Cryptocurrencies, by their properties, are making their way into our lives. A good example of this statement is the Ethereum-based BAT token, which is the cornerstone of a potential new web advertising economy based on the Brave browser. We analyse here the value proposition of this system.
The Brave browser: when privacy comes first
Brave Software is a company founded by Brian Bondy and Brendan Eich, also co-founder of Mozilla. The developers of this project worked on top of the web browser Chromium, the free and open source version of Google Chrome, added some built-in privacy and payment features and named it Brave.
At a time when the most lucrative business of Internet giants is to sell your data, services such as Brave, Signal, or the development of confidential cryptocurrencies are about to meet a growing demand for privacy.
When using Brave, ads and trackers are blocked by default. The company points out that the user experience is therefore improved by a smoother and faster navigation because loading times are shorter, even if it is possible to achieve similar performance via ad blockers such as Ublock Origin, which do not require the installation of a dedicated browser. Months after months, new features are being added to Brave, such as the recent possibility of opening a TOR window with a single click.
When using Brave, ads and trackers are blocked by default
Finally, Brave is very similar to Chrome from which it results directly, and it is therefore possible to use most Chrome extensions.
BAT: get paid by watching ads
Apart from Brave’s privacy features, the real innovation is the integrated payment system called Brave Payments.
With a single click, a user can activate this system based on an ERC-20 Ethereum token, the Basic Attention Token. The user chooses the number of ads he/she will see per hour, from zero to five, which will be displayed on his/her screen as notifications. For each pop-up ad, the user is credited with 0.05 BAT, the equivalent of $0.015.
The user chooses the number of ads he/she will see per hour and is credited with 0.05 BAT for each pop-up ad.
If you believe that the value of the Basic Attention Token will increase in the future, you can also buy some BAT via the Premium services of Coinhouse. One of our advisors will guide you to know how many tokens you should have in your portfolio, depending on your risk profile.
For the moment, it is not possible to withdraw BAT tokens to another wallet, it is a feature that remains to be implemented. However, if the user wishes, he can set up a reward system for the sites he visits, and for example dedicate a portion of his BAT rewards in order to fund his favorite websites automatically.
BAT is also deploying a tip system integrated with the Brave browser. Recently, the teams announced an integration with the social network Reddit, very popular in the crypto community.
Brave’s teams have therefore sought to set up a new web advertising economy where money, in the form of BAT, flows more easily and quickly between users, content creators and advertisers.
Proposing a new model, a respectable but risky challenge
Attacking the online advertising market, Brave is a direct competitor of Google in this segment for which advertising management represents the main source of revenue. If Brave goes from an experimental project to a real threat to Google, it is likely that attempts will be made to nip the project in the bud.
Although we find the experiment interesting, we believe that the BAT is not especially a good long-term investment, as this payment token can easily be replaced by Bitcoin or DAI. Its main achievement for now was to raise $30 million in 30 seconds on May 31, 2017 for the project leaders, as well as incentivise early adopters. Moreover, the project is positioned as a direct competitor to an already established industry. Its success remains a challenge.