Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the native crypto token of the famous Brave Browser. For you who don’t know, Brave Browser is a Chromium-based browser with a built-in ad-block technology. In its simple definition, Brave works similarly to Google Chrome but with an ad block extension.
However, with Brave browser, you don’t have to download any type of extension (such as Ad Block Plus or uBlock Origin). And of course, default ad-block technology on Brave is much superior compared to the same feature on Google Chrome.
Here’s the good part. Brave browser users can actually turn on Brave Rewards and enable Brave-approved ads on their system notification. Unlike Google Chrome where people don’t get anything when they see ads, Brave users are rewarded by Basic Attention Token (BAT) if they choose to see the ads.
Of course, the option to see ads on the Brave browser can be turned off, if the users only care about blocking all advertisements. Sounds cool, right? Let’s learn more about how the platform works and why Basic Attention Token (BAT) should or should not be part of your crypto investments.
Brave Browser and Basic Attention Token Summary
Brave Browser is designed as an alternative to Google Chrome with two main purposes. To block intrusive ads and to let its users claim their own data. Not only that, but Brave Browser also allows the users to be rewarded for their efforts of seeing ads (if they choose to do so).
Basically, Brave blocks all the intrusive ads that you typically see on the internet and replace them with their own non-intrusive ads that come through your operating system’s notification message.
And if the users agree to see these Brave ads for 2-5 times per hour, they will be rewarded. If they only want to use Brave Browser without any ads, they can do so as well. It’s just that they won’t be rewarded.
The good thing about Brave Browser is that it uses the Chromium engine. For your information, Chromium is the same engine that supplies the majority of source code for Google Chrome and the new Microsoft Edge (note: new Microsoft Edge will be released in 2020).
By using Chromium as its core engine, Brave core team is hoping that people will find it easy to convert from Chrome to Brave. Chrome extensions work just fine on Brave. Even people who don’t care about cryptocurrencies find Brave Browser as an attractive alternative to Chrome, as admitted by one of The Verge’s senior editors.
And how about the Ethereum-based token, Basic Attention Token? Well, BAT is the center of the Brave advertising ecosystem. In a simple definition, BAT is the foundation of the ad exchange marketplace in the Brave ecosystem. BAT connects different parties without any centralization aspect.
With BAT, publishers, users, and advertisers are all connected to one same platform. Both publishers and users who turned on their Brave Rewards program can make money by accepting BAT token. On the other hand, advertisers are charged with fiat currencies price, and the platform handles all the conversions to pay the publishers and the users with BAT.
The idea here is that users should be the “center” of the internet. All the other browsers that come prior to Brave Browser often ignore the importance of their users. Unlike Chrome or even other less popular browsers, Brave Browser respects internet ethics.
They believe that users should always be rewarded if they want to see ads, as they are the only reason why internet ads exist anyway. On Brave, third party trackers are also blocked by default.
And if the users activate their Brave Rewards program, they receive 70% of the ad revenue in the form of BAT token. Meanwhile, the remaining 30% goes to the BAT team.
The whole package of Brave Browser and BAT are quite interesting and important for the future of the web browser industry. By respecting users' privacy and internet ethics, Brave wants to revolutionize the digital advertising industry.
Analyzing BAT/Brave Team
Before you invest in a crypto token, you need to analyze who’s behind the project. Just like what we have been saying in our other investment-related articles, investing in one project is like investing in the team itself. Because the team has the biggest influence to decide the future of the project itself.
So, who’s behind Basic Attention Token and Brave Browser? Well, just like what we wrote above, the leader and CEO of the project is Brendan Eich. Brendan Eich is mostly known for his works with Mozilla Firefox. Yes, he is the co-founder of the Mozilla project and the famous web browser Mozilla Firefox.
The team, of course, is not only about Brendan Eich. The CTO of Brave software is Brian Bondy. Before Brian co-founded Brave, he was the software developer lead at Khan Academy. He was also the senior software engineer at Mozilla Firefox from 2011 to 2014.
Brian’s other achievements include Microsoft MVP for Visual C++ (2010-2011), top 0.1% of users on StackOverflow, and the founder of CodeFirefox. Very impressive background.
Other high profile members of the Brave team include Brian Clifton and Yan Zhu. Brian Clifton is the Director of Engineering at Brave, and previously, he was the software developer for GoDaddy.com. He also spent two years and five months working as a software developer for Intel.
Meanwhile, Yan Zhu is a Chief Information Security Officer of Brave. Earlier, she was the security engineer for Yahoo. Yan is one of the favorites among the Brave community, after her positive AMA session on reddit.
Of course, the Brave team has more high profile individuals outside the ones mentioned above. We can’t list everybody here, but basically, all the top positions are filled with people who have impressive records in the tech industry.
Investing in the future of Brave and BAT sounds like an easy choice after we analyze the team involved in the project.
