CryptoZone Token Watch - BAT (Basic Attention Token) and the Brave Browser

The cryptocurrency revolution has its foundations in the idea that the rights and liberties of the individual is greater than the profits of business.

For those that got involved in cryptocurrencies early on, they're likely to be very aware that this

whole thing began with a question and a quest, can money and an economy function without the banks and middlemen that control the game and without fiat currencies and the governments that manipulate it?  Enter bitcoin and a host of other tokens.

But, in today's connected and digital world, there are other institutions that exist that aren't banks and governments but still exert a great deal of control over the individual.  Perhaps more control than most people realize.  Institutions like Google and Facebook.  Enter Basic Attention Token (BAT) and their Brave browser.

As the owner of a digital marketing agency, it may seem very odd that I would be a proponent and advocate for a project that's intended to disrupt the very industry that I operate in.  But I also recognize, as an insider for well over a decade, that the digital advertising ecosystem is broken.

For years and in several presentations I've giving over the years, I've pointed out that the real online economy is not eCommerce or the widgets that Amazon sells.  It's the data that you create every moment your online.  Data that gets aggregated, packaged and sold on a daily basis.  The real commodity online is the end user, the individual and their data.

From the moment you connect, everything you do is tracked, in fact, even the things you don't do online is tracked including your mouse movements.

The Solution?

While I cannot say that the Brave browser and the Basic Attention Token (BAT) is going to be THE solution.  I can't predict the future.  But, at least BAT is taking on three legs of the digital stool.

  1. A broken and inefficient ecosystem for businesses and advertisers
  2. The ability to reward content creators to encourage quality over quantity
  3. Respecting the end user and allow them to have greater control over their data and the be compensated for use of their data.

BAT is, buy no means, a simple project and the length of their whitepaper shows that.  But you can get a good overview of the project on their official Reddit here.

So the first thing that needs to be addressed upfront is that of habit.  Yes, habit.  It's going to mean a change in habit of how people go online and that they can take an active role in how they browse and how they protect their personal data.  But, the increasing use of VPNs and ad-blockers, it's evident that this interest already exists for many.  Also the fact that "incognito" modes have been built into browsers like Chrome and Firefox also indicates that the need for greater online privacy protections are needed.  But options like VPNs, ad-blockers and incognito browsers create an all or nothing sort of situation.  The Brave browser does one better by giving the user the option to exchange their data in return for compensation.

With frequent news of hacks on major browsers, I think the motivation for adoption is greater and greater all the time since data breaches and hacks are becoming a frequent news item.

I was having a conversation about Brave with a well respected figure in the digital space recently and the concept of reciprocity came up.  There is a "bargain" created between a platform owner such as Google or Facebook and the end user.  That deal is that the user gets to use the platform for free in return for their data.  But, I'm not so sure that this is a win-win situation and I certainly can't say that the average user understands what they're giving up in exchange for the service.  

But here again, even this simple reciprocity is compromised when VPNs and ad-blockers get introduced.  So is transparency preferred over assumed agreements?  Is the better option for service providers to offer a transparent agreements where the end user is fully aware of the agreement and is given some level of control?  It's an interesting question.

The end User (You)

The right to be compensated, in BAT, for the data that is generated by your online activity, or not to release any of your data.  But then, of course, No BAT for you!  You can also use your earned BAT to reward content publishers for good content.  Think of a STEEM sort of situation.

The Business/Advertiser

More efficiency in ad spend and better advertising results by showing ads to the most relevant audiences that have opted-in.  Ad blindness has been a challenge of digital adverting for awhile now.  This could create a situation where ad quality wins over ad quantity.

Content Creators

Blog owners, You Tube channel owners and website owners can participate in this new ecosystem by focusing on quality content rather than quantity of content.  Better content can also result in additional reward by the end user via BAT.  Content creators can apply now to become a verified publisher and be eligible for rewards. The weekly Reddit update is already reporting on You Tube channel owners earning BAT rewards from their viewers.

All of this is to say, I'm certainly watching BAT/Brave to make some big in-roads into the space and will be an advocate of the project as well as an investor or the token.


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