Basic Attention Token

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Basic Attention Token
622px-Basic Attention Token Icon.png
Founded 2017
Key People Brandon Eich, CEO and Co-Founder
Products Token used with Brave browser
Twitter @BAT_Community
Website Basic Attention Token Home
Blog BAT blog

The Basic Attention Token, BAT, was issued by Brave Software in an initial coin offering (ICO) on May 31, 2017. By raising $35 million it became the largest ICO at that time. It was fully subscribed within 30 seconds of the start of the offering.[1] BAT is based on the Ethereum platform.[2]

Brave Software was co-founded by Brandon Eich, a co-founder and former CEO of the Mozilla Foundation, the not-for-profit company that developed and maintains the Firefox browser. Like Firefox, Brave is committed to using open source software. [3]

BATs function as the payment token for the Brave browser, an alternative web browser that scrubs sites of third-party advertising and replaces it with sponsored advertising for display to registered Brave users. Brave users earn BATs, which can then be used to purchase premium content or enhanced features.[4]

Lawyers representing 1700 newspapers and other publications sent Brave Software a cease-and-desist letter in April 2016 threatening legal action if the Brave browser did indeed commence to remove advertising from newspaper sites. "Your plan to use our content to sell your advertising is indistinguishable from a plan to steal our content to publish on your own website," they wrote.[5]

According to a video provided on the BAT website, in 2018 Eich foresaw a staged development for Brave. In the then current first stage, Brave would simply block ads on websites that browser users loaded and it would continue to develop the automated ledger system that would measure and record user engagement with sites. The second phase would involve the implementation of an advertising exchange the currency for which would be BAT. Advertisers would pay publishers with BATs and reward viewers with BATs. In a third phase, this form of rewarding viewers and publishers, in Eich's view, would dominate the economics of web advertising.[6]

In March 2018 the Washington Post joined two other media outlets, The Guardian and Vice, to accept payments in BAT tokens.[7] On April 18, 2018 Dow Jones Media Group announced that it was working with Brave Software, the team behind the Brave browser, to use BATs in testing the browser's platform for digital advertising and media publication. The tests will be used on several of the Dow Jones brands, including Barron’s, the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch.[8]

Coinbase, the digital wallet and exchange company, began supporting the BAT token on November 2, 2018, on its Coinbase Pro platform.[9] According to data reported by CoinMarketCap, a cryptocurrency industry data service, BAT was the 33rd most actively traded coin for the month prior to November 5, 2018.[10]

In July 2015, the Brave partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini so that Brave users could buy, sell, store, and trade cryptocurrency within the browser.[11]