METHODOLOGY

For a full description of our methodology, please click here.

Basic Attention Token Digital Asset Report: BAT Review And Investment Grade
B

DARE: Digital Asset Report & Evaluation

A standardized, dynamic approach to evaluating blockchain-based projects and identifying long-term value and potential in the associated crypto-assets.

Market Opportunity
8
Ecosystem Structure
7
Token Economy
8
Token Performance
5
Core Team
8
Underlying Technology
7
Roadmap Progress
9

SUMMARY

BAT is a unique digital advertising platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. The project enhances the efficiency of digital advertising, blocking ads and trackers.

The team behind BAT is very strong and has highly relevant experience. Moreover, the BAT ecosystem is very active, that is, the project has a wide network of users, publishers, advertisers, and partners.

The token economics are also solid, and the roadmap is detailed and transparent.

In addition, the main catalyst for the further growth of the project could be the full launch of the platform this year.

The team has substantial opportunities to dominate the advertising market given its competition from emerging blockchain projects. Moreover, BAT can also bite off a piece of the market from companies in the traditional industry.

However, there is a potential scalability problem, which can slow down the development of the project in the long-term. If this issue is not solved, then the project could lose its competitive advantage.

Due to the risks associated with the project, Basic Attention Token is graded B.

Basic Attention Token Digital Asset Report: Introduction

BAT is a blockchain-based digital advertising platform that improves the efficiency of digital advertising, while blocking malvertisements (ads that install malware) and trackers. This platform improves communications between advertisers, publishers, and users. Advertisers pay publishers for services and users for attention with BAT tokens.

BAT is an open source, transparent, decentralized and efficient project that was first to develop a digital advertising platform in the blockchain industry. In addition, the team behind the BAT project is very strong. It has established a wide network of users, advertisers, and publishers, and is working on expanding partnerships. This project has a good token economy and an active ecosystem that makes BAT competitive in the market.

Nevertheless, there is one drawback that may become a serious obstacle to the further development of the ecosystem. BAT is currently dependent on the throughput capacity of Ethereum. This means that with an increase in the number of transactions in the BAT network, the load on the Ethereum network will increase.

Consequently, when the peak is reached, the Ethereum network will not be able to process the huge number of transactions, therefore, the BAT network will begin to slow down too.

Another drawback of the BAT project is a well-expressed centralization of power, which reduces its attractiveness. Together, these two factors can lead to a slower expansion of the project in the long-term.

In general, BAT has good chances to remain a key player in the digital advertising industry in the short-term. However, it is necessary to resolve the mentioned problems, otherwise, its rivals will be able to push it out of the market in the long-term. 


Part One: The Business Case

Basic Attention Token Market Opportunities

The BAT team believes that digital advertising does not work effectively and there are a number of reasons for this.

For instance, over 600 million phones and desktops run ad-blocking because the amount of advertising on the network is huge. Moreover, the quality of advertising can be questionable and even harmful to devices. In addition, advertising slows down the speed of the devices and reduces the battery life of phones.

Not only are the users unhappy, but publishers and advertisers are unsatisfied as well: publishers lose profit, while advertisers have low efficiency of targeted advertising.

The main participants in the digital advertising market are Google and Facebook, which cover about 40% of the market.

In 2018, the size of the digital advertising market amounted to $266 billion, and it is expected to reach $518 billion in 2023.

Digital advertising consists of several types: banner, video, search, social media advertising and classifieds.

 

Net Digital Ad Revenue Share Worldwide by Company

 

Despite the presence of these two giants, BAT can find a niche because it addresses the pain points discussed above.


Competition in the Blockchain Space

BAT competition in the blockchain space

AdEx is focused on digital video advertising, while BAT intends to cover all kinds of digital advertising. In addition, BAT has many advantages over AdEx: users are more incentivized to participate in the ecosystem development, large network of partners, users, publishers and advertisers, and a better token economy.

Another representative of companies in the digital advertising industry is adChain. But it is considered as a complement to BAT. The main goal of adChain is to create a list of non-fraudulent websites where advertisers can easily place their ads. In order to enter this list, the community must vote for the fact that the publisher is not a fraud. adChain solves a specific problem related to the transparency of the work of publishers, and this, in turn, can improve the work of BAT. Therefore, these two projects should not be considered as competitors, but as complementary to each other.

