BAT developer reveals why the project chose Ethereum over Bitcoin
Basic Attention Token (BAT), the cryptocurrency powering the wildly popular Brave browser, was initially issued on Bitcoin before switching to Ethereum, a project developer revealed on May 4.
Ethereum > Bitcoin for Brave
Jonathan Sampson, one of the chief developers of BAT, answered a naysayer stating the protocol would have worked faster if it worked on Bitcoin’s lightning network.
If @brave had just used BTC/lightning instead of some made up token it'd be wonderful.. I'm sure they know this by now but are stuck
— Lommy (@thefuckisalommy) May 2, 2020
But Sampson chimed in soon after:
We launched our prototype on Bitcoin. Network fees and congestion nearly buried our project. Our users were buying $5 in Bitcoin, and paying as much as 90% in fees. And having to wait a terribly-long time for their coins after that. BTC/LN wasn't ready.
— Sampson (@BraveSampson) May 3, 2020
The developer pointed out Bitcoin’s infamous transaction times, network congestion, and cost almost resulted in BAT’s failure. While other posters questioned the claims of high fees, Sampson indicated transaction costs almost equaled the smaller amounts that prototype users purchased.
Sampson further noted BAT was issued, instead of having the project run on Ethereum, to specifically target a future “user growth pool” consisting of 300 million BAT and preventing testers from bringing “their own coins.”
But Sampson did not entirely rule out Bitcoin. A user asked if the project was likely to try the Lighting Network now that a stable build is running seamlessly. The developer answered:
“As we’ve said in the past, we’ll adapt as needed, but I personally do not see how Brave would be improved by using Bitcoin rather than the Attention Token.”
He added Brave now boasts 13 million unique users and “hundreds of thousands” of publishers.
The above metrics might congest the Ethereum network, which was tested when CryptoKitties rose in 2018. At the time, users reported hour-long transaction periods and inflated fees, even up to $90 in some isolated instances.
Sampson echoes the sentiment. He stated Brave’s problems in 2016/17 were “unique to that point.” But now, users have a simple opt-in for BAT ads ad payouts, with no major issues since platform launch.
BAT’s rise to top crypto
BAT has grown in fundamentals since its inception. The token remains one of the most widely-used cryptocurrencies and saw its adoption surge among retail users when Brave version 1.0 was launched.
Recently, crypto exchange Binance and Brave announced the launch of an in-browser trading widget that allows users to integrate the former. The move helps users to connect directly with Binance and use the exchange’s services for transactions and storage, all while never leaving the Brave browser.
At the time of writing, BAT trades at $0.18 and has risen 7 percent since April 2020. Last month, CryptoSlate reported the cryptocurrency’s unique on-chain metrics were pointing towards higher prices, ahead of Gemini’s listing.