Basic Attention Token – How it works

The world of cryptocurrency is growing at an exponential rate. Bitcoin set the stage for all subsequent cryptocurrencies to expand and improve upon the concepts of blockchain, decentralized banking, and financial security and anonymity. But with so many new coins on the market, it can be difficult to distinguish what makes one different from the other. One crypto subtype that has distinguished itself from the others is utility coins, and perhaps no utility coin has more world-changing potential than the Basic Attention Token.

What is a utility coin?

A utility coin is a type of cryptocurrency that “provides users with future access to a product or service,” according to Josiah Wilmoth of Strategic Coin. For example, if you create a utility coin for music, you are promising those who purchase shares of your ICO or your coin that in the future, they will be able to use your currency to purchase music exclusively through your platform or marketplace.

Utility coins will likely continue to steadily pop up on the market, as cryptocurrency trading and use become more mainstream. After all, why switch to a decentralized form of currency unless you can actually use it to buy the things you want?

What is the Basic Attention Token (BAT)?

Brendan Eich, the inventor of internet game-changers like JavaScript, Netscape Navigator (RIP), and Mozilla Firefox, developed the concept of the Basic Attention Token, or BAT, in conjunction with a new form of internet browser called Brave. He has observed the evolution of the internet into a platform for rampant spamming, badly targeted ads, and ad trackers that piggyback off of user bandwidth, costing users money they never agreed to spend to be marketed to.

The Brave browser returns users to a purer and faster online experience by automatically blocking all ads. In order to publish sponsored content on Brave, publishers must complete a verification process agreeing to Brave’s terms and conditions. Even then, Brave users can choose whether or not they see sponsored content from these verified publishers.

This is where the Basic Attention Token comes into play. The token is delineated by, and therefore itself defines, the value of consumer/user attention. If publishers create content that multiple users are interested in watching, interacting with, or reading, they are earning ‘basic attention.’ The token being a measure of that attention, publishers are rewarded with BAT when their content performs well and is useful to users.

On the other end of the spectrum, users can also be rewarded in BAT for giving publishers their attention and the ability to market directly to them through the Brave browser, should they choose to turn on that feature. Users can then either hang on to the BAT they accumulate in their BAT Wallets, or can subsequently use their BAT to reward publishers for content they enjoy and would like to support.

In short, the Brave browser and the Basic Attention Token create a rewards-based marketing system in which meaningful relationships can be created between publisher and user through anonymous and private interactions that involve actual exchange of value defined by the user. Users can promote content on behalf of publishers and reap the rewards, just as publishers reap the rewards of interested users. Publishers can even publish premium content available through BAT payment. It’s a more democratic, one-to-one world on Brave, and it promises to have a huge impact on internet use.


Mann Technik explains the Basic Attention Token in full detail here:


Why use the Brave browser?

There are several reasons to consider Brave:

  • Improved internet privacy – online privacy, particularly when it comes to browsing history, is difficult to come by. Brave offers a browsing platform that maintains no records of your online activity to third parties. Publishers simply cannot access users without agreeing to the terms and conditions and becoming verified.
  • More enjoyable browsing experience – who doesn’t long for web pages that load without display ads on the top, bottom, right, left, and in-between-paragraphs areas? Using Brave, every single one of those ads is gone. Sites load faster. You see the content you wish to see. That’s it.
  • Integration with Cryptocurrency world – BAT may be the answer for those looking for a tangible reason to invest in a new cryptocurrency with an immediate use. Not only can fiat be converted into BAT using an exchange such as Uphold, but other cryptocurrencies can be converted to BAT.

Are there any cons to investing in BAT?

Because the Basic Attention Token, the BAT Wallet, and the BAT Payments System are relatively new, they are in a fairly constant state of unofficial “beta,” and as such are somewhat limited in their use beyond the Brave browser.

For example, at the moment, the BAT Wallet is unidirectional. That means that it can only accept deposits and contributions, and CANNOT process withdrawals. Currently, only various cryptocurrencies, fiat, and BAT can be deposited. In the future, the BAT Wallet promises a feature allowing deposits from credit cards, as well as the ability to withdraw funds from the wallet and convert them into fiat.

How Basic Attention Token Could Reshape Facebook Ads

On January 11th, 2018 in a lengthy Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg announced the end of this generation of the Facebook News Feed. The news he shared is particularly important for publishers, who will be most directly affected in terms of both in-platform advertising costs and their content’s reach and engagement. It also subtly hints at the introduction of principles similar to those of the Basic Attention Token, or BAT.

In an update that reads like a mix of nostalgia, self-criticism, and New Decade’s Resolution, Zuckerberg explained that the news feed will now return to a format similar to its earlier iterations, optimizing and “prioritiz(ing) posts that spark conversation and meaningful…interactions between people.”

The New News Feed

Once the update goes into effect, your news feed will show you posts it feels you will be most likely to interact with, discussions you have interest in, recommendations for things you may have expertise in or insights about, and videos and news shared by friends and publishers that you engage with most often.

The Facebook news feed algorithm is currently structured to optimize content that people like, comment on, and share. Essentially, if users are interacting with it, those users and others are more likely to see it in their feeds. This concept of rewarding content for genuine engagement, actually sounds quite similar to the core concept of the Brave browser and the way it delivers publisher content to its users, with one HUGE difference: user opt-in.

Friends and family are now priority #1 when it comes to the content most likely to display in your feed, according to Zuckerberg. But an updated algorithm that boosts organic content could mean a severe reduction in the reach and engagement public and paid posts now enjoy. Until now, Facebook ads were considered the most cost-effective digital advertising available to countless online publishers and companies. So are Facebook ads, effectively, dead as we know them?

