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Basic Attention Token

Basic Attention Token (BAT) and DuckDuckGo are two very separate projects with a similar intention to change the way that users interact with the internet and restructure the way that advertisers have power online.

BAT’s announcement that DuckDuckGo, an internet search engine that aims to protect privacy, has partnered with their publisher program has the potential to hugely benefit both parties, and the result could disrupt the current online power balance.

Basic Attention Token

When Basic Attention Token (BAT) launched on the cryptocurrency markets, it differentiated itself from other cryptocurrencies due to its unique intent to change the way that websites profit from digital advertisements.

A major factor in BAT’s early success is the team behind the project. The BAT team is led by Brendan Eich, a name you might recognize from his previous success as the founder of Netscape, co-creator of Mozilla, and as the inventor of Javascript.

Basic Attention Token is more than a cryptocurrency.It aims to provide a solution to the current structure of online advertising that rewards intermediaries and takes money away from website publishers, an issue that Eich and his team have identified as a major issue within the digital landscape today.

In order to combat the fact that an increasing amount of the public use ad blockers, the BAT team have launched a browser called Brave that hopes to help websites stay profitable. Brave eliminates the need for intermediaries, as website publishers can sell ad space directly to advertisers in exchange for Basic Attention Tokens.

Users are rewarded for interacting with advertisements with Basic Attention Tokens, which they can then funnel back into their most viewed websites, or simply spend as currency on the BAT marketplace.

The system makes use of blockchain technology in order to allow for an easily verifiable system of transactions. In doing so, the team is combatting fraud, another major issue in the advertising industry. Thanks to the use of a public ledger, the public can see the way advertisements are interacted with online.

Given the team, unique focus, and use of blockchain, hype behind BAT led to the currency selling out its ICO in a record-breaking 30 seconds on the 31st of May, 2017.


DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, is a search engine that aims to restore privacy into the hands of is users.

The search engine was built in 2008, a time when the search engine market seemed to be a losing battle for any new competitors due to the overwhelming popularity of search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

Despite all odds, DuckDuckGo has continued to rise in popularity since then. In October 2017 the search engine saw its highest amount of daily searches to date, averaging at over 18 million searches per day according to their website.

To understand how the search engine is able to retain users in a market that is heavily dominated by players like Google and Microsoft, we need to consider that DuckDuckGo has a specific target market in mind.

Similar to Basic Attention Token, DuckDuckGo is aiming to serve as a solution explicitly for online search history privacy.

According to the Pew Research Center, 93% of adults said that being in control of who can get information about them is important, and 90% said they see the importance of controlling what information is collected about them.

Comparing this to the Pew Research Center’s Privacy Panel Survey, which showed that only 16% of adults said they felt at least somewhat confident that the information collected by their search engine provider(s) would remain secure and private, makes DuckDuckGo’s success easier to understand.

The overlap between users who feel concerned about their privacy and users who feel unsure that their search engine providers will keep their information secure makes for a sizeable market that DuckDuckGo can appeal to, since the engine claims it does not collect any personal information.

The Shared Competition, Google

Basic Attention Token and DuckDuckGo operate in two separate sectors of the internet, but both share the same major competitor, Google.

If Basic Attention Token were to succeed in allowing advertisers and website publishers to work together directly, they’d be harming the business of advertising intermediaries like Google and Facebook.

Basic Attention Token’s dedicated browser, Brave, does not have its own search engine, meaning that many of its searches are conducted through Google.

Similarly, DuckDuckGo does not have its own browser, meaning that many users access the search engine through Google Chrome.

DuckDuckGo’s long term success is reliant on usurping Google’s share of the search engine market, and BAT’s success is reliant on usurping Google’s share of the online advertising market. This makes a partnership between the two entities extremely beneficial.

Both DuckDuckGo and Basic Attention Token have a long road ahead of them if they want to overthrow the Google giant, but this partnership between the two promises to help both achieve their goal, and with the right ingenuity, could allow for both platforms to succeed.


Image credit: Basic Attention Token


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