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What is Basic Attention Token (BAT)?

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a token for a blockchain-based advertising platform. Learn why it could revolutionize advertising.

Posted January 27, 2023
Last updated July 3, 2023

Image of a man holding a Basic Attention Token on his hand.
Image of a man holding a Basic Attention Token on his hand.

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a token for a blockchain-based advertising platform. This project aims to improve online ads by cutting third-party ad exchanges, reducing ad scams, protecting user privacy, and also sharing revenue with users to reward them for their attention.

This project combines a new browser, Brave, and utility token based on Ethereum, BAT, to create a decentralized online advertising platform.

Participants in the ecosystem transact with BAT tokens: on one side of the exchange, advertisers pay with BAT, and on the other hand, publishers and users can earn with BAT.

Key takeaways

  • Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency whose purpose is to create a cycle of incentives around digital advertisement for both the creators and users.
  • The native BAT token is used as a reward incentive for users who choose to view digital ads on the Brave browser – the web browser that BAT is integrated with.
  • The Brave browser benefits both the publishers and web users by creating an ecosystem where users are rewarded for choosing to view ads, and publishers get to deliver high-impact content and ensure their messaging is viewed by a curated audience whose interests align with the advertisement.

New to crypto? Start with our crypto 101 guide.

What is the Basic Attention Token (BAT)?

Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the crypto token that facilitates fair value exchange between Internet users, content creators, and advertisers. It is exclusively used in the Brave browser.

The BAT token can be earned by users who use the Brave web browser. This is part of the Brave Rewards programme, which users can opt in or out at any time.

Advertisers who use Brave Ads service will exchange fiat currency with BAT tokens. Then, they are enabled to place digital ads (such as clickable banners and search engine ads) on sites that offer space for Brave Ads. 

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Through smart contracts, advertisers automatically send BAT tokens to users who see their ads. They also send BAT tokens to site owners and content creators who host Brave Ads. Optionally, BAT tokens earned by users can voluntarily be given to site owners and content creators as a tip or contribution. 

Diagram of BAT token flow.
In Brave’s ecosystem, attention is literally a currency. Source:

The Brave browser is the first-ever browser that uses blockchain technology to redesign the economy of digital advertising. It removes the need for a monopolistic third party to manage ads. Instead, a decentralised application does the work, which could save advertisers a lot of money.

Additionally, Brave is also the first to quantify people’s time and attention online into a cryptocurrency token. These can also be exchanged seamlessly for other assets and additional services. 

What is the Brave Browser?

Brave is a web browser founded by Brendan Eich who is the creator of Javascript and also the founder of the well-known Firefox browser.

Brave comes with a native ad-blocker and loads the site 2-8 times faster than Chrome and Safari on mobile and double as fast as Chrome on desktop.

By default, all advertisements and trackers on the website are blocked, and instead, the user is given the option to choose the Brave Rewards program, by choosing this program, the user will be paid in BAT to see unobtrusive advertisements.

Screenshot of Brave browser homepage

Brave also has its private browsing window similar to Chrome’s Incognito mode, except that Brave is equipped with an additional Tor browsing window for advanced security.

The Brave browser is available on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows operating systems; and the Brave software team plan to extend BAT compatibility to other browsers in the future.

Browse with Brave: Click here to visit the official Brave website.

Why is Brave Browser & Basic Attention Token revolutionary?

Adverts slow down websites, reduce battery life, and use up cellular data. According to the Basic Attention Token website, more than 50% of the average mobile data user is used on adverts and trackers.

Combining the BAT cryptocurrency with the Brave browser, users can be rewarded for seeing optional advertisements. Compare this to intrusive advertisements that interrupt you while watching videos or trying to explore a website.

instead of being annoyed by those intrusive advertisements, you can choose to see small ads and get paid for your time.

