I have bought another token 🙂 A recent purchase in the digital asset space increases my exposure and diversifies my investments. In this particular case, instead of a cryptocurrency, I have bought a utility token.
Regular readers are aware that I have been exploring and learning more about the blockchain/crypto/digital asset space over the course of last few months. In October, I participated in my first ICO/token sale and bought Aion-1 (AION) as I believe that the project has a lot of promise. You can read the details here. As I continue to explore the space, I am coming across some fantastic ideas that have limitless potential — and it excites me as this now opens up the startup space not only to the elite VCs in Silicon Valley or an investment fund in NY, but to anyone and everyone who wants to join and fund the project and bet on the space.
Normally, at this point I provide a bulleted text of my “Recent Buy Decision”, but let me provided a more long-winded approach on this one 🙂
The blockchain is being touted as Web 3.0. The first wave of Web 1.0 came with basic information portals and interacting with static websites. The second generation Web 2.0 saw an explosion of data and encouraged participation, collaboration and data sharing — the premise on which companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook were built. The next phase is being realized via the blockchain, which will allow dynamic distributed applications and services to interact and change our world in ways we can hardly imagine now.
The blockchain space is exciting and is bound to disrupt some of the largest companies in the world; not only in traditional economies, but even the Web 2.0 technology giants.
The Web 2.0 has brought riches to a few companies that has reached an elite status in the corporate world. The FAANGs control mind-boggling amounts of data on billions of users in the world — as consumers hand over data without thinking twice. Not only do we hand over data willingly, we pay and help the companies to do so by buying products such as Amazon Echo or Google Clip — which takes the creepiness to a whole new level.
Take Alphabet (Google) and Facebook. The companies do not charge anything for the services they provide and make all the money via advertisements. The companies track every move and target ads whether we are aware or not. As the adage goes, “If you’re not paying for it, you are the product” rings true. Most Americans came to this shocking realization recently when Equifax was hacked and everyone’s data was stolen with no responsibility and repercussions on the company’s parts. FYI, if you haven’t followed up, the executives “retired” with an extra $60M taken from the company’s coffers — as a final slap in the face.
Back to GOOGL and FB. While the companies have enjoyed the riches, there is rising demand for an alternate model. Users do not want to be tracked and become the unwilling sheep and want control of what aspect of their life is shared and even be compensated for any ads that they are consuming. This explains the tremendous demand for ad blockers in the web market. But there are alternative approaches. One company that is taking the fight to GOOGL and FB is Brave.
Brave is a browser that changes the current business model of pitching ads. Current model has an advertiser who pays the publisher, while the consumer has no choice but to consume that displayed ad (unless its blocked, which is getting harder now even with adblockers). Brave intends to change that model with its blockchain technology by bringing the user into the loop (hence the triangle logo) and get paid for actually consuming the ad. How refreshing is that!
Personally speaking, I am loving Brave more than the other browsers from recent years and I encourage you to give it a try.
This is achieved by Brave’s own utility token called Basic Attention Token (BAT), which is a unit of exchange between the three parties involved. The unit of exchange is the user’s ‘attention’ where the consumer is paid for consuming the ad and the attention in monetized. You can read full details of the mechanism here. The whitepaper for BAT is available here.
What do you think about this project and this purchase? Share your thoughts below.