Digital advertising is broken. What started as a promising industry allowing marketers to provide value by targeting customers in better ways has turned into an industry of intermediaries controlling the most significant chunk of the market. Today, If you’re a marketer wanting to advertise a product or service, what are your options? If you’re running a digital campaign, you’d be hard pressed to reach your prospects without going through Google or Facebook.
Both of these companies were started by visionaries that wanted to deepen people’s connections through the internet. However, as Google dropped their initial “Don’t do evil” motto, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal illuminated Facebook’s darker side, we’ve been forced to reckon with digital behemoths who may not always have our best interest at heart.
The key factor that is lost on these platforms is privacy. Google has more data about you than you could ever gather about yourself. Their wide array of products and services track your every movement, and even incognito mode does not prevent you from being tracked completely. .
“Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn’t be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet.”Gary Kovacs
While the plethora of data available to marketers these days is very enticing, the entire digital marketing industry has come to rely upon Facebook and Google, with no other options. On top of this unprecedented level of centralization, a 2018 study found the advertising industry to be racked with fraud. According to Juniper Research, in 2018 alone, advertisers lost $19 billion to fraud as they paid for non-existent results.
Well aware of all the challenges digital advertising was facing, Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox, created an alternative: Brave. Brave leverages blockchain technology to improve the security, fairness and efficiency of digital advertising.
Brave is a privacy-focused browser that blocks trackers and invasive cookies, as well as all kinds of malware. Instead of keeping personal information from users, Brave tracks the way users interact with advertising content to improve their experience by serving better-suited ads. All the engagement data is anonymously and securely stored on the blockchain. This creates a win-win situation for advertisers and users alike. Advertisers have an opportunity to tailor ads more precisely, increasing the likelihood of conversions while users receive fewer, more targeted ads.
Basic Attention Token
The Basic Attention Token fuels the Brave Browser. As the name suggests, for Brave, it’s all about users attention. Attention is defined as mental engagement with digital content. BAT as the native currency of the browser is an ERC-20 token and designed to be exchanged between advertisers, publishers and users. As a utility token, BAT can be used to purchase premium content and access advertising services. Additionally, Brave rewards users with BAT for using the browser with monthly pay-outs. It’s not much, but which Browser will reward you for using it?
On top of that, the team indicates that user data is only be stored locally on their device, making it impossible for others to access that data. Lastly, Brave users can also use their BAT to tip content they enjoy. Once you start using the Brave browser, you’ll see a symbol below digital content where you can tip the content creator in BAT.
Allowing users to tip to digital content creators in BAT eliminates third-party involvement, maximising the amount creators receive in tips.
The idea of creating a user experience with fewer ads better targeted to users interests without sacrificing their privacy is in stark contrast with the paradigm exercised by the big platforms, Google and Facebook. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the Brave team decided to block the recent Google FLoC update in the browser. Google introduces this update to collect users’ internet browsing history and combine it into cohorts. While Google claims that this would improve users privacy, the initial rollout has proven otherwise. While some data collected is not unique to you as a person, they’re still collecting personal data and this shouldn’t be shared without your consent.
Another issue the Brave team sees with the newest Google Update is that by default, it’s activated for all users:
We suspect that Google has made FLoC opt-out (for sites and users) because Google knows that an opt-in, privacy harming system would likely never reach the scale needed to induce advertisers to use it.”Brave Executive (Source)
With an increasing number of users dissatisfied with big tech firms’ disregard for our privacy, it’s no surprise that the Brave Browser has been growing its active user base tremendously over the last few years. In June 2020, monthly active users were at 15 million, and in February this year, the number of monthly active users surpassed 25 million. This benefits the BAT token, which is directly tied to the success of the Browser.
With advertisers frustrated with the big monopolies and users more aware of privacy and the security of their data, Brave is well-positioned to continue its ongoing growth trajectory.
If you’re currently using Google Chrome and thinking of switching to Brave, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as the interface is very similar to your Chrome and you can use all the same ad-ons while escaping all the third-party invasive trackers and keeping your data safe.
BAT is now trading on the Bitcoin.com Exchange with USDT, BTC and ETH pairs.