A direct competitor to BAT is DATA, a blockchain based digital data authentication protocol powered by AI & P2P mobile storage infrastructure. Despite the fact that DATA can make good competition, BAT is a more promising project.

DATA is built on Tendermint,and this project is more advanced in terms of technology. However, the BAT ecosystem is more active and it serves more than 5.5 million active users monthly and 28,000 verified publishers. Also,  BAT is able to cover a larger part of the market than DATA because the Brave browser can be used by both mobile and PC users. The BAT project is better known in the blockchain space, has a wide base of users and partners, has a good token economy, and it is more attractive in the long-term.

In addition, there are social media and blogging platform projects, for example, Steem.  Many dApps have been developed on this blockchain.

Steemit enables publishers to publish their content and receive tokens if the community votes for the content.

DTube rewards video creators for their content (a replacement for YouTube).

Dlive rewards live streamers (a replacement for Twitch). There are also other dApps developed on the Steem blockchain, which can compete with BAT.

Since Steem has better technology and has no transaction fees, its dApps can look more attractive than the BAT platform. However, BAT and Steem can cooperate, which could stimulate development.

NVT Comparison

Since NVT values are not available to competitors of BAT, a comparison was made with Ethereum and Tron. Most of the rivals are built on the Ethereum network, therefore, this blockchain was chosen. Tron, in turn, is the most similar platform of dApps to Steem. As seen in the figure below BAT transactions are overvalued a little. This is because the community expects the successful launch of the BAT platform.

 

BAT NVT Comparison

 

The main competitors in the traditional sphere – Google, Facebook, and Baidu. Google is a search engine company, Facebook – an online social media and social networking services company, which make most of its revenue from digital advertising. Baidu – is a Chinese search engine company also specializing in AI and digital distribution services. BAT intends to compete with these giants.


Competition in the Traditional Space

BAT competition in the traditional space

 

The BAT project poses a threat to Google and Facebook because the Brave browser blocks ads and trackers. This reduces the number of ad views in Google and Facebook and reduces their profits. In addition, the Brave browser runs 3-7 times faster compared to Chrome on Android, more on iOS, and ~2 times on laptop. Chrome utilizes only a cosmetic advertising filter, which is not comparable with the BAT technology.

BAT can also take market share from Baidu, which owns the mobile advertising platform called “DU Ad Platform”. Firstly, Brave users can simply block ads, which will reduce the efficiency of the Baidu platform. Secondly, users of the BAT ecosystem are more interested in viewing ads than the clients of the Baidu platform. 

Despite the fact that Google and Facebook have huge financial, technological and human resources, BAT has the opportunity to cover part of the digital advertising market.

The BAT project is one of the first to develop a digital advertising exchange platform based on blockchain technology. There are few competitors in this sphere, which can create serious threats to BAT, but, nevertheless, it is necessary to work on improving the technology, since BAT’s efficiency depends on the Ethereum network.


Ecosystem Development

The BAT platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain and utilizes the PoW consensus algorithm. As a result, its functionality depends on the work of Ethereum and has a limited throughput capacity, which may adversely affect the development of the ecosystem in the future.

In general, the project ecosystem is developing very rapidly compared to its rivals. The main company involved in the development of BAT is Brave Software Inc. The team has significantly increased the client base and expanded the partnerships, which distinguishes it among other projects. A centralization of power is observed in the project ecosystem, but most likely, the platform will become more decentralized over time.

The main two components of the BAT platform are the Brave browser and the BAT token. The BAT token is built on the Ethereum network; therefore, the BAT project has no own nodes that support the BAT network. The graph below shows that most of the Ethereum nodes on which it relies are located in the USA, China, and Canada, which are about 77% of all nodes in the network.


Node Distribution (Ethereum)

Ethereum node distribution

 

The following graph shows the hash rate distribution among mining pools. The first pool, Ethermine, has 25.7% of the computing power of the entire network, Sparkpool – 22.5%, Nanopool – 13.5%, f2pool2 – 10.3%, miningpoolhub1 – 6.3%. In total, this is 78.3% of the total computing power of the network.

