The Basic Attention Token (BAT): The Future of Online Advertising?

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Disclaimer: The information provided in the following article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice nor does it reflect the views of Arcitech Pty Ltd.

2017 has been a monumental year for cryptocurrencies. Their skyrocketing value has edged them closer towards a trillion-dollar market cap and has seen the emergence of fascinating new decentralised blockchain based projects. The question remains as to what lies ahead, and most importantly, what projects are going to have a real impact?

The BAT (Basic Attention Token):

One project of interest is the BAT or Basic Attention Token which aims to revolutionise the future of online advertising. Traditionally online advertising has been dominated by internet giants by the likes of Facebook and Google. However, according the project’s whitepaper the current system can be flawed due to the large chunks of revenue taken by fees, high potential for ‘click-fraud’ and at times suboptimal outcomes for advertisers. This is not to mention the intrusive nature of online advertising for users, driving the use of adblockers resulting in diminishing publisher revenue and advertiser reach. BAT aims to revitalise the industry by ‘eliminating the middleman’ and, if successful, could disrupt the digital advertising landscape.

How it Works:

The following diagram illustrates the relationships between the three pillars of ‘User’, ‘Advertiser’ and ‘Publisher’. The BAT token is transferred via the Ethereum blockchain and can be thought of as the ‘fuel’ that powers the system and eliminates any need for a middleman.

Basic Attention Token Plan


Users browse the internet using the specialised ‘Brave’ browser which can track a user’s attention whilst still maintaining their anonymity. Publishers who serve ads are then rewarded with BAT tokens, based on how users engage with their content. Most interestingly, users themselves are also rewarded with BAT tokens, which presumably seeks to incentivise its use. The system also employs Artificial Intelligence techniques to individually tailor advertising to its users. This results in better outcomes for advertisers and a more relevant experience for users that also maintains privacy.

The project is no doubt highly ambitious, but with its high profile team could have a real chance at success. The project is lead most notably Brendan Eich, the creator of Javascript and cofounder of Mozilla and Firefox.

For these reasons, the BAT project will certainly be one to watch in 2018.

For more information, view the full whitepaper here: or let us know your take on the BAT project down below.

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