Brave, a browser that eliminates unwanted ads to improve browsing speed, has launched a new blockchain-based digital advertising platform. It will use an Ethereum-based unit of exchange called the Basic Attention Token (BAT) to provide a more efficient and decentralized Internet advertising marketplace. BAT will create an online environment for publishers, advertisers, and users that will reduce fraud, privacy violations and “malvertisements”.
As Brendan Eich, founder, president and CEO of Brave, said: “The user deserves a share because their attention is being used up a little bit by ads. We’re working on better advertising that is truly private.”
BAT is capable of significant reformation of the ad-tech ecosystem as it can privately monitor and anonymously confirm user intention at the browser level and create rich metrics for user attention.
BAT also offers a nice option for users – they will be rewarded for their engagement that will be measured as viewed for content and ads only in the browser’s active tab in real time. The attention value for the ad will be calculated based on incremental duration and pixels in view in proportion to relevant content, prior to any direct engagement with the ad.
“The BAT is the token for remonetizing the user’s attention, including the user in a fair play system,” said Eich. “That (BAT) is what denominates attention in the sense of user engagement in a way that is not likely to be abused and rewards the users.” Users will opt in to participate in the system.
Eich calls BAT an “in-game currency,” a token on top of the Ethereum blockchain. “The game is user browsing Brave,” he said.
BAT will use local machine learning algorithms to match ads with users’ interests. The matching will be done personally on each device, without any signal out. When users choose to receive advertising, the Brave browser will monitor their attention without tracking. Thus, users will see fewer ads but only those that can be valuable for them.
The Brave browser offers a perfect solution for people who are tired of endless advertising that slows data connections and clogs web pages with tracking pixels, scripts and ads. One more advantage is that Brave does not track users’ online activity.
Traditionally, the Internet advertising ecosystem is overloaded by “middleman” ad exchanges, complex behavioral and cross-device user tracking, and opaque cross-party sharing through data management platforms.
“A host of third-party intermediaries evolved to help millions of publishers fill their ad spaces and make revenue to pay their journalists and writers,” Eich said. “Those intermediaries inevitably opened the door to too many hands taking a cut of the pie.”
As a result, current situation is unsatisfactory for advertisers who face poor reporting and targeting, publishers who lose revenue, and users who have lost their privacy, have to face increased malware risks, pay high charges to download trackers and ads, and suffer slow speeds. This all has resulted in the wide adoption of ad blocking software that is now on over 600 million mobile devices and desktops.