This shows that the Ethereum network is subject to centralization of computing power, therefore, it may be vulnerable to attacks, although research by ConsenSys suggests otherwise. If Ethereum IS vulnerable, the functioning of the BAT token might also be disrupted.

 

Top Ethereum Miners

 

In addition, the centralization of power is manifested within the BAT ecosystem itself. To verify this fact, it is enough to look at the distribution of tokens among top wallets.  It can be seen that there is a weakly-expressed centralization of power, although to a lesser extent than most of its competitors.

 

Basic Attention Token rich wallets

 

If we analyze the wallets in detail, we can see that the first wallet is the User Growth Pool Reserve. This wallet has a purpose for the project and it is not the property of one holder. The next two wallets belong to two major exchanges, therefore, it is normal that they have such large amounts of tokens. It’s even good that there are such volumes on the exchanges, which indicates the interest in this token. Thus, it turns out that the seven first wallets control only 13.7% and this is much less than the overall top 10 figure of 49.6%,  and indicates a somewhat weaker manifestation of centralization.

If we analyze the top-100 wallets, we discover that in addition to 18% of tokens reserved in the pool for users, another 0.55% are locked up for the team. Furthermore, 6 exchanges control about 20.8% of all tokens, and only 40.3% of tokens remain, which are controlled by 90 wallets. This shows that there is the centralization of power to some extent, but it is not as significant as at first glance.

If we compare BAT with its competitors, we can see the following token distribution by top-10 wallets:

AdEx – 75% (31% – exchanges; 44% – holders)

AdToken – 90% (38% – exchanges; 52% – holders)

DATA – 82% (50% – exchanges; 30% – locked for the team, 2% – holders)

Steem – 22% (21% – exchanges).

The centralization of power in the BAT ecosystem is comparatively lower than that of its competitors, except for Steem. Most likely, with the growth of the community and the number of active users, the User Growth Pool Reserve will be fully distributed among users. That is, that 18% of tokens will be owned by a large number of users. Consequently, the top-10 wallets will contain 18% fewer tokens. This, in turn, will lead to a decrease in the centralization of power in the BAT ecosystem.

The ecosystem development mainly depends on the activity of the Brave Software company. This is the only participant in the BAT ecosystem that makes management decisions. That is also indicative of centralization.

Financing of their activities is carried out at the expense of tokens collected during the Token Sale (156,250 ETH or ~$35 million).

In addition, the Brave browser will charge 15% of the advertiser’s payment, which pays publishers (70% of the total) for placing ads and users (15% of the total) for viewing ads. Thus, the team will have a permanent source of funding for the development of the BAT ecosystem.

If we open the GitHub of the BAT project, we can see that it’s not only the BAT team working on the project. There are external developers who help to develop the technology.

The main participants in the ecosystem are advertisers, publishers, and users. This digital advertising platform allows advertisers to increase the efficiency of an advertising campaign, publishers – to increase profits, users – to receive rewards for viewing ads and then utilize tokens in various ways.

The team is working hard on expanding the user base, as can be seen from the graph below. The number of active users increased from 1 million to 5.5 million during 2018, meanwhile, the number of verified publishers increased 11.2 times from 2,500 to 28,000. The team is successfully working on the development of the BAT ecosystem.

 

BAT Community Growth


Partnerships

BAT partnerships

 

These companies help to increase the number of active users, extend the functionality of the BAT platform, allow users to instantly exchange fiat money for BAT tokens and more. This allows BAT to maintain its competitiveness and to cover a larger share of the digital advertising market.

As a result of the rapid growth of the BAT ecosystem, it has become significantly dominant over its competitors in terms of community size and network activity, as shown in the table below.

Basic Attention Token community involvement

 

The BAT ecosystem is much more active compared to its competitors. For example, the BAT project has stronger support from the community, while its rivals have a low amount of followers in the social networks. As a result, the number of active addresses in the BAT network is significantly higher than these values for AdEx, AdToken, and DATA (the data is not available for Steem).

