Basic Attention Token looks to re-invent online advertising

basic attention token

By Kiki Schirr, {grow} Contributing Columnist

if you can’t see the video above, click here: Basic Attention Tokens Video

By Kiki Schirr, {grow} Contributing Columnist

These are the startling opening lines to Basic Attention Token’s business case whitepaper, the in-depth document every cryptocurrency prepares to explain their business:

“Digital advertising is broken. The marketplace for online advertising, once dominated by advertisers, publishers and users, has become overrun by “middleman” ad exchanges, audience segmentation, complicated behavioral and cross-device user tracking, and opaque cross-party sharing through data management platforms. Users face unprecedented levels of malvertisements and privacy violations. Mobile advertising results in as much as $23 per month in data charges on the average user’s data plan, slow page loads, and as much as 21% less battery life. In response, over 600 million mobile devices and desktops (globally) employ ad blocking software and this number is growing. Traditional publishers have lost approximately 66% of their revenue over the past decade, adjusted for inflation.”

The ad industry is in true crisis. Viewers of ads are distrustful if they do pay attention to ads at all. Publications hosting the ads are suffering as mobile devices and Internet browsers force ad blockers. And the advertisers are paying ever-higher rates to get any attention at all.

Basic Attention Token hopes to be the blockchain solution to this problem. And even if you aren’t cryptocurrency savvy yet, this article will guide you through what BAT means to digital marketers.

What is a blockchain?

Let’s start with explaining blockchain, the essential technology behind Basic Attention Token.

Essentially, Blockchain is a database. It forms a public ledger of transactions that have been cryptographically encoded, or “hashed.” Periodically, all recent transactions are written to a new “block,” which is then linked back to the old block with a hash, like a chain.

Blockchains are distributed, which means they are kept on different servers and devices around the world. Because of the duplicate nature of each transaction, it is nearly impossible to alter or hack a block.

In addition, each transaction is timestamped, verified by multiple users, and encrypted. It is a very secure system.

Right now, the most famous blockchain is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a currency, but blockchains can be applied to many different digital areas. Basic Attention Token is using it to re-invent advertising online.

What is Basic Attention Token?

Basic Attention Token is a system attempting to fix what’s broken about digital advertising. They imagine the solution as a triangle, where rewards flow from advertisers to anonymized ad viewers and to publications providing quality content. Ad viewers can also reward publications through subscriptions or one-time tips.

These rewards are measured in tokens. Basic Attention Tokens represent currency, but they also represent the literal attention of ad viewers.

To assess whether ad viewers are actually seeing and engaging with ad content, BAT has built their own Internet browser called Brave. It is already gaining a reputation as a browser that respects the privacy of its users.

This is the first stage of BAT’s roll-out. For this ad revolution to work, Brave will have to be adopted by both internet users and publishers who would like to be rewarded for their popular content. If Brave is adopted, the BAT team would allow Brave users to opt-in to viewing ads in exchange for token rewards.

Can Basic Attention Token be trusted?

It’s smart to be skeptical about new cryptocurrency projects. Right now, it is very popular to host an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), and new tokens are cropping up every day. Some of them are not very reputable. Some of them are downright scams.

However, BAT is the brainchild of an accomplished team of developers. One of the cofounders of BAT, Brendan Eich, wrote JavaScript, one of the world’s most commonly used programming languages, and helped start the Mozilla Foundation, which released the Firefox Internet browser. Each of the team members has a strong background, have released their real names (some tokens are launched anonymously), and seem devoted to the project.

The team is one of the most important and easily judged criteria of a trustworthy token. But there are other reasons BAT is worthy of your attention, including

  • The quality of their business case
  • The number and quality of advisors
  • The amount being raised during ICO
  • The method of raising money

And Basic Attention Token scores high on all these counts, except perhaps on the last category.

BAT’s ICO occurred this spring, and while it was scheduled to last several weeks, the team ran out of tokens within 30 minutes. That means they raised $35,000,000 in 30 minutes, which would normally be considered a success, but many people who tried to buy the token couldn’t. To read more about this issue, check out this Coindesk article.

How can you get started with Basic Attention Token?

There are two ways to get started with BAT today.

The first step is to download and start using the Brave browser. This will be the vehicle for BAT payments, and it would be good to get familiar with how it works before they roll out the use of the token. If Brave isn’t adopted, the new advertising structure won’t work.

Another step would be to buy BAT tokens. However, if you’re new to cryptocurrency, I wouldn’t recommend starting with purchasing BAT. I’d try setting up a Coinbase account instead, just to get your feet wet. If you have already made a cryptocurrency purchase, you can buy BAT on exchanges like Bittrix.

I hope this article about Basic Attention Token has *drum roll* caught your attention! Please let me know if you have any questions, or advice for others regarding this new blockchain-based token.

KikiSchirrKiki Schirr is the founder of WeKiki distributed video platform, which is also planning to tokenize soon! Kiki can be reached easily through Twitter.

 

 

 

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