Attention-Based Economics on Blockchain: Taking a Closer Look at a Startup That Raised $35 Mn in 30 Seconds

. . . in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. – Herbert Simon, 1971

Chances are, you've already heard of a new browser company Brave Software founded by former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, which raised $35 million from its ICO — and it did it in less than 30 seconds. For its ICO sale, Brave Software created its own coin — The Basic Attention Token (BAT) – and sold one billion of them. That collection of BAT cost 156,250 ETH, which is just over $35 million. A further 500 million BAT is stored for user growth and BAT development.

According to Coinbase, only ~130 people were able to buy the BAT tokens, with five buyers scooping up about half of the supply. The top 20 addresses in the token sale control more than ...

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