However, more transactions per day are  carried out on the Steem blockchain. Steem has a more advanced technology that can process more and faster transactions. Since BAT is built on the Ethereum network, it is difficult to scale to such volumes. The entire network of Ethereum serves 554,180 transactions per day at the moment. This highlights the drawback of BAT when compared to Steem, but if we talk about its direct competitors such as AdEx, AdToken, DATA, then these projects have almost no active users, therefore, almost no transactions are carried out on their networks.

In general, the BAT ecosystem is growing fast, has active users and wide community. The BAT project has more chances to be adopted worldwide as a digital advertising platform than its competitors do.

Basic Attention Token Economics

BAT is an ERC20 token built on top of Ethereum. The token is used as a unit of exchange in a decentralized, open source and efficient blockchain-based digital advertising platform.

Reward – as soon as the BAT platform is fully developed, publishers will start receiving 70% of the ad revenue, users – 15% for the attention attached to viewing ads, and Brave will receive the remaining 15%.

Fees – the transaction fees encourage miners of the Ethereum network to mine and confirm the relevant transactions. The size of the transaction fees depends on the Ethereum network and fees are paid in GAS. The same situation is also observed among competitors except for Steem and DATA: Steem has no transaction fees; the gas fee in DATA ecosystem will be similar to Ethereum ecosystem.

Overall, the transaction fees in the BAT ecosystem depend on  the workload of the Ethereum network. This leads to the fact that BAT transaction costs can be more expensive than the actual value of the transaction itself.

Speculation – BAT is traded on many of the popular crypto-exchanges.

Payment – to stimulate the development of the BAT ecosystem, the team intends to provide many applications of the token. In this case, the user will have more choices how to use tokens. First, BAT will encourage publishers for placing ads and users for the attention, and then, the team will expand the range of the token use. That is, users will be able not only receive rewards for attention and donate tokens to publishers, but also receive other services:

– Premium content subscriptions.

– High-quality content (video or audio on an entertainment channel, news) may also be offered to users.

– Comments may be ranked using BAT tokens.

– BAT may be used within the Brave ecosystem to purchase digital goods such as high-resolution photos, data services, or publisher applications which are only needed on a one-time basis.

Overall, BAT services will go beyond the boundaries of digital advertising platform and, as a result, will attract more users.

The BAT team held the Token Sale on May 31, 2017 and collected 156,250 ETH (~$35 million) in less than 30 seconds. The BAT project also received another $7 million from various venture capital firms (Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital, etc.). The token distribution looks as follows:

– Tokens for Token Sale: 1 billion.

– User Growth Pool: 300 million.

– BAT Development Pool: 200 million.

The BAT project allocated 20% of all its tokens to encourage and stimulate the development of the platform, which shows the interest of the team in the successful launch of the project. Overall, the User Growth Pool is used to incentivize users to utilize the platform.

When installing the Brave browser, the user receives 35 BAT, which can be used only within the BAT ecosystem. If these tokens are not used within 6 months, they will be returned back to the User Growth Pool and may be accrued by another new user. Existing users can also receive tokens from this pool if they update the application or verify phone number. After using all the tokens from the pool, the team does not intend to issue new ones.

The team intends to use all other financial resources for development, marketing, operations and other expenses:

BAT Development – 58% – to develop the existing Brave browser technology.

Contingency – 7% – for unforeseen costs.

Marketing – 12% – to expand awareness and adoption of the Brave browser and the BAT solution among the targeted audience, to grow the BAT community.

Contractors – 13% – to third-party providers for marketing, PR, engineering and other purposes.

Administration – 10% – to cover legal, security, accounting, and other administrative expenses.

It is also necessary to note that BAT issued a fixed number of tokens, that is, the project has a deflationary model of the economy. This suggests that with the expansion of the project community, the value of its token will appreciate. However, the deflationary models were also implemented by competitors so from this point of view BAT has no competitive advantage over its rivals.


Supply Comparison

BAT Supply Comparison

 

On the one hand, the BAT project has a token economics model similar to that of its rivals. That is, the BAT token is ERC-20 and, therefore, depends on the Ethereum network as well as some of its competitors. Moreover, its deflationary model is not a distinctive characteristic. On the other hand, the token economics is built in a way which stimulates the participation of all users in the ecosystem – critical to adoption within a two-sided marketplace.

