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Brave: Changing the Online Advertisement Industry

The world of online advertisement is a messy one. Between fraudulent and intrusive ads, ad blockers, adblocker-blockers, etc., it’s pretty hard to understand what exactly is going on, or what needs fixing. One thing has always been clear though, that the end user is getting the worst part of it all.

Often times, users are either forced to deal with ads they don’t want to see which are intrusive, annoying and sometimes fraudulent. Even if they install an adblocker, many websites will not allow them to view the content if the user has an ad blocker which means that these apps end up being somewhat useless.

The worst part is that the end user is never rewarded for his time, attention and information when viewing ads and sharing browsing information with advertisers. These companies and the complicated web of unneeded middlemen keep all the profits and share none of them with you. In fact, users are paying to be bothered by ads that increase their bandwidth usage and slow down their internet.

However, there is a project that is working to solve this issue and to make internet advertisement more fair and transparent. This project is called Brave.

Founded by the creator of JavaScript and the co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox, Brave is being implemented in stages. First as an open source internet browser that blocks ads and allows users to make micro payments to websites based on how much they enjoy the website. This browser is already available.

While the Brave browser is a first step forward, this project has since evolved into more than just a browser. Brave is becoming an advanced ecosystem that can properly value user attention, a resource that has a high demand but that we are giving away for free so that corporations can profit.

In order to properly value attention, Brave will roll out a token that is linked to the underlying value of attention or mental engagement. This is an Ethereum-based token called the Basic Attention Token or BAT that will allow advertisers, publishers, and users to skip middlemen and interact in a new and efficient marketplace. The whitepaper reads:

“To improve the efficiency of digital advertising requires a new platform and unit of exchange.”

This token will go hand-in-hand with the Brave browser which can track monitor user attention as they view pages, content, ads, tabs and so forth in a private and anonymous manner. Through the information gathered, the browser will be able to reward users for their attention in a decentralized environment.

So how does it work? When the advertiser wants to place an ad, he sends a payment in BAT along with the ads to users in a locked state. As the users view the ads, the flow of payments unlocks. The Brave browser will receive part of the payment, and the wallet will maintain the rest, while also passing the publisher his shares.

And what does this achieve? By automating this process in a transparent and fair way, everyone wins. Advertisers can skip middlemen, meaning that publishers can be paid fairly for placement and that users can now be rewarded for their attention, something that never happened before. Although this system improves greatly on the current one, there is still a need to ensure that the BAT token can have other uses. The whitepaper reads:

“As users are given access to some of the advertising spend in BAT, they will become

an important and active part of the advertising and publishing economy, rather than

the passive participants they are presently treated as. While tokens can be donated to

individual content providers and publishers, there are any number of use cases for the

Tokens.”

These include, specific targeted advertising, payment for premium content, or for premium quality content (HD, etc), news alerts, comment and content ranking systems, in-game economy, and more. In the future, the BAT token may also be used to buy digital goods within the Brave ecosystem such as “high resolution photos, data services, or publisher applications”.

To learn more about Brave and the Basic Attention Token, visit the official websites:

https://brave.com

https://basicattentiontoken.org

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