However, watching advertisements is not the only way you get Basic Attention. Even so, creators can accept tips at BAT. This will be very useful for YouTube creators especially those who have to deal with YouTube demonetizing their videos for seemingly arbitrary reasons.

Brave has a basic Basic Attention Token wallet and they have teamed up with Uphold to allow you to withdraw your token into whatever currency you want including GBP & USD.

How does Basic Attention Token work?

Advertisers pay BATs to publishers to run their ad campaigns, and users are given an award in BATs for viewing ads in the Brave browser.

User attention is measured in real-time in the Brave browser; valuation metrics applied to this concern that take into account advertising visibility, time spent on advertising, as well as the traditional cost-per-action model of user engagement, into account when gaining the value of attention.

BAT uses the concept of blockchain technology to increase the effectiveness of targeted advertisements (ad relevance is handled by a machine learning model that anonymously matches advertisements with user interests) without compromising user privacy (BAT only stores user’s personal data on devices they use in active Bold browsers) and to reduce fraud on behalf of advertisers.

Related: Click here to read more on blockchain technology.

The tokenomics of BAT

BAT tokens are well-distributed, in a sense 66.66% of the token supply are allocated to investors. The remaining 33.33% of BAT tokens are distributed as follows: 

  • 20% are allocated to the User Growth Pool, which is a treasury of sorts to help incentivise users to join the BAT ecosystem
  • 4.42% are allocated to the Developer Pool to compensate for their work on the technology.
  • 8.92% are allocated to the Development Pool to help fund future developments.

The total supply of BAT is 1.5 billion tokens, which were all pre-sold in an ICO in May 2017 to raise a total of 35 million USD.

What’s an ICO? Read more about it here.

What problem is the Basic Attention Token trying to solve?

To appreciate the usefulness of BAT, we need to learn about the value proposition of the Brave browser. 

Some of the most popular web services like Google and Facebook are free to use. Most of their revenue comes from advertisers. Advertisers pay these platforms in order to gain access to their aggregate user attention data and also to reach a wide range of audiences.

So, what do you “pay” in the grand scheme of things? In most of the websites that you visit, there are tracker codes (i.e. cookies and sessions) that keep track of how you spend your time on a given page. Most of these tracker codes are proprietary plugins owned by big data companies, like Google. 

A source code for a website
Google Tag Manager allows web owners to inject tracking codes into a web page.

Web owners then rely on software like Google Analytics to study the aggregate (and pseudonymous) user attention data to make better marketing decisions.

Advertisers pay Google Ads services to gain access to aggregate user attention data, also to make better advertising decisions.

So, while using web services is free, you are paying with your attention data. Some people think this is a fair exchange.

We don’t have to be paid to give away our data, and we don’t have to pay web services to use them. Ultimately, there is (supposedly) a zero sum value exchange between Internet users and advertisers.

Unfortunately, the latest headlines have proven that this business model is not sustainable. For example, the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal proved that user data can be misused for political agenda and much more. Privacy policy contracts will not cover the details of how data will be used.

Is there a blockchain-based social media? Read about Hive, a decentralised social media platform.

Does GDPR law stop data collection by big data companies?

You may have heard of the GDPR law that was passed by the European Union, which affects nearly all websites in the world (since they’d also be serving EU citizens). This law mandates websites to at least inform users that trackers are being used.

This does not completely stop websites from collecting data and serving ads. With the GDPR law, however, users can edit their cookie preferences — something that was far less common before the law was passed.

Data can be sold for cryptocurrency. Learn about the Ocean Protocol in this article.

Is Brave any better than other browsers?

What sets Brave apart from other browsers is that it is open source and privacy-centered. This means you can take a look at the smart contracts behind Brave Ads, and customise your browser even further to satisfy your privacy needs.

Of course, users who do not need as many restrictive privacy settings can earn more BAT tokens as they get more exposure to ads.

However, when they allow themselves to be found by the Brave Ads network, their data is not accessible by anyone other than the owners.

