Fool.com contributor Chris MacDonald and The Motley Fool's Eric Bleeker discuss how the Basic Attention Token (BAT 7.19%) could be a key player in this up-and-coming space. This recording is from an episode of "The Crypto Show" recorded on Dec. 15.
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Eric Bleeker: Let's move along to the Web3 showcase. We wanted to really highlight three of the more exciting projects. Chris, how about two things. First, just a definition of Web3, why it's exciting as a trend, and second -- wait, that's third, I guess. I've lost count of my fingers -- take it over to Basic Attention Token.
I know that's one you've been researching, reading some articles about this one. To tee it up, it's the 74th largest crypto with a market cap of $1.5 billion. How does this fit into Web3 as a trend, and what's so exciting about this specific project?
Chris MacDonald: Probably the simplest way I can explain what Web3 is, is that it's the future state of the internet. Web2.0 is where a lot of people think we are in the internet right now, and Web3 is basically a blockchain-based future iteration of the internet.
With that in mind, Basic Attention Token is definitely an interesting one to look at. I think it's the 74th largest crypto right now. Its platform probably is most aligned to the idea of a future internet state, because this token is -- the actual name Basic Attention Token comes from the idea that users on the internet can get compensated for their attention, and advertisers will pay for consumers of information for the attention of those consumers.
Essentially, what Basic Attention Token has done in collaboration with the Brave browser, which is a very interesting browser, and I would definitely encourage crypto enthusiasts to check it out and download it. It looks a lot like Google Chrome -- it basically is Google Chrome. It's based on that code, but it's built on top of the Ethereum blockchain as well. What Basic Attention Token does is it facilitates an ad exchange, I guess, between publishers and advertisers, where advertisers will pay for Basic Attention tokens in fiat dollars and pay publishers to place their ads on a page. Users who go on the Brave browser, will see the ads and choose how many ads they want to see. You can choose if you want to see ads or not, which is interesting with this browser.
But assuming you do choose to see ads, you can earn some Basic Attention tokens, so users can get a cut of the action. Publishers know that [they] have more easy-to-define metrics for who is looking at their ads, where these people are coming from, and publishers have a clear line of sight into their revenue streams. All of it's done over crypto and it's a more efficient way of doing it.
It's also more private, too, because it's on the blockchain. It's more secure and more private, and there's a lot of benefits to that as well as the browser loads faster because there's not all this tracking data in the back end. What Basic Attention Token does is basically facilitate an entirely new web browsing experience, and an entirely new compensation model for publishers and advertisers and users as well. They can get a cut of the action. It's a win-win-win, really, for everyone, and it's an interesting one we started diving into.
Eric Bleeker: Chris, one question -- and I apologize for putting you on the spot here; you don't have this handy -- but one thing that's always curious when we're looking at different cryptos is where it is on the spectrum from idea to something being executed at scale in the real world. Where would you put Basic Attention Token on that spectrum? How much usage is it actually beginning to see?
Chris MacDonald: I think the white paper was launched in 2018, and as of this year the Brave browser was able for download. But some do have the statistics, like the user growth on Brave browser has been incredible. This is a project that's technically, I think, still in beta. But it's gaining a lot of real-world traction right now. It's at that stage where it's taking off, but it's not necessarily officially mainstream yet. I think that's where the opportunity lies with this one.