Partner AMA with Lin Dai

Welcome to the sixteenth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs.

The ongoing AMA series on Reddit features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams, and, as of recently, guests from projects that Brave partners or works with.

The most recent AMA took place on May 20th and featured Lin Dai, CEO & Co-Founder of Hooch App and TAP Network, the first advertising and data network that connects brands to reward consumers directly using blockchain. Brave’s partnership with TAP, announced back in February of 2019, will allow Brave users to redeem Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) for real-world rewards offered by over 250,000 top brand partners in the TAP Network.

Lin fielded both pre-submitted and live questions from Redditors about Hooch & TAP’s origin story, how the TAP and Brave partnership came to be, and what the user flow for redeeming TAP rewards with BAT tokens will look like. Lin shared impressive stats, like the fact that TAP Network currently has over 250,000 merchant and brand partners. He also shared some frightening ones: for instance, 3rd party companies on the web today can obtain data on a thousand or more people for $20 or less—with no compensation for the owners of that data! This idea of the internet user as a commodity harkens back to Brave’s potent “You are not a product” slogan, which Lin and his team embrace wholeheartedly.

Highlights can be found below, with a link to the full AMA at the bottom of this post.

The next AMA will take place on Wednesday, June 5th, and will feature Jimmy Secretan, VP of Services and Operations at Brave.

For the list of upcoming BAT Community AMAs through May 2019, see below.

jeu514: What's the tap network? Is it a blockchain project? If yes what network you launching it on? Why launching it on the one you chose?

TAP Network is a blockchain project, focused on using blockchain to manage First Party Consent of Data and the monetization of that data, in short, allowing you to control what data to share and get paid for it everytime anyone accesses it. In 2017 and 2018, we've experimented for a long time on the Ethereum network, testing an ERC20 token. However, by fall 2018, we've decided to launch TAP as a stable-coin on the Stellar network. Stellar provides a really simple way to issue and manage digital assets, and working with Stellar anchors and exchanges, we can make TAP compatible and exchangeable with any major ERC20 tokens. We think of ourselves as a "cross-chain" project, where we are protocol agnostic. Our goal is connecting digital tokens to real world merchants and brands, no matter what blockchain token you hold.

CryptoJennie: Can you share the TAP/Hooch origin story?

Both myself and my co-founder Jared spent 15+ years in digital advertising and led major media companies and digital agencies. We saw the shifting of control in the advertising industry where 2 companies Google and Facebook dominate, where 94 cents out of every new dollar in digital advertising go to one of these two companies. We also saw the way major companies are abusing consumers' data for advertising revenue, especially Facebook, and thought that wasn't going to be sustainable long term. We had a simple idea 3 years ago to offer free drinks to anyone that either pay for a monthly subscription, or share their purchase data, and when we saw 80% of our users are actively sharing their data for free drinks, we knew we were onto something!

Wega58: We had an important partnership announcement between TAP & Brave. As a BAT holder, I enjoy seeing Brave at work with constant updates from the team on the progress. I was hoping for the same dedication from TAP network. Can you keep the Brave community updated on the future progress? Can you give us the latest updates on the correct progress? What parts of the partnership already implemented and what/when we should expect next. Thank you.

Brave is a great partner for TAP and we are excited to be part of the community. We will absolutely do our best to keep the Brave community updated on progress. Since our joint announcement at Mobile World Congress, the two teams have been collaborating on both advertising and rewards integration. We share the same mission to help consumers take control of and monetize your own data. A big part of that effort is bringing the world's biggest advertisers and brands into the ecosystem. We've had some very exciting meetings sharing with top brands in the world how using Brave-TAP technology can help them create a better advertising experience, and build loyalty with consumers by rewarding them. We are a major partner in the recent Ad Platform launch in the Brave browser, and we are already actively working to integrate our existing brand partners into the Brave Ad Platform, in the form of new ads you may be seeing and earning BAT for. The next big launch that both teams are working on is the integration of the TAP redemption API into Brave Rewards, where you can spend your BAT to get any of our hundreds of top e-commerce and retail gift cards from Amazon to Uber and Starbucks, over 50,000+ major restaurants, or donate to 1,000+ charities and causes connected to the TAP Network. For a sneak peak, you can see all the redemption options in the Hooch App (downloadable in App Store or Google Play Store). Most of the redemption options available in Hooch App will be available in the Brave browser in the coming months. We are very excited about that.

