There has been a lot of criticism of Basic Attention Token for blocking fraudsters from getting tokens. About a month ago, a user reported that his BAT grants were revoked. The BAT team responded that the user was cheating the system so they blocked him to support the general interest of the platform.

Though most users supported the team, some “muh decentralization” people started whining about centralization. Their main argument is that everything has to be decentralized or else it is “not right”. Monero developer, Riccardo Spagni also joined in on the criticism.


Their vision of radical decentralization is not sustainable, scalable or achievable. BAT isn’t trying to create a decentralized advertisement ecosystem. It is trying to improve the current system and provide a better environment for the publishers and users which protect the privacy of general users.

Decentralization isn’t BAT’s priority. BAT has a specific goal of user adoption on the open digital advertisement market. It is not trying to be a store of value like Ethereum, Bitcoin or Monero. Decentralization is important for the three coins I just mentioned because they are stores of value. They need to be trustless.

It is dishonest to compare BAT with these coins because it has a different use case. Of course that doesn’t change the fact the BAT’s main token is decentralized and sits on top of the Ethereum blockchain. But the BAT advertisement system sits on a centralized database controlled by the Brave Inc team.

This provides some significant benefits to the BAT platform. Since most of the tokens stay outside the BAT ledger, it is more secure because even if the BAT internal ledger gets hacked, most tokens won’t get lost. On the other hand, the centralized ledger allows BAT to transect very fast and process insanely higher amounts of transfers compared to the decentralized token on Ethereum.

Overall, BAT’s combination of centralized ledger and decentralized token provides an ecosystem which is both secure and scalable. That is necessary for competing with current Advertisement giants like Google Adsense. Thanks for reading and consider sharing your thoughts about BAT in the comments.


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  1. Nicholas

    In some cases, decentralization is not our primary needs.
    The BAT is not a “pure” money-system, as you write it, not a real competitor with BTC, for example. I think, this is not bad, despite that, the decentralization is the number one favorite buzzword right now, in cryptoverse.

    The BAT is a good project, with good use-case. And this is enough, dont need to save the world, i think.

    1. Adil Elias

      I have to say agree with Nicholas here, plus it’s starting to seem like Decentralization is being used as a subjective word that means different things for different people. 😛

      That being said, thanks for interesting article!