Lead Team

Brendan Eich – is the Founder and CEO at Brave Software. He is a creator of JavaScript and the Co-Founder of Mozilla and Firefox. Brendan has a solid experience in the development of browsers and has 20+ years of experience in software engineering. Moreover, he graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with MS in CS.

Brian Bondy – is the Co-Founder and CTO at Brave Software. He has graduated from the University of Waterloo with BA in CS. Brian has been working as a software engineer for over 20 years. He founded VisionWorks Solutions in January 2010 and worked there until December 2010. The company developed backup software that was sold worldwide. Brian has worked for companies like Khan Academy, Mozilla Corporation, KineticD, and others.

Holi Bohren – is the CFO of Brave Software. She graduated from the University of Michigan with BA in Economics and finished Massachusetts Institute of Technology with MBA in Finance. She first worked as a financial consultant for about 5 years, after that, she has only held positions as CFO since 2002. Holi has worked for companies such as BiteSize Networks, Teachscape, and currently works as a CFO consultant at Armanino LLP and  Venture Backed Technology Companies. In sum, Holi has over 20 years of financial experience.

David Temkin – is a Chief Product Officer at Brave Software. He graduated from the Brown University with BA in CS. David Temkin is a product development leader who designed many products used by millions of people: Cola, AOL, Apple, [email protected], etc. In addition, he co-founded Cola, a new kind of mobile messaging platform that enhances group messaging via interactive apps.

Brendan Eich and Brian Bondy founded Brave Software Inc. on May 28, 2015. And on January 20, 2016, the company launched the first version of the Brave browser. At first, users used BTC inside the Brave browser, but after the ICO was conducted, the team developed its own token on Ethereum.

A sizeable team of more than 70 people is working on the BAT project. In particular, the team includes experienced software, QA, machine learning, security engineers, and others. In addition to a strong technical staff, the team has employees who work on marketing, product development, and communication with the community.

Moreover, in order to increase their accountability and transparency, the team always publishes all its updates and achievements on blogs and GitHub.

It is worth mentioning that two professors work with the BAT team: Ben Livshits and Hamed Haddadi. This only strengthens the project team and enhances the credibility of its work.

Ben Livshits – is a Chief Scientist at Brave Software. He has a Ph.D. from the Stanford University in CS, worked as a senior researcher at Microsoft, and as a professor at University of Washington and Imperial College London. Currently, Ben is a Research Fellow at UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies.

Hamed Haddadi – is a Visiting Professor at Brave Software. He graduated from the London Business School with MBA and has a Ph.D. in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications from the University College London. He has a wide experience in User-Centered Systems, IoT, Applied Machine Learning, Privacy, and Human-Data Interaction and worked for many universities like the Queen Mary University of London, University of Cambridge, Royal Veterinary College, etc. Currently, Hamed is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Imperial College London.

The BAT team does not include legal staff, however, they operate under the legal counsel of international law firm Perkins-Coie. This partnership indicates that the team takes legal issues seriously.

This team brought together very experienced and intelligent employees who have the relevant experience to further scale the project. Their experience corresponds to their ambitions and they openly talk about their plans and achievements. The composition of the team is built in such a way that allows working effectively on the technical, marketing, financial and other components of the project. In addition, the team currently intends to expand its team even more.


Part Two: The Technology Case

Underlying Technology

BAT is a decentralized ad network that operates on the Ethereum network. This project is unique in the blockchain space in terms of technology because this is the only project that built a decentralized digital advertising platform inside its own browser.

BAT has the same scalability prospects of the platform as its competitors, with the exception of the DATA project, which is technologically stronger. Nevertheless, the BAT team actively works on the further development of its product, as seen from the GitHub activity, which shows the team’s confidence in the future of their platform.

The technology of the BAT project is represented by three main components: Brave browser, BAT token, and Basic Attention Metrics (BAM).

