Digital advertising is broken. The marketplace for online advertising, once dominated
by advertisers, publishers and users, has become overrun by “middleman” ad
exchanges, audience segmentation, complicated behavioral and cross-device user
tracking, and opaque cross-party sharing through data management platforms.
Users face unprecedented levels of malvertisements and privacy violations. Mobile
advertising results in as much as $23 per month in data charges on the average
user’s data plan, slow page loads, and as much as 21% less battery life. In response,
over 600 million mobile devices and desktops (globally) employ ad blocking software
and this number is growing. Traditional publishers have lost approximately
66% of their revenue over the past decade, adjusted for inflation. Publishers face
falling revenue, users feel increasingly violated, and advertisers’ ability to assess
effectiveness is diminished. The solution is a decentralized, transparent digital ad
exchange based on Blockchain. The first component is Brave, a fast, open source,
privacy-focused browser that blocks third party ads and trackers, and builds in a
ledger system that measures user attention to reward publishers accordingly. Brave
will now introduce BAT (Basic Attention Token), a token for a decentralized ad
exchange. It compensates the browser user for attention while protecting privacy.
BAT connects advertisers, publishers, and users and is denominated by relevant
user attention, while removing social and economic costs associated with existing
ad networks, e.g., fraud, privacy violations, and malvertising. BAT is a payment
system that rewards and protects the user while giving better conversion to advertisers
and higher yield to publishers. We see BAT and associated technologies
as a future part of web standards, solving the important problem of monetizing
publisher content while protecting user privacy.