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Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum blockchain which is used to support a new type of internet browser called ‘Brave’. Brave is a fast, open source, privacy-focused browser that blocks malvertisements, trackers, and contains a ledger system that anonymously captures user attention to accurately reward publishers.
The Brave browser knows where users spend their time through a form of analytics, and uses this data to calculate and reward publishers with BATs. Users viewing ads will be rewarded with BATs. BATs can be used for premium content or services on the Brave platform.
What make the Basic Attention Token interesting is that the topics of user control over their browsing experience and the way attention and interaction is measured in digital advertising is very much at the forefront of digital marketing. With cookie regulations and user controls over content (privacy, ad-blocking etc) increasing, the pressure is on advertisers and publishers to find a way to maintain access to users for the purposes of advertising.
Basic Attention Tokens (BATs) and the Brave browser could solve this problem. Publishers are rewarded for the attention received by content placement, users are rewarded for giving attention to content, and advertisers benefit from more measurable engagement. What will be interesting, is how the Basic Attention Token and Brave community work with publishers and advertisers to define attention. The old days of ‘Cost per impressions’ are long behind us; but ‘Cost per Click’ could be the next to go owing to the ease with which this can be manipulated by Malware.
Viewability is a concept that has been around for a few years. In considers the amount of time that a specific piece of content is within the viewport of a browser. For example, it can detect whether an ad was scrolled past and quickly went out of the users view, or whether the user stopped, dwelled, and paid attention to it. If this is the type of behaviour that will be measured and rewarded with the Basic Attention Token, then it will surely revolutionise the digital advertising community.
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