In the Age of Information the ones that can collect, package, & quantify the data they collect on you as you use their free platform *cough* Facebook, Google, Cambridge Analytica *cough* the more money they can generate. This happens mostly without your knowledge, but at some point you might have even given your consent without realizing it (yay for complex 100 page TOS's!). Privacy is a tricky beast these days, but not every company is out to steal your data for profits, which is why I love the Brave browser! Follow The 'Stache as I break down exactly how Brave keeps your private bits private, blocks ads, allows you to support your favorite content producers, AND will pay you to view ads that you choose.
The Brave Browser Steps Up To The Plate
The browser game is a tough one. There have only really been a few "great" browsers over time and the category has only gotten narrower in recent times. I remember being excited to have Netscape Navigator installed on my hand-me-down 486 in the mid 90's (stopped being an Apple fan in the mid-90's too). Soon Internet Explorer followed, but I was never much of a fan of the browser lovingly nicknamed "Internet Exploder" and soon found Firefox. This was my go-to browser for years, until Chrome was released and I started using mostly Google products .
Forward Thinking Features
While the privacy features are huge, Brave packs in some very forward thinking features along with the fact that it is FAST. Pages load a little quicker in my opinion (especially on mobile), and this is due mostly to it's great ad blocking features. Brave features a built in ad & tracker blocker, helps to fight phishing & malware, allows you to directly support your favorite content producers and websites through the BAT token (more on that later), and as of late June 2018 has rolled out their trial program to pay users to view selected ads from a curated ad pool.
Sticking It To The Traditional Ad Model
There is nothing I like more then to see someone really stick it to "the man", and in Brave's case they are going for the jugular of the traditional ad model of online advertising. Currently you surf the web and are tracked by your favorite brands so they can build a complex model of your habits to better sell to you. You get nothing...
Let that sink in a second. These companies are using you and your data to sell you shit you probably don't want in the first place and you get nothing back. This model is broken and, along with fiat currency in my opinion, is on it's way out. They won't give up easy (especially that pesky central bank controlled fiat), but they will falter in the future. Maybe not next year, 5 years, or even 20 years, but it will happen in my lifetime I feel. Brave natively blocks ads and trackers and it does it well. Check out this chart from a great article on Hackernoon:
Using Brave, you don't have to see or download these ads and it saves you time (did I mention the browser is lightning fast?) as well as money. This shift towards a "consent based" attention ad model will hurt the big guys AND the little guys (like me) who do depend on advertising revenue to support themselves. Don't worry though, the Brave team has a plan for that too...
The Brave team aims to replace the traditional advertising model with one that PAYS users for their attention & also to support their favorite sites & content producers. This is where the BAT (Basic Attention Token) comes into play.
What Is BAT?
The Basic Attention Token, or BAT, is the cryptocurrency that goes hand-in-hand with the Brave browser. While yes, you can trade BAT tokens on multiple crypto exchanges, that is NOT their main purpose. Here is their info on CoinMarketCap.com for information's sake:
Right now, you can load up your Brave in-browser wallet with BAT tokens and use them to support your favorite websites and content producers directly (even individual channels on YouTube and Twitch). This is done through an anonymous blockchain ledger and goes directly to the creators who have signed up to receive Brave Payments (like me!). Even if their Google ads are blocked you can allocate a certain percentage of your available BAT tokens to go towards sites that YOU want to support.
The Brave browser allows you to set a monthly budget of BAT that are then automatically distributed to the sites you frequent the most in a percentage that you get to define. Love what The 'Stache is doing? You can allocate 5%, 10%, 50%, or just 1% of your monthly BAT token budget to my site and it directly supports me without having to see any advertising on my site while reading articles just like this!
Of course, this is all optional and you don't have to pay a dime to use the Brave browser (it's free!), but I love that they give you a way to choose who and what you support online instead of just hijacking your data and user habits and selling them to the highest bidder. This is the current main use for BAT, but Brave just started testing their native ad network where users will be paid in BAT to view select ads that the user gets to choose to see! Brilliant!
Get Paid To View Ads On Brave Browser
One of the main features that is JUST getting rolled out is the ability for users to get paid in BAT for allowing ads to be shown to them while using the browser. This is in it's first test phase, but essentially advertisers will pay for ads using BAT and then for users that have opted in, Brave will share 70% of that revenue with them in the form of Basic Attention Tokens. I don't know about you, but if I have to see ads I would rather be paid to see them and from a category that I choose from. Unfortunately I missed the boat of being in this first select few trial users, but I am excited to see the feature rolled out to everyone ASAP.
Technology moves really really fast, and Brave understands that. If you have not tried out the Brave browser then I would say check it out first hand and see what it is all about. The age of Chrome dominance is over and the sun is rising on the Brave browser. If you wan to support me you can download the Brave browser here: https://brave.com/cry488
Let me know what you think about the Brave browser and Basic Attention Tokens! Are you a HODLer of BAT? Do you already use Brave?
Message me and let me know, but until then...