has been on the internet for a short amount of time and it has few universal experiences such as having less ads. Whether it is paid posts on your social media posts or the insufferable pop-up ads trying to peddle various products, being on the internet means that you are being sold to in some way or the other. The problem is that not everyone wants to be sold to and while some have accepted advertising as an inevitable evil of the internet, others fight against it with ad-blockers or premium versions of popular sites such as YouTube without ads.
However, thanks to the magic of blockchain, it has become apparent that enduring ads or paying for them to go away are not the only two options available. What if it were possible to simply ask not to view ads? Or make money from viewing ads? The reality is that thanks to the Brave Browser, a blockchain-based browser, you can. The browser first debuted in ** and has recently celebrated 15 million monthly active users while clinching partnerships with BitFlyer and popular K-Pop group BTS.
What is Brave Browser and How Does it Work?
The Brave browser is a blockchain-powered privacy-centric browser that has been gaining traction over the last few years because of its unique features. The browser, by its design, does not allow for pop-up ads and its default setting is ad-free. If users want to see ads while making use of the browser, they will have to opt-in to do so from the browser’s settings page. In exchange for opting in to view ads, users will be financially rewarded. The browser makes money from advertisers making use of its platform and when a user chooses to view ads, they will receive a portion of the money made from the browsers. The payment in question is given to users in the form of Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) which is the browser’s native cryptocurrency.
Besides this, the browser also has features that foster a sense of community among users. Browser users are able to tip content creators and other users BAT in appreciation for their work. To receive BAT from others, content creators sign up with the Brave Creator program and once they are verified, tipping can begin. The Brave Creator program has also become popular amongst news publications who often sign up for the program and receive monthly tips from users, who can sign up to tip a creator or publication on a period basis. Furthermore, tipping can take place across popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Reddit who are rumored to be developing a similar program for the near future.
The browser is also heavily privacy-centric as user data is not stored on the platform and thus, cannot be sold to third parties. Also, user data such as their location cannot be accessed by the browser and encrypted video calls have recently been added.
The Future of Advertising?
Brave’s income generation model is an unorthodox one and considering the fact that the browser is free to download, was also a risky one. However, this risk appears to be paying off as they have seen millions of downloads and active users since their launch. However, the biggest legacy for Brave might not be in their popularity of even the money made but in the way that they challenge the existing browser model. Many internet users have resigned to either having their data stolen (as incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal have shown) or having to endure unwanted advertising as the price for admission to the internet. The popular saying that if you are getting something for free over the internet then you (or in this case, your attention, and your data) are what is being sold.
The model that Brave employs shows such users that they are valuable within internet spaces and that their time and attention are worth paying for rather than sold without their consent. Furthermore, it reinforces that they are fully a part of the browser itself. They decide if they want to view ads and share their location or not and if they do, they are compensated.
As the Brave browser gains even more popularity, we can expect to see more browsers model this system, and more importantly, more consumers become aware that there is an alternative to what they are used to. Furthermore, if all internet users can opt-out of ads with no fees and get rewarded if they watch ads, the global advertising model would be turned on its head.
The Future of Internet Communities?
The internet, at its core, a global community, and this has become more apparent with the rise of social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Most of these platforms are fueled by creators, writers, and so on and while they might receive attention, monetizing their content is not always easy. For example, the average viral tweet might receive hundreds of thousands of retweets but the composer of such a tweet might not receive any financial compensation from it, even though viral tweets are often used as content by popular websites who do make money from them.
Should the Brave model be widely adopted, it could become easier and commonplace for internet creators to receive altcoin compensation as quickly as their work gets attention. Furthermore, it reinforces the community feel of such platforms and rewards those that make them interesting to visit. For independent journalists, they would no longer be beholden to news organizations and can produce authentic works without the fear of financial retaliation.
The internet has always been evolving and this is more evident than ever with the Brave browser. The change in question is one that puts the users of the internet at the drivers seat, with more privacy, control, and autonomy than ever before. For creators, it means a new era of easy and reliable compensation. The Brave browser might be the next big thing on the internet or might be a prototype for future efforts but regardless, the precedent set cannot be ignored.