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Basic Attention Token (BAT): What It Is, How It Works, & Investing Today

By Brian Nibley · December 02, 2021 · 6 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): What It Is, How It Works, & 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).

Here is your guide to crypto for BAT.

What is the Basic Attention Token (BAT) Coin?

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the native cryptocurrency of the Brave browser. Brave is a privacy-focused web browser based on Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome. The browser provides an ad-free experience thanks to its built-in “shields” feature that blocks most ads and tracking cookies. But this begs the question: how do websites and content creators make money if there are no ads? That’s where BAT comes in.

The Basic Attention Token is an ERC-20 token built atop the Ethereum network. The cryptocurrency falls into the category of “utility tokens,” those cryptocurrency types that are intended to be used for a specific purpose. BAT crypto enables a brand-new advertising revenue model that preserves user privacy and freedom of choice.

People browsing the web on Brave can earn BAT coin by choosing to click on the non-intrusive ads that periodically appear. Users can then use this BAT to send tips to their favorite content creators. Or, they could buy BAT from an exchange and deposit it to the wallet stored in their browser, giving them a larger supply of tokens to use for tipping.

BAT Price

At the time of writing in late November 2021, the Basic Attention Token price was $1.59. The BAT token price was only $0.20 per coin at the start of 2021, meaning the coin has more than tripled in value.

The all-time high BAT token price was $1.76, reached on November 26, 2021. The all-time low BAT coin price was $0.06, reached on July 16, 2017.

How Does BAT Crypto Work?

BAT coin powers the Brave browser (though Brave users can opt out of the BAT coin advertising model entirely and not even touch the BAT crypto wallet if they choose). Brave users periodically receive advertisements in the form of push notifications on their screen while browsing the internet. The notification contains a snippet of the ad. Users can choose whether or not they want to click on the notification and see the full advertisement.

If they do click on the ad, they will be rewarded with some BAT. The coins get deposited into a wallet hosted by Uphold, a company that creates wallets for both fiat and crypto.

The Brave browser also has a BAT wallet. If a user enjoys the content created by a certain website, they can choose to send a tip in the form of BAT. This can either be done manually, one tip at a time, or automatically, with users choosing to regularly contribute a set amount of BAT.

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 month employing BAT within the Brave browser, and over 7 million doing so every day.

Websites that have verified themselves as Brave content creators will have the coins deposited into their wallets. Websites that have yet to verify will have the coins held in a wallet for them until such time as they do decide to get verified.

Understanding the Brave 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.

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 see 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 it doesn’t 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 tip content creators you like with BAT from your wallet.

History of BAT Cryptocurrency

The Brave browser and its BAT coin were created by Brendan Eich and Brian Bondy, who both had esteemed careers in the software industry long before Brave was born.

Brendan Eich is the CEO of Brave’s parent company, Brave Software, Inc., founded in May 2015. Before being a part of the Brave team, Eich was the founder and CTO of Mozilla and invented Javascript in 1995. He helped launch Mozilla Firefox in 2004, which has become one of the world’s most popular web browsers.

Brian Bondy is the CTO of Brave Software Inc., and he also has a long history as a software engineer.

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.

What Can You Use BAT Coin for?

BAT can be used to tip content creators. At present, the tips can be sent to individual users on Twitter or to individual websites. Brave browser users also receive BAT as a reward for opting in to advertisements.

Traders can use BAT for speculative purposes, trying to buy low with the hope of selling later at a higher price.

Is BAT Crypto a Good Investment?

While BAT and Brave do not encourage trading or speculating in the tokens — explicitly stating in its whitepaper 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.

Altcoins are generally considered to be speculative investments that carry high risk. There are few other investments available to the average person that carry greater risk and volatility.

If an investor has done all the research necessary to understand what the BAT cryptocurrency is, how it works, and what it was designed for, then those with the necessary capital and risk tolerance could choose to take a chance on BAT. It’s common investment advice to never risk more than you can afford to lose.

How and Where to Buy and Sell BAT Coin

Acquiring BAT doesn’t have to involve an exchange. Anyone can download the Brave browser and earn BAT over time by clicking on the ads that pop up. This would be a slow process for anyone looking to accumulate large amounts of BAT, however. In that case, an exchange might be the best way to go.

Basic Attention Token (BAT) trades on many popular exchanges like SoFi, Coinbase, Binance, Huobi Global, and Upbit. Big exchanges like these can generally be trusted to follow all crypto regulations, of course.

Buying BAT is not unlike buying most other cryptocurrencies. Here are the basic steps involved, beyond learning the investing in crypto basics and how crypto exchanges work.

1.    The first thing required is an exchange account. Make sure the exchange provides trading for the Basic Attention Token cryptocurrency. SoFi Invest users can purchase BAT, along with Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies, directly through their Invest accounts.

2.    After creating an account, a user can then deposit either some bitcoin, dollars (or other local fiat currency), or a stablecoin, depending on what trading pairs the exchange currently trades. Buying crypto directly with a credit card might also be an option, but doing so often involves higher fees (not only might the exchange charge additional fees, but credit cards often treat crypto purchases as a cash advance, which comes with even more fees).

3.    At this point, a user can buy BAT. Simply select the trading pair that includes BAT and the currency deposited during step number two. For example, if a user had bitcoin and wanted to buy BAT, they would select the pair called “BTC/BAT.” If they had dollars, it might be “USD/BAT.” For a stablecoin like USDC, it might be “USDC/BAT.” Enter a buy order for the desired amount of coins at a desired price. Remember that selling crypto can result in crypto taxes being due the following year.

After buying BAT tokens, some users may want to consider moving their crypto off of an exchange and into a hardware wallet that supports BAT. This method of crypto storage provides extra security, as the coins can be taken offline and put into cold storage where they should be inaccessible to hackers.

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 trade BAT and other types of cryptocurrency including Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Litecoin, with SoFi Invest®. 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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