What’s the difference between adToken and BAT?

Written by Hunter Gebron

Both adToken (ADT) and BAT (Basic Attention Token) leverage the Ethereum blockchain and provide solutions for the digital advertising ecosystem. However, they go about it in fundamentally different ways. The following article will provide a brief overview of the similarities and the differences between adToken and BAT.

The Brave Browser and BAT

Accessing Brave requires that you download the Brave Browser. Currently, the Brave browser blocks all ads and trackers while simultaneously anonymizing the user. In the future, Brave users will be able to opt-in to view ads (they will remain anonymous) in exchange for Basic Attention Tokens (BAT).

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) functions only within the Brave Browser. The basic idea of the BAT is to reward user attention for viewing ads and content directly. The Brave browser has built in algorithms that monitor the frequency and duration of the person viewing the content and ads and disperses BAT to publishers and advertisers based on this information on a pro-rata basis from the user’s BAT account — linked to their browser.

Conversely, advertisers and publishers can reward the users who engage with their content with BAT (we can compare this in familiar terms if we think of how reward points work). The Brave Browser and BAT aim to redefine how advertisers and publishers monetize their ad inventory and premium content, as well as, reward user engagement. This all takes place within the Brave Browser/BAT ecosystem.

The adChain Registry and adToken

adChain is the first decentrally owned whitelist for publisher domains. It creates a clean pool of supply for advertisers that wish to serve ads to non-fraudulent websites. adChain is also a browser-agnostic solution.

Publisher domains listed in the adChain whitelist are stored in a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain (which is analogous to them having a special ID card which signifies they are a part of this clean pool of supply). Advertisers will be able to check the “ID” of a website by cross-referencing the adChain smart contract to verify that the site they are serving ads to is indeed who they say they are. This solves a major issue in the digital advertising ecosystem called domain spoofing.

adChain uses a token called adToken (ADT). adToken is NOT a user attention token like the BAT. adToken’s purpose is for voting, depositing and challenging. adToken holders will vote on whether they believe a publisher’s website is fraudulent (has bot traffic) or non-fraudulent (has human traffic). The result of this vote determines whether a publisher’s website is admitted or rejected from the adChain Registry’s whitelist. The goal is to vote fraudulent websites out of the Registry and to vote non-fraudulent websites into the Registry. The Ethereum blockchain allows for this decentrally owned and open system to be fully auditable by all participants involved.

Advertising dollars fund every aspect of the advertising ecosystem. Advertisers want to serve ads to websites with real human users (not bots). The adChain whitelist is valuable to advertisers when it represents a clean pool of supply. When adChain is valuable for advertisers, publisher websites will desire to be listed, as they rely on ad revenue to stay in business.

adChain relies on adToken holders to clean up the digital advertising supply chain by providing advertisers with a cryptographically secure whitelist of premium non-fraudulent publisher domains with whom they can serve ads to. They are incentivized to do this because as the value of adChain increases, so too does the value of adToken.

Brave and adChain — Solving for the Same Problems

If digital advertising were a giant city, one could say that adChain is laying down cleaner more efficient pipes underneath the city which provide residents cheaper and safer utilities (‘residents’ being advertisers and publishers.) Brave, on the other hand, would be a zone in the city with its own zip code, a zip code that creates a radical new way for the residents within that district to transact with one another (receiving BAT for their attention). Because the adChain ‘pipes’ of clean supply underlay the entire cityscape, they can still deliver efficient utilities to the Brave zip code (ads served in the Brave browser can still be sourced from publishers in the adChain whitelist). Meaning that although adChain and Brave are different, they are compatible with one another and they both work to solve problems in the same environment.

Ultimately, we see adToken as complementary to BAT. We foresee use cases where adToken and BAT are coupled to provide an enhanced user experience that minimizes opportunities for fraud while protecting user privacy. We are also excited about the emergent design properties that both blockchain-based applications provide and we look forward to innovative solutions that intertwine BAT & ADT.

Written by Hunter Gebron