One of the most exciting cryptocurrencies in the space, to me at least, is the Basic Attention Token (BAT). BAT is the native currency used by the Brave Browser and it's ecosystem, and will allow users to earn cryptocurrency from surfing the web by sharing advertisement revenue with the users. Monetize your attention.
The online advertisement market suffers many flaws and is known to be highly inefficient. The majority of the money paid for advertisements is earned by various middle-men and in-between-parties. Last year the online advertisement market was dominated as much as 73% by Google and Facebook and advertisement fraud by bots is estimated to cost advertisers about $7.2 billion globally this year.
All the while this is going on, users have grown weary of watching ads and have turned to ad-blockers, which are obviously the bane of any advertiser. At the same time the internet has grown slow and cumbersome because of all the bloatware and adware hidden behind practically every website these days.
The Brave Browser seeks to solve these issues and revolutionize the online ad industry by creating a new eco-system through blockchain and cryptocurrency where advertisers, advertising platforms and users are directly connected to eachother, which not only drives down the cost of advertising but in fact allows a revenue-sharing model where each user earns a share of the advertisement revenue as a reward for his or her attention.
It does this by incorporating a powerful ad-blocking feature which will block every and any advertisement. This gives the power back to the users: You get to choose whether or not you want to watch ad-less, or watch ads but get passively paid for it. If you enable the ads part of the BAT tokens that were paid by the advertiser go to you, the person spending your attention on the ad.
At the same time the Brave browser also allows users to directly pay content-creators without involving a middleman. This creates an entire online, multi-faceted economy.
Because Brave blocks all the bloatware the browser is super-fast. The general consensus seems to be that Brave is up to 10x faster to load a website than the competition, due to the lack of nonsense being loaded. And of course, part of it probably also has to do with Brendan Eich.
For most investors Brendan Eich is one of the major selling points of this cryptocurrency. If there is anybody who has the credentials, know-how, star-power and connections to pull this off, it might be him.
It's no surprise that some serious parties have already signed up for the BAT ecosystem.
PARTNERSHIPS & ADOPTIONWhile the Basic Attention Token ecosystem is still in the works and not fully operational (such as the feature of getting paid to surf the web), some aspects of it are already working like the ability to pay content-creators with BAT tokens. The feature already works with both Youtube and Twitch, where content-creators are paid based on how much time you spent watching their content. Content creators who are signed up can easily cash out their BAT, and content-creators who are not signed up will receive an invite to the program as soon as they have a deposit of BAT waiting on them.
Free BAT tokens are awarded periodically to users of the Brave Browser, to spend on content creators and to help test, grow and foster the eco-system. I have been using the Brave Browser for several months and can confirm that I periodically get some BAT deposited, which is then spent on my favorite content creators. And honestly: it feels pretty great to be able to give some back to deserving people!
Current BAT/Brave user statistics:
- Currently over 2.2 million monthly active users.
- 24.5% desktop users and 75.5% mobile users.
- Majority of users reside in the U.S. and the EU.
- User growth remains strong and we anticipate millions more by the end of 2018.
- Publishers and Creators :
- Over 3,500 websites are currently Brave-verified.
- Over 10,400 YouTube creators and Twitch streamers have verified with Brave.
- YouTube creators have over 180 million subscribers.
THE BAT TOKEN
The BAT token itself is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, and it is one of the major Ethereum projects out there. It has a total supply of 1.5 billion tokens and a current market cap of give-or-take $250 million USD. Each token is currently priced at around $0.26 each.
The BAT token is a clear case of a utility token. The token itself is purely meant as a payment method, a way to transfer value between two or more parties. Other than the payment feature the BAT token has no other features. Speculating on the token for long term appreciation is, therefore, a bet on the adoption of the ecosystem. If the BAT ecosystem becomes succesfull the limited supply of tokens will cause the price to be driven up as more tokens start circulating in the internal economy.
I am hesitant to call BAT a great investment, though, and I myself own some but not too much. The reason is that I see BAT primarily as a utility token that is spent but not hoarded. Advertisers will, in my opinion, only purchase BAT as soon as they are ready to place an ad, and users are likely to cash out as soon as they are paid. The actual 'hodling power' of the ecosystem might be lacking - I see no reason why the system wouldn't work just as well with a low token price as a high one.
As I wrote earlier in this article, the Basic Attention Token project is one of my favorite cryptocurrency projects. Not only does it solve a real problem for all parties involved, but adding monetary incentives to it's users is going to potentially turn things completely upside down. Money is, after all, the ultimate motivator.
The combination of 'Get paid to surf' with a faster, better browsing experience is a golden one: who wouldn't want this??
It has been speculated that all blockchain needs is one good killer-app before it really takes off, and BAT is one of such projects that might just be that killer-app that drives cryptocurrency adoption through the roof. It's ability to convert nocoiners into crypto-users and essentially paying them for it is going to draw in hordes and hordes of new people, and it might unlock enormous amounts of previously locked up wealth that would normally disappear into the bank accounts of advertisement middle-men.
I myself have been anxiously waiting on the 'Get paid to surf' feature for a while now, and have been holding BAT for about a year now. I think that the Brave Browser with this feature is going to be the first application to make blockchain go mainstream. It's something even my mother can use. And I'll damn well get her to use it, too!
And when everybody has some 'free' crypto, I think we'll start seeing some actual serious adoption follow suit. While I don't consider it the best speculative investment in terms of financial gain and appreciation, I do consider it one of the best attempts to make crypto as a whole go mainstream.
You can already try the Brave Browser out, and see how much faster it works as well as pay your favorite content creators with some free airdropped BAT tokens by following the link below and download the Brave Browser.