The digital advertising business is an industry that has pitted users against advertisers, both at odds over content distribution, screen time, and cost. At the same time, content creators are not being compensated adequately for their work, as there is too much content on the internet for users to wade through. These issues led to the creation of the Brave web browser and the Basic Attention Token.
The Brave Browser
Basic Attention Token
The Basic Attention Token, an ERC20 compatible token, is used within the Brave browser ecosystem. Viewers can obtain BAT by viewing and allowing advertisements, essentially getting paid for their time. Users that have obtained BAT can use the token to reward their favorite content contributors, access premium content, or gain access to ad-free content.
Content contributors are paid in BAT for their content by users who recommend or upvote the content. Lastly, advertisers pay BAT to users for viewing ads, a way that guarantees advertisements are being seen.
This three-pronged economic model incentivizes users for viewing content and creators for developing quality content, while advertisers gain access to the markets they are looking for. Revenue sharing is more democratized, with about 55% of revenue going to publishers, 15% going to the partner serving the ad, 15% to Brave, and 15% to the user.
Not Everyone is Happy
When the Brave browser was launched, it was met by a slew of outrage from major media outlets, claiming that its software directly blocked advertisements those outlets use to generate revenue. This came to a head when newspaper publishers issued a cease and desist letter to the company, claiming it is conducting illegal business by blocking publisher advertisements for its own benefit.
With over one million active users at the start of 2018 and a strong partnership with Dow Jones, Brave is clearly becoming the web browser of choice for many users. But only time will tell if Brave, and with it Basic Attention Token, will revolutionize the digital advertising agency with the blessing of current market participants, or if legal battles will ensue over this new technology.