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“Ad Free”

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

I’m pretty sure we all have been surfing the internet and, all of a sudden, an advertisement interrupts your navigation. When this happens, it is annoying, especially when you are watching a video or reading. A coworker of mine mentioned a token named Basic Attention Token (BAT), and with this token, you can pay for the content you want to see.

Weird, right? Paying for ads?

I began searching for information about this token and I learned that BAT is linked to a web browser named Brave. This browser was founded by Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla. The Brave browser runs faster than Chrome and Safari, saves users money in data charges, and blocks ads and trackers. Brave can be downloaded for free on the site.

According to the Brave website, the average user of a mobile browser pays as much as $23 USD a month in data charges just from downloading ads and trackers. They also point out that popular sites often host many ads, going up to 70 trackers per site. This information was quite shocking to me, and I believe most people don’t even realize how many ad pop-ups and different content is consuming your data while navigating.

I have never looked into ad-blocking apps, which is weird because I really dislike them. When I was doing research, I came across this: “Over a period of one year, the global cost of ad blocking nearly doubled, adding up to more than 40 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.”

Aside from protecting yourself from this constant content, Brave is also creating a community in which they give the users the possibility to reward their favorite publishers by using BAT tokens. This token runs with the use of the Ethereum blockchain. Investopedia assures that “the token is used as currency on the Brave platform and people can obtain several different advertising services. It is designed to be exchanged between users, advertisers, and publishers. Moreover, it is based on an unusual concept, although one of critical importance to advertising companies operating in the digital age: user attention." I have also read that many content creators, like YouTubers, find this a very helpful initiative because most of the time they don’t even get paid to create content. People can sign up in the Brave website to be content creators, and readers can choose to pay a monthly fee with BAT, money that is divided among the sites the user visits the most.

Basically, this browser gives users the option to see fewer ads and content based on their interests, or none at all. The beauty of this new technology is that it provides options for people to decide on.

According to the New York Times, “Ads are the lifeblood of the internet, the source of funding for just about everything you read, watch and hear online. The digital ad business is in many ways a miracle machine — it corrals and transforms latent attention into real money. This pays for many truly useful inventions, such as searching, instant translation, video hosting, and global mapping." Although this ad business at one time was revolutionary, it’s now becoming a problem for users. Generally, if we are interested in something, we search for it ourselves. Nonetheless, sometimes is great to find out about new things online, things that users would have probably never known about if it was not advertised. Unfortunately, we are flooded with ads, and that’s when it becomes annoying.

Hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to comment.

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