TidyGate1: do you foresee any cross-selling opportunities where retailers seeing meaningful purchases from BAT owners via tap network, end up signing up to advertise on the BAT ads platform?

Yes! In fact we are actively sharing the vision with brands why they should participate in the combined Brave-TAP ecosystem. They can start the journey as advertisers in the Brave browser, and continue to build trusted relationships with users by rewarding any purchases actually made and detected by TAP. It's a perfect use of the combined Brave-TAP technology.

palacedreams344: What plans do you have to significantly grow its user-base? What sort of time-scales are you looking at for this? Thanks.

TAP Network's long term mission, similar to Brave is to bring fairness and transparency to the advertising industry. We believe to compete with the current major players in the space we need to build a coalition. TAP is primarily deploying through B2B partnerships. We've built our own owned-and-operated app Hooch, which has hundreds of thousands of users, and give everyone a great example of how data and rewards work in the TAP Network. But we think the long term growth of TAP comes from deploying TAP rewards as white-label services for partners that share the same vision. Brave is a great example, Brave Rewards when powered by TAP Network will allow Brave users redeem BAT for 250,000+ rewards options available in the TAP ecosystem. Beyond Brave, there are many partners in the advertising and media space that are getting unfairly pushed out by competitors such as Facebook. TAP is white-labeling our technology for non-blockchain companies in the media and entertainment space, really excited for major announcements in the coming months.

jeu514: What's the positive effect of TAP on Brave browser and how will the BAT community benefit from the partnership?

TAP and Brave were built by different teams but fundamentally have the same ethos. It's almost like fraternal twins, where we literally built separate businesses that are so complementary to each other. What Brendan and the Brave team has built is truly groundbreaking and fundamental technology, at the browser level, at the core of every user's internet experience. What we built tech wise is a Consent Management system on blockchain, which by itself is a concept widely pursued by many other projects, but what we have that nobody else has is the "incentive" to give consent - our network of 250,000+ merchants of brand partners who are ready to reward you fairly and transparently. You put Brave and TAP together, what you get is 1 + 1 = 10 or more. Millions of users can earn BAT by opt-in to ads in a truly private way, and the BAT you earn can be instantly redeemed for real-world goods and services powered by TAP Network! We are not immediately making TAP compatible with any other crypto yet, which makes BAT arguably the most "useful" token to consumers in the near future. Consumers don't need to know that either Brave or TAP is "blockchain", they can just use the browser, and get the rewards. I think that is a big part why together Brave and TAP can drive mass consumer adoption of blockchain.

slugmg14: What made you interested in partnering with Brave and integrating TAP & BAT? Thanks, your time and effort does not go unappreciated.

We are attracted to Brave because it has two things that almost no other blockchain companies have. 1. We care about consumer adoption. Brave already has millions of users, which almost no other projects can say, and 2. Brave is tackling the same unfair distribution and inefficiency in the advertising industry that we are setting out to disrupt as well. Team wise, TAP and team are Marketing Tech veterans and advertising industry insiders. Our strength really complements Brave's own which makes us great partners. Plus the opportunity to work hand in hand with a legend such as Brendan Eich is just too good to pass up!

Read the full AMA here.

Read Jan Piotrowski, Brad Flora, and Des Martin’s AMA from April 10th, 2019, here.  

Follow the BAT Community’s Updates here:

Upcoming BAT Community AMAs:

June 2019
Ian Kane (COO) and Daniel Gouldman (CEO), founders and co-owners at Ternio
Marshall Rose, Principal Engineer at Brave
Jordan Spence, CMO of MyCrypto

July 2019
Alex Wilson and Patrick Duffy, Founders of The Giving Block
Catherine Corre, Head of Communications at Brave

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