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Basic Attention Token, or BAT, is the token that powers a new blockchain-based digital advertising platform designed to fairly reward users for their attention, while providing advertisers with a better return on their ad spend.
This experience is delivered through the Brave Browser, where users can watch privacy-preserving adverts and receive BAT rewards for doing so. On the other hand, advertisers can deliver targeted ads to maximize engagement and cut down losses due to ad fraud and abuse.
The Basic Attention Token itself is the unit of reward in this advertising ecosystem, and is exchanged between advertisers, publishers and users. Advertisers pay for their advertising campaigns in BAT tokens. Out of this budget, a small portion is distributed to advertisers, while 70% is distributed to users — whereas the intermediaries that typically drive up advertising costs are cut out of the equation to improve cost-efficiency.
Basic Attention Token launched in 2017 following one of the fastest sell-out initial coin offerings (ICOs) of all time, with the platform raising a total of $35 million in under a minute. Since then, it has rolled out its attention-based advertising experience to users in most countries through its Brave Rewards program.
As of November 2020, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada had the most active advertising campaigns.
Basic Attention Token has two founders: Brendan Eich and Brian Bondy — two highly distinguished individuals in the internet browsing software industry.
Likewise, Brian Bondy joins as Brave's and Basic Attention Token’s CTO. Bondy is a heavily experienced engineer with previous experience working as a senior software engineer at Mozilla, software developer at Corel Corporation and software development lead at Khan Academy. Together, Eich and Bondy have a combined 50+ years of software development experience.
In total, the Basic Attention Token website lists 16 team members, many of whom have a development, engineering or research background.
The primary use case for the Basic Attention Token is as a payment token for running advertising campaigns through Brave Ads. As of November 2020, advertisers must commit to a minimum ad spend of $2,500 per month to be able to launch their campaign, but a self-serve platform with potentially lower limits is currently in the pipeline.
Currently, this advertising budget must be paid entirely in Basic Attention Tokens, which advertisers can acquire from a variety of third-party exchange platforms. Out of this, Brave takes a small commission, and the rest is distributed to publishers and users.
One of the main distinguishing features about Basic Attention Token and the Brave Browser ecosystem is the capacity to reward (tip) users who are not yet part of the network — this includes both websites and individual Twitter users. These users can then securely register to the platform to collect any tips they have accumulated.
Both Basic Attention Token and Brave Browser have achieved significant user uptake since their launch. As of October 2020, Brave Browser has a total of 20.5 million active monthly users, whereas the Basic Attention Token is now held by a total of more than 368,000 unique wallets.
Basic Attention Token has a maximum total supply of 1.5 billion tokens. This cannot be increased without switching to a new token smart contract.
Almost all of this supply is in current circulation. As a result, Basic Attention Token can be considered almost fully diluted.
In its 2017 ICO, a total of 1 billion BAT tokens were sold to investors, whereas the remaining 200 million tokens were locked in a development pool, and 300 million BAT was reserved for the user growth pool (UGP). As of November 2020, both the development pool and UGP pool addresses are nearly empty.
Basic Network Token (BAT) is an ERC-20 token. As such, it is built on the Ethereum blockchain. Like any ERC-20 token, BAT is secured by a rigorously tested proof-of-work (POW) consensus algorithm supported by an extensive Ethereum miner network.
This consensus algorithm ensures only valid transactions are confirmed, while the combined work of the Ethereum mining network ensures BAT transactions are essentially irreversible once confirmed.