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Basic Attention Token (BAT) Guide: Definition, History, & Investing Today

By Matthew Zeitlin · March 22, 2021 · 3 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Basic Attention Token (BAT) Guide: Definition, History, & Investing Today

The world of cryptocurrency is much wider than Bitcoin. While Bitcoin and its descendants and offshoots are focused on payments and transferring value, other coins and cryptos are based on the Ethereum blockchain, which is designed for software-based contracts and provides a platform for coding. One such crypto is the Basic Attention Token (BAT).

What is BAT?

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency digital marketers use to pay for ads on the Brave browser. It is powered by the Ethereum blockchain.

BAT was designed specifically to be used by the advertising industry.

How Does BAT Crypto Work?

BAT is a digital asset exchanged between advertisers, publishers, and users, utilized by the Brave web browser. The mission of the Brave browser is to provide a better advertising experience that doesn’t invade users’ privacy and gives them something for their trouble.

Here’s the gist: In some sense, it’s “free” to see ads on a typical browser on a typical website with no paywall. A given webpage may be littered with display ads, pop-ups, and autoplay videos. The way Brave and BAT sees it, these ads aren’t really free at all. The “publisher”—i.e. the website—is selling your attention, your time, your energy to an advertiser, who pays for the right to dominate your sense and mental capacity.

Brave is designed around privacy and blocks trackers to prevent typical advertiser surveillance on websites, blocking some ads entirely. Brave also claims to not collect private browsing data, unlike other popular web browsers.

Additionally, when users download the Brave browser, they can sign up for “Brave Rewards” . Brave will track (on your device’s local storage only) “the attention you spend on sites you visit.” You can earn BAT crypto when you change your settings to view ads (delivered to your browser-based wallet), and you can reward or “tip” content creators you like with BAT from your wallet. For example, if you visit Twitter in the Brave browser, you can press a button that says “Tip” and send BAT directly to a Twitter user. Similar functionality exists for Twitch streamers and YouTube creators.

This idea may be catching on: Brave claims some 22.2 million users every monthly employing BAT within the Brave browser, and over 7 million doing so every day.

History of BAT Cryptocurrency

BAT crypto first came to be after its “initial coin offering” (ICO) in May 2017, selling 6,400 BAT per 1 ETH. ICOs can raise money for an enterprise or project while also giving potential future customers the tools to participate in the project. This ICO raised about $36 million worth of Ethereum in around 30 seconds, indicating the excitement for the project and credentials that Eich brought to the crypto world.

Investing in BAT Crypto

While BAT and Brave do not encourage trading or speculating in the tokens—explicitly stating in its whitepaper (the document/manifesto laying out why a certain cryptocurrency should exist) that BAT tokens are not “securities or for speculation”—it moves up and down in price with Ethereum, with which it has a fixed exchange rate of 6400 BAT per ETH.

Basic Attention Token Price

There are over 1 billion BATs circulating with a market value of over $400 million. BAT coin price reached a high of $1.2318 in March 2021.

Despite not being created for investing, BAT is available on some mainstream cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Binance. A good rule of thumb before investing in any crypto is to review some basic tips for investing in crypto and make sure any trading you do falls within the cryptocurrency rules.

The Takeaway

Basic Attention Token is a method of payment used between users, advertisers, and content creators on the open-source Brave browser. BAT is built on Ethereum’s blockchain technology and while its creators did not intend for it to be traded, it is currently available on some crypto exchanges.

Interested investors can buy and sell cryptocurrency online with SoFi Invest®, including Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Litecoin. Transactions can be done securely, from the convenience of the SoFi app.

Find out how to invest in cryptocurrency with SoFi Invest.


SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
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For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
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