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Frustrated with the current, broken, state of online advertising, Brendan Eich, the father of JavaScript and one of the men behind Mozilla, just invented a new form of cryptocurrency that works with online stores while bypassing the invasive and toxic experience of surfing the web. Eich's decision to produce a new cryptocurrency comes as a response to the recent news that more than half of the top 50 news sites transmit users' browsing preferences in ways that users may not appreciate. Online advertising is like a proud nail that people keep running into; while no one likes ads taking up their screens, ad money is the leading source for what funds much of the content available on the web.

Eich's new approach, the BAT," or "Basic Attention Token," crypto token, works with his Brave browser as a means of helping both sides while reducing the number of ads targeted toward Brave users. The impetus for BAT's creation comes from the as-yet-un-valued commodity of user attention. Users may visit a site for the information or content contained therein, but advertisers wind up paying publishers to display ads that may not even be seen by the users. BAT works in sync with Eich's "Brave" web browser, where it can establish a set value for ad slots based on several factors, including: the amount of time a user spends on a page; the ratio of content size to ad size; and anonymized personal settings useful to targeted advertisers.

While Brave can easily block all ads, the introduction of BAT means that users can choose to allow aids while having some awareness of how much their pageviews are contributing to advertisers. Brave already has a mechanism for its users to proportionally distribute bitcoin to sites based on how long the user stays on a specific page. Eich sees the future of web advertising as one where data and payments will be converted into block-chained tokens. He sees BAT as a means beyond merely a means to recoup the cost of establish ads and as a potential competitor on the same scale as bitcoin. He anticipates giftwrapping embedded BATs when following hyperlinks to sites that utilize a paywall.

Currently, Brave is fundraising for BAT, with the full implementation of the cryptocurrency planned for some time later on. Should the system take off, BAT should appreciate beyond the ratio of 6,400 BAT: 1 Ether token, with the latter currently valued at over $200). Eich stated that the funding would be used for job creation and incentivize usage by giving new users a small portion of BAT shares. The initial BAT offering sold out in half a minute.

Currently, an ad technology that necessitates one specific browser, one whose users have to decide to opt-in to viewing ads, is not exactly a surefire pursuit for advertising firms and publishers; the industry response to Eich's newest form of code is one of ambivalence and uncertainty. Fortunately, Eich's programming history, one laden with web technologies friendly to users, seems like it will do him well. Eich sees his Brave browser and BAT as game pieces in a long game that ends with online ads returning to their status as a reliable means to promote products and services.