Brave – A whiff of fresh air!

Have you heard of the Brave Browser? Well it is entirely different ecosystem founded by Brendan Eich of Mozilla fame which intends to bridge the current broken intrusive advertising model. Brave is very focused on improving the online experience, and this new token-based system called BAT (Basic Attention Token) has multiple benefits for users, advertisers, and online publishers. Integrating BAT with blockchain technology ensures user anonymity and fairness while using Ethereum gives them experienced support from a market leader in smart contract technology.

What is wrong with the current model and why Brave is a great idea?

When an user downloads a page it also downloads lots of other pieces of codes (tracking, re-targeting) through javascript. This actually slows your pages down, drains your battery life and increases your data charges. To top it off privacy takes a back seat. The growing unhappiness with this experience has caused many users to install ad-blockers. The increased adoption of ad-blockers, and the many middlemen that require payment (ad exchanges, audience segmentation platforms, tracking services), has led to lowered revenues for publishers. In addition, advertisers often don’t have a transparent view of their ROI. Data becomes unintelligible as it passes through multiple middlemen in the fragmented pipeline. Furthermore, analytics products that are provided by the advertising platforms (such as Facebook) are prone to principal-agent conflicts. The situation is pretty grim as it looks.

The Brave browser blocks all ads and JavaScript trackers out of the box. With ads removed, it provides an alternative replacement source of income for publishers through user donations. Users deposit money into their browser’s “wallets” and decide on a monthly budget for donations. The browser then anonymously tracks all sites visited by the user over the following month. It then divides the earmarked donation funds amongst the sites, in proportion to the amount of attention spent by the user on each of them.

Since the browser, and not an external JavaScript file, is doing the tracking, more accurate metrics can be collected. Attention is measured based on the browser’s active tab and the “incremental duration and pixels in view in proportion to relevant content”.

This system is currently operational. Publishers are receiving donations. Brave has shown that an alternative is possible, and made impressive progress towards it.

Donations alone cannot support publishers, however, and advertising is required in most cases. This brings us to the second part of Brave’s solution: the Basic Attention Token and the advertising economy.

The BAT is an ERC20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain. It is the unit of account in this new advertising ecosystem.

The flow of value in the Brave ecosystem begins with the advertiser. They send BAT tokens to the user’s browser. As the user views the ads, the received tokens become unlocked and are shared between them and the site publisher. Brave also receives a payment, which according to the team will never be larger than the amount received by the user.

Couple of great things happen here:
1) There is total transparency – value transferred between advertiser, user, publisher and brave….all on a public ledger.
2) User is remunerated for their attention towards the advertiser

This could give rise to a new economy….when users will passively accumulate BAT tokens as they browser the internet. They will use these tokens as a currency to buy subscriptions, play games, access premium content, etc.

The Brave team has a genuinely new take on the web advertising model. The browser is open-source and it’s internal operations transparent. The basic attention token crowd-sale happened on 31st May to raise a minimum of $4 Million but instead raised $36 Million in a mere 24 seconds.

Cheers to a brave new world!

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~ by digivine on June 8, 2017.

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