User attention data is kept internally in the users’ device, and the browser will in some sense pick the most appropriate ads based on an open-source algorithm.

Brave doesn’t really know what you like or dislike on the Web — the device-linked browser filters out the irrelevant adverts for you. 

Below, you can find the comparisons between Brave and other popular browsers in terms of security. Please note that this is taken from Brave’s official website and may be biased.

Table that compares Brave with other web browsers.
How secure is Brave compared with other web browsers? Source:

Takeaways on Basic Attention Token (BAT)

The main purpose of the token’s team is to create an advertising environment that is more transparent, fair, and secure. This allows advertisers to have a better insight into their ad campaigns, while minimising friction for publishers by reducing intermediaries when doing business.

For the end users, this provides an incentive for them to earn BAT tokens in exchange for offering their attention to the ads that are presented to them, while still maintaining privacy.

The Brave Software – the parent company of Brave browser and BAT, founded by Brendan Eich, creator of Javascript – sees that the digital advertising market is dominated by intermediaries who sometimes send advertisements containing viruses, commit many violations of user privacy, and track users across multiple devices.

The logo of Blockchain Attention Token (BAT) on pink background

This results in users using ad blocking software, but ad-blocking software has made a 66% loss in revenue over the past decade for publishers.

This makes publishers not compelled to create and promote quality content. But the team at BAT sees BAT, “and related technology as a future part of web standards, solving important problems in getting money from publisher content while protecting user privacy.”

BAT cuts intermediaries from publishing processing and, in turn, allows advertisers to pay publishers directly – increasing the percentage that publishers receive.

The BAT machine learning algorithm helps advertisers receive better data about their expenses and helps them launch more effective ad campaigns in the future. And BAT allows users to surf the internet safely while earning income from advertisements that attract their attention.

In this context, BAT may very well have the ability to alter the relationship between users, advertisers, and creators. This can truly revolutionise the way content creators are paid and the way users see advertisements.

How can you earn or buy Basic Attention Token (BAT)?

Here’s how a user can buy Basic Attention Token (BAT) through the Brave Browser:

  1. Download Brave Browser

    Please activate Brave Rewards too and use it the way you normally use your browser.

  2. Click on the BAT symbol

    To activate Brave Rewards, click on the BAT symbol at the end of the URL bar, then click on reward settings.

  3. Activate “Brave Reward”

    Once you reach the settings page, simply activate “Brave Reward” to on and you can start earning Basic Attention Token (BAT).

  4. Wait for notification

    Sometimes a notification will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen, this is an advertisement and you will be paid at the Basic Attention Token to click on the notification and view the advertiser’s website.

For publishers & creators: Become a Verified Brave Publisher and receive BAT tips from users who likes your content. To become a publisher you must create a Brave Rewards account.

Additionally, you can also buy BAT easily with Easy Crypto.

Basic Attention Token (BAT) is just one of over 160+ altcoins that we offer at Easy Crypto. Our collection consists of NFT tokens, Metaverse, DeFi, Stablecoin, and more.

Screenshot of Easy Crypto coinpage showcasing Basic Attention Token (BAT) and New Zealand Dollars (NZD) pairing.

Check the latest rates: Use our crypto converter tool to check the latest rates for BAT/NZD.

Screenshot of Easy Crypto converter tool for Basic Attention Token (BAT) to NZD.

Pro tip: you can preview the conversion rates for any crypto in our collection by going to our complete list of crypto assets.

Buy BAT: Click here Basic Attention Token (BAT) to your crypto portfolio.

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Feel free to reach out to us with any inquiries and questions you may have! We are always ready to help.

For more topics on all things crypto explore the articles on our learning hub at Easy Crypto.

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Disclaimer: Information is current as at the date of publication. This is general information only and is not intended to be advice. Crypto is volatile, carries risk and the value can go up and down. Past performance is not an indicator of future returns. Please do your own research.

Last updated July 3, 2023

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