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How BAT fuels a fairer advertising ecosystem

Digital advertising is broken. What started as a promising industry allowing marketers to provide value by targeting customers in better ways has turned into an industry full of intermediaries controlling the most significant chunk of the market. If you were a marketer wanting to advertise your product, where would you go? The answer is most likely Google, maybe Facebook, for ads on Social Media.

Both of them started with visionaries behind them that wanted to create products for people to connect and find what they’re looking for. However, it’s pretty telling that Google dropped their initial “Don’t do evil” motto, and latest since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, we’re all well-aware that Facebook isn’t always pursuing noble goals.

What gets lost on these platforms is our privacy. Google knows you sometimes better than you know yourself. They have a record of what you googled last year at this exact moment giving them a fair idea of what was going on in your life. And if you thought using incognito mode would somehow be a better option, you will be disappointed to learn that it’s still not preventing you from being tracked completely.

“Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn’t be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet.” Gary Kovacs

While it looks like a dream come true for marketers to have such an abundant amount of data on possible audiences, they see themselves confronted with either one of the big companies: Facebook or Google, with no other options. On top of that, the advertising industry is full of fraud. According to Juniper Research, in 2018 alone, advertisers lost $19 billion to advertising fraud as they paid for non-existent results.

Brave

Well aware of all the challenges digital advertising was facing, Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox, created an alternative: Brave. Brave aims to improve the security, fairness and efficiency of digital advertising by using blockchain technology.

Brave is a privacy-focused browser blocking trackers as well as invasive cookies and malware. Instead of keeping all kinds of personal information of users, Brave tracks the way users interact with advertising content to improve their experience by serving better-suited ads. All the engagement data is anonymously and securely stored on the blockchain. This creates a win-win situation for advertisers and users alike. Advertisers have an opportunity to tailor ads more precisely, increasing the likelihood of conversion while users receive less but more targeted ads.

Basic Attention Token

The Basic Attention Token fuels the Brave Browser. As the name suggests, for Brave, it’s all about users attention. Attention is defined as mental engagement with digital content. BAT as the native currency is an ERC-20 token and designed to be exchanged between advertisers, publishers and users. As a utility token, BAT can be used to purchase premium content and access advertising services. Additionally, Brave rewards users with BAT for using the browser with monthly pay-outs. It’s not much, but which Browser will reward you for using it?

On top of that, the team indicates that user data is only be stored locally on their device, making it impossible for others to access that data. Lastly, Brave users can also use their BAT to tip content they enjoy. Once you start using the Brave browser, you’ll see a symbol below digital content where you can tip the content creator in BAT.

Source

Allowing users to tip to digital content creators in BAT eliminates third-party involvement, maximising the amount creators receive in tips.

The idea of creating a user experience with fewer ads better targeted to users interests without sacrificing their privacy is in start contrast with the paradigm exercised by the big platforms, namely Google and Facebook. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the Brave team decided to block the recent Google FLoC update. Google introduces this update to collect users' internet browsing history and combine it into cohorts. While Google claims that this would improve users privacy, they might be having a wrong idea of privacy. While some things are not unique to you as a person, they’re still personal and shouldn’t be shared without your consent.

Another issue the Brave team sees with the newest Google Update is that by default, it’s activated for all users:

We suspect that Google has made FLoC opt-out (for sites and users) because Google knows that an opt-in, privacy harming system would likely never reach the scale needed to induce advertisers to use it.” (Source)

With an increasing number of users dissatisfied with big techs ignorance for our privacy, it’s no surprise that the Brave Browser has been growing its active user base tremendously over the last few years. In June 2020, monthly active users were at 15 million, and in February this year, the number of monthly active users already surpassed 25 million. This benefits the BAT token, which is directly tied to the success of the Browser.

With advertisers frustrated from having to deal with the big monopolies, or maybe even having themselves ethical considerations regarding privacy, and users more aware of privacy and the security of their data, it looks as if Brave is very well-positioned to continue its ongoing growth trajectory.

If you’re currently using Google Chrome and thinking of switching to Brave, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as the interface is very similar to your Chrome and you can use all the same ad-ons while escaping all the third-party invasive trackers and keeping your data safe.

To learn more about BAT, visit their website and download the browser to give it a try.

BAT is now trading on the Bitcoin.com Exchange with USDT, BTC and ETH pairs.

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Naomi Oba

Naomi Oba

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Writer in Crypto — passionate about financial education, blockchain, books, and food.