Understand Brave Browser and BAT
Browse the web safer and faster
Brave is different from other browsers as it provides a built-in ads and tracker blockers which removes all those small components (ads trackers, third-party cookies, malwares, etc.) injected in web page to capture and understand your habits and behaviour on the web and serve you what you want. On one side, it is a good thing as large advertisers like Google or Facebook can surface the best content for you but on the other hand, the tracking provides to advertisers a priceless gold mine of personal and private information and often considered as integral part of the global surveillance as we know today.
So Brave blocks all of that automatically which has two main direct benefits:
- Faster browsing experience: there is therefore less content to download (no ads or trackers) before accessing a website. [2x faster on desktop - 8x on mobile]
- Improved privacy and safety: it provides anonymity over ads campaigns while browsing the web and also enforce web encryption (HTTPS) to prevent passive or injection attack.
This feature is called Brave shields and can be configured globally (in Settings / Brave shields defaults) or specifically for the website you currently visit with the Brave icon at the right side of the URL bar. It shows a popup with the various indicators of the shield (ads and trackers blocked, encrypted connections, cookies and scripts) and the ability to enable/disable the shield entirely or partially for this site.
Brave Rewards System for Content Creators and Users
Brave Rewards is an optional and anonymous donation system integrated directly into the Brave desktop and mobile browser in order to support content creator in different ways. It uses a ERC20 crypto-currency called BAT (Basic Attention Token) to enable tipping (one-time or recurrent) between the user and a verified publisher (content creator).
Consequently Brave enables a transparent, decentralized and more efficient system to fairly reward content creators across the web without intermediary. This strategy goes against the existing system of digital advertising which is used by most of the content creators but is proven inefficient for them as overrun by middlemen, trackers and fraud.
On the user side, Brave Rewards can be enabled going in Settings / Brave Rewards or brave://rewards.
Once enabled, this setting page allows to customise and configure Brave Rewards (enable Ads, Auto-contribute, etc.), see the User's tipping history and manage a BAT wallet.
At any time, the user can simply click on the BAT icon next to the Shield icon to directly tip the website he is currently visiting. We can see if the website is already a Brave verified publisher or not, if not a tip can still be sent but it will be pending until someone claims it.
By clicking on Send a Tip…, it is possible then to send the tip in BAT tokens (1.0, 5.0 or 10.0 BAT). It is even possible to setup a recurring monthly payment.
Brave Browser embeds a crypto-wallet which is centrally managed by Uphold, a Digital money exchange which is used (I believe) for regulatory compliance and ease funding via Bitcoin, Litcoin, Ethereum or BAT transfer. However, it is an anonymous Uphold account which in theory can be controlled via the wallet recovery key.
Right now (April 2019), the wallet is unidirectional, meaning you can only fund your wallet but never withdraw your current BAT balance. This functionality should be enabled in the future.
Based on your local browsing history only (number of visits and time spent on sites), Brave proposes to automatically distribute your BAT tokens to content creators with an Auto-Contribute feature.
On the publisher side, in order to receive Brave rewards from your audience, you first need to register and be verified for one or more channels (websites, YouTube or Twitch channel) via https://publishers.basicattentiontoken.org.
Interestingly, it is possible to customise your Tipping banner with logo, name, description, links, etc.
Finally, in terms of payment, the publisher is required to set up an Uphold account with KYC. This part shows obviously the current limits of Brave and BAT as a decentralised peer2p product. Regulations and mass user adoption must be the reason of this choice…
As explained, Brave removes trackers used by advertisers to targets users. In order to replace this, they are trying to revolutionise the advertising space with a new model focused on relevance and privacy.
Users will be paid to watch ads. While browsing the web, the users could receive notifications to watch ads, or see ads on a website (in the future) and consequently receive 15% [for publisher ads] or 70% [for users ads] of the revenue generated to their Brave wallet. As we know, the wallet is currently unidirectional, so this earning can only be used to send tips to your favorite websites.
The rest of the 15% will be then shared between the advertisers, the publishers and Brave.
Ads matching happens locally on the user device via a browsing history learning algorithm and never shared those information with anyone, thus respecting privacy!
To conclude, Brave Browser provides a privacy-first solution to build a sustainable ecosystem for the web by enabling peer2p value sharing.
- Brave: Discover and download Brave browser
- Brave Blog: Find the latest news about Brave
- Brave Help Center: Support and Knowledge base
- Brave Community: Ask questions and find answers about Brave or BAT
- Brave Publishers: Become a verified publisher to monetise your content via Brave Rewards.
- Basic Attention Token: Everything about BAT (whitepaper, FAQ and latest news)
Brave is definitely the way to go! I started using it just over a month ago and it's been great. Not only have I gathered up some BAT tokens to Tip websites with but my own site has received them too. What's more the amount of adverts that have been blocked is stunning, who knew there were so many!