Brave – is a fast, open source, privacy-focused browser that blocks ads and trackers. This allows increasing the speed of the browser. As a result, Brave loads web pages 2-8 times faster than Chrome/Safari on the phone and twice as fast as Chrome on the desktop. This makes the Brave browser one of the fastest among its competitors. It also contains a ledger system that anonymously measures the attention of users in order to properly reward publishers.


Blocked Ads and Speed Comparison

 

Blocked Ads and Speed Comparison

 

The token is based on Ethereum smart contracts that enable users to make micropayments using BAT within the Brave Ledger. Its operation is based on the interaction of three participants of the ecosystem: advertiser, user, and publisher.

The Value Flow of the Basic Attention Token represented below shows the conceptual flow of the BAT token across all platform participants.


Value Flow of BAT

 

Value Flow of BAT

 

First, the advertiser sends ads and tokens in a locked state (Xa) to users. If the users view the ads, then the payment flow unlocks. The users are rewarded for viewing the ads with BAT (Xu) and they can donate a part of their tokens to publishers (Xu). Brave also receives a share of tokens and a remainder is sent to the publisher (Xp). In addition, users can buy extra services like premium content (Xs).

The integration of Brave browser and Basic Attention Token makes their technology unique in the digital advertising market.

The browser contains a special page where a user can view the balance and a list of publishers to which the user is willing to donate tokens. The UI is very simple and convenient at the moment and it is most likely that in the future the user profile will be more functional.

Since it is possible to monitor user behavior on web pages, the BAT team decided to build a model that would reward users based on their attention. That is, the reward amount depends on the time during which the user reviews an advertisement and on the number of pixels that are in the user’s view in proportion to relevant content. Anonymous cost-per-action models will be improved as the system develops. It is also worth to mention that all information about users stays on their devices.


Wallet Balance and List of Publishers

 

Wallet Balance and List of Publishers

 

To accurately measure the user attention several metrics have been developed.

One of these metrics is 5 full views of advertising content in the active window for at least 5 seconds. Another metric is “Concave Score”: “… a score which rewards a publisher for a thresholded and bounded function of the amount of time spent with the open and active page”.

The graphical representation of this metric is shown below, where it can be seen that the relationship between the metric score and the time has the characteristic of diminishing return to scale. That is, for the first few seconds of viewing the content, the user gets one point, for 30 sec – 2 points, for 60 sec – 3 points, and for 12 minutes – 7 points.


Basic Attention Token Metric Score Over Time

 

Basic Attention Metric Score Over Time

 

The BAT team intends to build a platform where users will be rewarded for their attention (which will be implemented during 2019), while users on the platforms of its rivals may be rewarded for clicks or depending on their reputation.

The BAM system looks better than just rewards for clicks. However, it is hard to surmise  whether the BAT model is better than a model built on reputation or not. This will be seen after the full launch of the platform. There exists a risk that users will create many wallets and view ads only with the intention to earn more tokens. This makes the BAT model a little bit vulnerable in comparison to the reputation-based model.

To protect user privacy the Brave ledger system uses the ANONIZE algorithm. This enables the Brave browser to collect user data anonymously and allows Brave users to make anonymous transactions. This algorithm utilizes zero-knowledge proof that proves a mathematical statement is true without knowing anything else about it. Let’s consider how the algorithm is implemented in surveys.

– 1st step: a User registers and it is assigned a Master User Token. All information stays only on its device.

– 2nd step: the Survey is assigned with a signature key pair: Survey Identifier and Public Key with User ID who is authorized to take the survey.

– 3rd step: User ID generates a Single-token with Survey Identifier and Public Key to submit a response – this represents a non-interactive zero-knowledge problem.

This ensures that only an authorized user can complete the survey once, all while staying anonymous.


Simplified ANONIZE Algorithm

 

Simplified Anonize Algorithm

 

The use of technology that makes transactions anonymous in the BAT ecosystem distinguishes it from its competitors, giving BAT an advantage – and it is an attractive feature for users.

An important characteristic of any project is its scalability.

BAT, as well as AdEx and AdToken, use the PoW consensus protocol and the projects are built on the Ethereum network. Therefore, they can process the same number of transactions per second.

The Graphene technology of Steem allows it to process about 10,000 tps and confirm transactions almost instantly compared to BAT. Another direct competitors, DATA, is built on the Tendermint network and utilizes the BFT consensus algorithm, which allows processing about 200 tps confirming transactions in a few seconds.

