Investing in Basic Attention Token: Betting Against Facebook and Google
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Investing in the Basic Attention Token (BAT) is putting your money into a new, better way to advertise online that takes direct aim at Facebook and Google’s business models.
How to Look at Investing in the Brave Browser
The first argument essentially says investing is a bad idea because you, as a holder, are not entitled to profits from the company that produced the token. You’re just putting your money into glorified gift cards or loyalty points. The other argument says the use of the token is not high enough to justify large price increases over the last two years.
Both arguments assume investing in BAT is like investing in a stock like Google or a commodity like oil. That’s not how you should think about it. If you are going to invest then ask yourself whether the Brave browser will get the attention of major digital advertisers and publishers and when that happens whether that makes the token more valuable.
If it does? Then buying the token is not like buying stocks or commodities. It’s buying the currency of a successful digital economy that’s getting stronger and stronger.
What’s the Point of the Brave Browser?
Going back to basics—why does the Brave browser exist?
In exchange for access to the web, people allow their data to get harvested by Google and Facebook. That data produces profits that don’t get shared with its owners and misinformation through misleading advertising and clickbait.
The Brave browser offers a way out of this trap. The browser lets you control what—if any—ads you see.
If you do choose to view ads, your data will produce BAT tokens paid to you through the Brave browser. You can then use these tokens to support web sites you like or convert them into your preferred money (Bitcoin, dollars, etc).
This is a direct challenge to the existing status quo of advertising. Websites no longer have to rely on companies like Google or Facebook that can turn off their revenue whenever they like. And you, as the person visiting websites, have both a choice in how your data gets used to produce advertising and a share of the profits.
Brave Browser and Basic Attention Token Win
So as long as Brave offers a truly better browser, more and more people, especially those who are tech-savvy and high income-earners, will switch over. That in turn wins the attention of advertisers and publishers.
Advertisers will then want to spend money to reach the audience using the browser. And, publishers will look for more ways to turn visits from the browser into revenue through e-commerce, subscriptions, paywalls, or microtransactions on Brave.
All of this, in turn, encourages Brave browser users to take advantage of additional services from publishers, which makes receiving tokens through the browser even more valuable. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle.
“Yet Another Token”
One more argument against investing in BAT is the Brave browser could have used established technologies like Bitcoin or a stablecoin for the same functionality.
This thinking doesn’t take into account the third-party risk introduced by outsourcing a key part of Brave’s business model. Using Bitcoin or stablecoins means Brave relies on something it can’t influence, change, or fix when there are problems.
What happens to the Brave economy when network fees or price volatility spike for Bitcoin or Ethereum? Experienced investors know volatility is a major business risk. Meanwhile, what stablecoin includes features for pegging payments to events like someone viewing an ad for more than two seconds?
BAT uses smart contracts to measure the user’s attention advertisers pay for and for which users and websites get paid. No stablecoin offers something similar.
One more thing. Brave is supposed to serve the entire world with a minimum of converting back and forth between currencies. So a dollar, euro, or yen stablecoin (or multi-currency stablecoin) for payments is not enough.
Basics for Investing in the Brave Browser Economy
Going back to evaluating BAT, investors should be looking at whether the Brave browser is really becoming the better choice for users. Retail investors, especially people without expert knowledge of software or who otherwise don’t have a lot of time and money for research, should think about a few things.
The obvious one is market share. Right now, Brave is reported as part of Chrome’s market share because it uses the Chromium library, the open-source engine behind the Chrome browser. This is a problem because analytics services like StatCounter don’t report Brave browser usage. It’s counted as Chrome.
If you don’t want to rely on press releases from Brave, there are other options. Compare visits to Brave.com with visits to websites for other browsers on Compete.com. While not the same as actual usage, visits to a browser’s website are still a measure of interest and awareness. Over the last few months, is it trending up or down? Trending more than Chrome or less?
The same can be done with keyword searches on Google from the Adwords Keyword Planner.
Top-Notch Advertisers on Brave
Also, look for an advertiser-user-interface like the one from Google or Facebook. Though this isn’t available for Brave yet, it looks like a self-serve option is in the works.
See For Yourself… Does Brave Deliver?
If you’re going to invest, this is really important. Try the product that makes the token valuable.
View your favorite websites in Brave on your phone, tablet, and laptop. Compare the experience to Chrome and Firefox. Are there differences in how quickly the pages load? Do pages look better on one platform compared to the others?
Finally, what can you do with BAT? Major websites like the Washington Post and YouTube publishers like Funny Or Die accept Basic Attention Token donations through the Brave browser.
Is Basic Attention Token a Good Investment?
Investing in BAT is investing in a solution to the misuse of your personal data by companies like Facebook and Google.
Brave is designed to fix this problem by offering a better browser that changes how your data gets used and, if you allow it, how the profits from harvesting your data are shared.
So as long as the Brave browser seems like the better option, then be confident that BAT will continue to grow in value.
This article is an opinion piece by a guest contributor, this article does not represent the opinions of Crypto Briefing or its employees.