Basic Attention Token (BAT) is an ERC-20 token made to be used with the Brave web browser. From the beginning BAT has been in high demand, their ICO sold out in 30 seconds and netted a cool $35 million. To understand why the token is popular, and why its price has gone up 180% during a bear market, we have to look at BAT’s two primary uses cases.
Earn Money by Viewing Advertisements
The most popular use for BAT is as a payment method for viewing advertisements. While the Brave browser comes preinstalled with a powerful ad blocker, a user can elect to turn it off and view advertisements. By doing so they can earn BAT which is deposited into a wallet built into the Brave browser.
As of 2019 it’s projected that users can earn about $70 a year for viewing advertisements. A small sum however Brendan Eich, the CEO of Brave, has said that by 2020 users should be able to earn more than $200 a year. If that trend continues in several years people using the Brave browser are going to be earning a respectable amount of BAT.
Tipping Content Creators
The other use case for BAT is tipping content creators. Brave has claimed that as of October 2018 more than 10,000 content creators have signed up to receive BAT. Presumably that number has increased as the Brave browser has seen a huge spike in downloads recently.
Tipping content creators with BAT is easy and can be done directly through the browser, Twitter or even to individual Reddit users. In order to encourage tipping and onboard more users, people who download Brave can claim about $5 worth of free BAT.
Why BAT is Taking Off
At the time of publication the BAT token is up 180% since February. There are a couple of good reasons for this massive value spike. First, the TAP advertising platform has announced that they will accept BAT tokens at more than 250,000 of their brand partners. Those partners include everyone from Starbucks to Uber to the Hilton hotel chain. This is the kind of widespread adoption that is critical for the continued growth of cryptocurrency and BAT is leading the way.
Second, Brave was launched in January of 2016. Two and a half years later, in October of 2018, the browser hit the milestone of 10 million downloads from the Google Play Store. After that it took just six months to reach 20 million downloads. That shows a massive surge in popularity and helps to explain why the BAT token is going up in price.
Is BAT the Future?
While cryptocurrency is still fighting for mass adoption, Brave is becoming increasingly popular. HTC even made Brave the default browser on one of their new phones.
If this trend continues it’s possible that one day Brave and BAT will disrupt not only traditional web browsers but also the advertising models of companies like Google and Facebook. That would be an incredible feat and while it’s still too early to tell for sure, it looks like BAT and Brave just might pull it off.