In terms of scalability, BAT is inferior to some of its competitors, which can adversely affect the long-term adoption of the project. At the moment, BAT serves about 5.5 million active users monthly, but with further growth of the client base, there may be problems with scalability.

Scalability Comparison

BAT scalability

 

The team is working on the product development, as seen from the activity on the GitHub. The team has two pages on GitHub: the first one contains 137 repositories, and the second one – 45.

However, its GitHub activity is average compared to other blockchain projects.

 

Basic Attention token GitHub Activity


Roadmap

The BAT roadmap is very detailed and transparent. The team constantly works on updating it, regularly informs the community about existing updates and works on the development of its product as can be seen from the activity on GitHub.

The first roadmap was published on March 23, 2017, which indicated the initial path of development of the project in general.


Pre-1.0 BAT: Brave already has an anonymized ledger system for making donations and payments to publishers based on user attention. The secure vault using the ANONIZE algorithm to ensure customer privacy is an important piece of the BAT ecosystem which is already in place and deployed in Brave. Brave is already measuring user attention at the browser and distributing donations to the publishers using this system.

1.0 BAT: BAT wallet integrated with the Brave browser. Verification and transactions to be handled by Brave’s internal Zero Knowledge Proof (ZKP) ledger system to protect individual user anonymity from advertisers, publishers and third parties. Ad inventory will be valued, and transactions will be calculated from reported Basic Attention Metric (BAM) data.

Beyond 1.0 BAT: Make the transfer and verification process entirely distributed on Ethereum using a state channel scheme with zero knowledge proof protocol for ensuring user privacy. Add alternate BAM metrics based on advertiser feedback. This will allow for full user privacy as well as a decentralized audit trail for advertisers, users and publishers to ensure they received correct payments for the advertising delivered through the BAT network.

The first part of this roadmap points to three main components: payment mechanisms, ANONIZE algorithm, and measurement metrics of user attention. These components have already been implemented long before the first roadmap was written.

Then after conducting token sale on May 31, 2017, the team published an updated roadmap that contained the second and the third parts (“1.0 BAT” and “Beyond 1.0 BAT”) of the first roadmap. The second roadmap was published on June 17, 2017 and was very detailed one. The team worked hard to complete all of the tasks, which show the BAT project in a positive light.


BAT Mercury (summer 2017)

– BAT wallet integrated into Brave.

– Convert Brave Payments from bitcoin to BAT.

– Extend Brave’s secret-key sync to include the Brave ledger and wallet.

– Compile demand-side dashboard data into BAT ad and offer catalog that is downloaded and updated on-device; scraped and mock ads/offers with micro-BAT subsidized revenue.

– Develop the on-device machine learning models that privately match catalogued ads and place them in user-private slots based on user intent signals, from search queries (you own your query log, Google does not) to surfing, to researching, to purchasing.

– Design research and engineering development of user-private ad slot form factors.

– Measure ad engagement and user satisfaction via Basic Attention Metric (BAM) system.

– Extend the Brave Ledger ANONIZE ZKP-based proof protocol (Zero Knowledge Proof) to convey ad attributions and confirmations as well as transactions.


BAT Gemini (fall 2017/winter 2018)

– KYC (humint + machine learning), rate, and flow control for anti-fraud.

– User Growth Pool (UGP) grants to users who opt into the new model.

– Further machine learning development and optimization.

– Further demand-side dashboard to BAT ad/offer catalog work.

– Ledger- and Ethereum-attested dashboard analytics for early publishers interested in BAT indirect ad partnership trials.

– User-private ad trials with select agency and other demand-side / lead-gen partners.

– One premier publisher partner to co-develop publisher-provided inventory system.

– Revenue as soon as system performs as well as or better than status quo ad-tech.


BAT Apollo (rest of 2018)

– Real ad revenue that scales with user growth; further UGP grants & growth hacks.

– Donation flow fee revenue, smaller but scaled as far as possible via incentives to users who get BAT revenue from ads and want to give back to their pinned and top sites.

