertising will be shared with consumers. In some cases up to 70% of the ad revenue will go to the user, meaning you’ll get paid for watching ads. It will also more efficiently reward people publishing ads, such as website creators or YouTube channels. And it will protect user privacy so that the ads you see are highly targeted and very relevant to you, but your personal data is never shared.
The main challenge is that it’s very difficult to build a new advertising system and get enough people to use it. Right now it is not clear how BAT will solve some of the core challenges of building a successful advertising platform and the system will potentially only work under limited conditions, such as using a single browser on a single device. In addition, while they promise to kick out middlemen, they’ll actually be a middleman themselves, taking a 15% cut of ad revenue.
The good news is that BAT is currently live and in market. Users download a new browser called Brave which blocks traditional ads and allows users to directly and anonymously reward websites that they find interesting. At writing there are over 3 million people using the Brave browser, and almost 20,000 content creators in the system.
In the future Brave will launch their advertising platform. Websites and other content creators will be able to serve these ads, and the advertiser will pay both the website and the user in BAT. In addition users will be able to earn extra BAT by pro-actively choosing to watch ads
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