BAT Future And Criticism
Based on Brave’s 2018 highlights, Brave passed more than 5.5 million monthly active users, and at the time they had more than 28,000 verified publishers. The Brave app itself has been downloaded for more than 10 million times on Google Play Store alone.
These impressive statistics should be enough to show you why Brave and its crypto token BAT have a really bright future. That being said, the future of cryptocurrencies are still somewhat “blur.”
Nobody knows for sure what will happen in the future. As Yan Zhu admitted herself on her AMA session, one of the hardest things is to convince both publishers and users to try Brave. Most people live in their own comfort zone and don’t want to bother to try new things. It won’t be easy to convince all the “casuals” to try Brave Browser, even after you tell them how awesome it is.
The biggest potential roadblock for Brave’s future is if Google Chrome “catches up” with Brave’s ad-block engine. As of now, Google’s default ad-block technology is still significantly inferior to the one on Brave. The Register reported that Chrome’s default ad block doesn’t even block adverts on 99% of the websites.
Imagine if Google steps up their game and have the same ability to block ads as good as Brave. In that case, most people will be even “lazier” to try Brave. The rewards in the form of BAT token also might not be enough to seduce them to try Brave, as many people don’t want to try new things if they believe what they have is already good enough.
But of course, this what-if scenario might not be that close to reality. Google still gets most of its revenues from ads. Obviously, they don’t want to sacrifice their own revenues. While Google always tries to be “cautious” with its ad filters, Brave has a much bolder approach in its ad blocking policies.
There’s another concern about the Brave/BAT project. It is mostly about the token distribution. Brave was funded through BAT initial coin offering (ICO) that took place on May 31st, 2017. At the time of the ICO, it was reported that five people booked half of the total token supply.
There were only 130 individuals who could participate in the ICO due to how fast the tokens got sold. Many people who wanted to join the ICO were left disappointed. They accused the BAT distribution was too “centralized,” and it was the representation of how the wealth of BAT funders are concentrated in the hands of the few.
Growth, Partnerships, And Adoption
Before you decide whether BAT is a good long-term investment or not, you should analyze the project’s growth, partnerships, and adoption. As we have mentioned earlier, the Brave Browser has been downloaded for more than 10 million times on Google Play Store alone. Brave also had more than 5.5 million monthly active users by January 2019.
And from publishers’ perspective, BAT has successfully attracted big mainstream publishers into its ecosystem. Several of the biggest names include NPR, Dow Jones, and The Guardian. The inclusion of these three big journalists prove that Brave takes everything seriously.
And from non-users adoption perspective, Brave has also been doing quite well. HTC blockchain-based phone called the Exodus announced that Brave would become its default web browser. The announcement was welcomed not just by Brave supporters but also by the whole crypto enthusiasts.
The Ability To Withdraw BAT From Brave Rewards
One another important thing to note is the ability to (finally) withdraw your BAT earnings from Brave Rewards. For so long, Brave users were unable to withdraw their earnings from viewing ads on Brave. Earlier, people who had turned on their Brave Rewards program were only able to collect BAT into their Uphold-managed crypto wallet.
However, things have changed recently. Now people who have verified their KYC with Uphold can withdraw their BAT earnings into their own crypto wallet. Of course, that also means they can convert their BAT earnings to other cryptocurrencies or even directly to fiat.
While this is good news but some skeptics believe this ability to withdraw BAT would actually “harm” the long-term growth of BAT price. When the Brave advertising ecosystem grows, and each user earns more with their Brave Rewards program, it is possible that many users would just “dump” their earned BATs, and thus, it would create pressure on BAT price in the crypto market.
This theory, however, is not proven yet. As of today, it doesn’t look like the ability to withdraw BAT affect BAT price that much in the crypto exchanges. After all, many Brave users are also BAT enthusiasts. They probably think the current price is still very low and they rather choose to hold.
External Factors on BAT Price
Talking about external factors that can affect the BAT price is also quite important. As we have mentioned in our other articles, the altcoin price is often at the mercy of Bitcoin. When Bitcoin goes up, generally altcoins go up as well. And when Bitcoin goes down, altcoins crash even harder.
The correlation between Bitcoin and altcoins is often inevitable. BAT, of course, is not an exception. Many people believe BAT will go up significantly if Bitcoin can break the $15,000 or $20,000 price resistance. If Bitcoin goes down next year, it’s quite possible for BAT price to go down as well.
This is where things get complicated. While BAT has strong fundamentals that support its own long-term growth, but Bitcoin price is still one of the most deciding factors that can “ruin” BAT price.
Basic Attention Token or BAT is one of the altcoins with strong future. Thanks to the impressive team profile and the amazing Brave browser, investing in BAT sounds like a very good deal. Despite some risks that can affect BAT price (such as Bitcoin price and other factors we have mentioned above), we believe BAT is one of the top crypto tokens that should be included in everybody’s portfolio.