– Major work to move from Brave Ledger confirmation and revenue flows to entirely decentralized on Ethereum flows using a state channel with ZKP for anonymity.

– Evolved BAM options based on premium attention models — price discovery at high end Aggregated, large-anonymity-set reports and forecasts on the Ethereum blockchain, with competitive demand (advertiser) and supply (publisher) dashboards for performance measurement, optimization and sales planning.

– BAT integration into other apps based on open source & specs for greater ad buying leverage and publisher onboarding.


BAT Mercury components were launched on October 12, 2017 in version 0.19 of the Brave browser. The team completed this part of the roadmap one month late because they wanted to ensure the high standards their users deserve.

The BAT team also published the information about BAT achievements in 2017 and goals for 2018 in their blog on January 12, 2018, which indicated that the most of BAT Gemini goals were achieved as well. The next major update was published on April 27, 2018: Brave Partners with YouTube Stars Bart Baker and Philip DeFranco, which testifies to the rapid growth of the user base, publishers and partners.

The latest roadmap was published on GitHub, which covers all the important milestones of the project from December 2017 to the current moment. 

Also, the team posted Brave Ads Roadmap, according to which user ads and publisher-integrated ads will be implemented in 2019. That is, users, publishers, and the Brave browser will receive their share of the advertiser’s payment. The implementation of this feature can be the main catalyst for the subsequent development of the project.

Overall, the BAT team does everything to show its transparency and provides an opportunity for the participants of the BAT ecosystem to track the BAT activity, which has a positive effect on their adoption in the future.

Part Three: The Investment Case

BAT Token Performance

BAT token is in the top-34 coins by market capitalization and it is in the top-44 coins by trading volume (24H).

The price dynamics of the BAT token are represented in the graph below, where it can be seen that after ICO was conducted in May 2017, the price of the token reached its first maximum as early as June 4, 2017 (~$0.344).

After that, there is price fluctuation until December 2017, after which the price rises sharply under the influence of the entire market and reaches its ATH in January 2018 (~$0.972).

Then, throughout 2018, the price of the BAT token reached three more peaks, two of which were in May and June under the influence of the market, and the last peak occurred in November due to the fact that Coinbase announced the listing of BAT token.

In general the prices fall under the influence of the entire market, but the BAT price falls more slowly than its competitors. Since the January ATH, the price of BAT has dropped by 87%, while the prices of tokens of all its rivals have fallen by more than 96%.

Overall, the price change of the BAT token is explained by the dynamics of the entire market. However, there are also fundamental reasons for the rise and fall in price, which was observed, for instance, in November of 2018.


Price Comparison

BAT price comparisonBAT / AdEx / adToken / DATA / Steem Price Comparison

 

The main currencies pairs with which BAT is traded are BTC (65.6%), USDC (12.6%), KRW (12.4%), ETH (6.81%), and BNB (1.60%).

This may indicate that the channel for buying BAT directly for fiat is still weak. Users have to buy BTC or ETH first, and then change it to BAT. The pair of BAT/BNB is also popular because most of the trading is carried out on the Binance exchange (57.2% of all trading volume), which encourages BAT/BNB trading.

The pair of BAT/KRW is traded on the Upbit exchange (25.9% of all trading volume). The BAT token is traded as well on the Bittrex exchange (14.3%).

The presence of BAT tokens on such three crypto-exchanges indicates its high liquidity

 

BAT VolumeVolume Comparison

 

The trading volume of BAT token and its competitors is represented in the chart below, where periodic fluctuations are traced. The trading volume of tokens fall when the entire market falls, and grows when the market rises. The last three months, the trading volume has fallen, which indicates their dependence on the behavior of top cryptocurrencies.


Trading Volume Comparison

Basic Attention Token volume comparisonBAT volume comparison

Since 30-day volatility values are not available to competitors of BAT, Ethereum and Tron were chosen for the comparison by the same logic mentioned before. As seen in the figure below the BAT price is more volatile than ETH and TRX prices. Overall, the dynamics of 30-day volatility values of all projects are the same. That is, BAT, ETH, TRX follows the entire market.


30-Day Volatility

30-Day Volatility


Basic Attention Token Chart

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