Not necessarily, although publishers will definitely need to develop alternative strategies for successful campaigns. The type of content publishers develop and share will become more important now than ever before, as Pages are ranked for engagement based on what users really want to see, not the size of the publisher budget.

Zuckerberg, acutely aware of the monetary hit both he and his publishers are likely to take from the implementation of this ideology (his share of Facebook had dropped in value by $3.3 billion as of this writing), also provided a basic roadmap for content producers to follow that will ensure it the highest chance of success. Publishers who wish to succeed on the new news feed should employ pre-optimized tools like live video in order to rank as highly as possible in the feed.

Facebook and $BAT

The update is especially fascinating when examined in comparison with the BAT, developed by Brendan Eich in conjunction with his Brave Browser. The Brave browser natively blocks all paid content and ads. Only verified publishers are allowed access to the paid space on the browser, and then only when they are given permission to share their content with users via a user opt-in process based on a mutual reward system. Quality takes first priority in Brave – if the content is irrelevant or poor quality, it will simply not see the light of day.

The concepts driving the new Facebook news feed and the founding principles of the Brave Browser inch tantalizingly close to one another at the point of user opt-in. Zuckerberg’s post also included the announcement of an expanded “See First” feature in the news feed settings that will allow users to choose to see published content from pages they follow towards the top of their feed, or hide it from sight, for the first time in its history, should they wish. The BAT was developed using the same concept of user-based publisher selection and support, only instead of simply enabling user controls, it assigns value to their attention.

It’s almost as though Zuckerberg and Eich coordinated their recent projects as a team effort. They have both even begun to use similar language to describe maliciously deceptive or poorly targeted ads that do not deliver on their promises. Zuckerberg refers to this as “engagement bait,” while Eich calls it “malvertising.” Hmm.

As though these connections weren’t already explicit enough, Zuckerberg has been quoted as saying that cryptocurrency could “help improve Facebook’s future.” He also admitted to allowing his platform to become overly centralized, to the point where it has lost its initial ability to allow free and open user interaction. He feels that this centralization is reflected across all major internet-based platforms, to the detriment of its users. In light of all this, it seems only a matter of time until Facebook also develops a measurement and monetization system based on it’s users’ attention.

Although Zuckerberg acknowledges the death of the concept of the internet as the true final frontier of human society, he also seems hopeful for its return to a more democratic, self-governed, decentralized future on the heels of the technology introduced by cryptocurrency. But no one has as of yet stated what the integration of cryptocurrency into the Facebook platform might look like. Just as cryptocurrency tends to be unstable and unpredictable by nature, it would seem that its interaction with Facebook would be just as complex. Perhaps, then, a utility token highly dependent on user buy-in and use, such as the BAT, would be the perfect integration tool? Only time will tell.


How YouTube Betrayed its Creators & Why Basic Attention Token is Giving Away Free Money

It’s been said many times throughout the tech community, but in light of recent news, it bears repeating: cryptocurrency is the future of our world. The very same week that YouTube served monetization eviction notices to its smaller publishers, the Brave browser announced that it is literally giving monetization away to its users. As the buzz over these two developments calms, signs are beginning to point to long-term positive outcomes for online publishers.


It seems that Facebook is not the only platform seeking to improve the quality of the content it publishes in 2018. YouTube announced on January 16th, 2018 that it will officially demonetize channels with fewer than 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months and fewer than 1,000 subscribers. In a blog post, YouTube sited its desire to improve its “creator ecosystem.”

The post goes on to cite the platform’s new mission to hold content to a higher standard before rewarding it with ad revenue. According to YouTube, creators hoping to monetize their channels need to be developing and publishing high quality content that contributes to positively to the community. Once the new rules take effect, channels that hit the new statistical standards will also need to apply in order to be considered for monetization.

Rewarding positive contributions to the platform, while simultaneously punishing for harmful or malicious content…this new policy sounds eerily similar to the conceptual framework driving the Basic Attention Token (BAT). Ironically, the BAT creators recently began allowing YouTubers the opportunity to become verified publishers on the Brave platform. The current upheaval within the small and medium channel community will likely lead many frustrated users to leave the platform. This trend, combined with Brave’s new offer of crypto-backed monetization, could spell the biggest and most lucrative opportunity for Youtube publishers in over 10 years.


$BAT and Brave

Even more Ironically (or not?), BAT also made headlines with the announcement that they are giving away $1 million in tokens to users of the Brave browser. Existing users need simply to open the Brave browser and accept the prompt offering $5 in free tokens. New users must install and open the browser on their personal computers in order to see the same prompt.

This is the project’s second round of grants from its user growth pool meant to stimulate platform use and user buy-in. The last giveaway ended in only 30 hours, with users quickly snatching up $500,000 in BAT. Only publishers have the ability to exchange BAT for cash, but unlike with any other platform serving users ads, Brave’s users also have the chance to be rewarded in BAT for supporting verified publishers and allowing them access to their online browsing space.

The BAT and Brave could very likely announce more grants in the future. Until then, YouTubers should run, not walk, to their browsers, download Brave, and apply to become verified publishers. The embedded videos above explain each step of this process, as well as the amazing features built into the revolutionary Brave browser, and why it could be so revolutionary for Youtube creators.

Download Brave here.

This article was originally written and posted by Mann Technik here. If you enjoyed it please check out his social media below and give him a follow. Manntechnik - Profile Image - BAT


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