What is Brave and BAT cryptocurrency?

Read full article at The Capital.

Brave is a browser with built-in user privacy settings that hide ads on websites by default. How does it work? Why do we need it?

Brave has a unique advertising model in which users can allow ads on the Brave Ads network and earn rewards in the cryptocurrency Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Brave Wallet, a browser-based cryptocurrency wallet that supports the storage and transfer of assets from EVM-compliant networks and Solana, is now available in the browser.

From 2016–2021, Brave’s user base roughly doubled each year. As of October 2022, about 20 million people use the browser daily.

Who launched the project and when?

The founders of Brave are Brian Bondy and Brendan Eich.

Eich began his career at Netscape Communications, where he developed JavaScript, which went on to become one of the most popular programming languages. Eich co-founded the Mozilla Foundation, which launched the popular web browser, Firefox, in 1998. Eich initially served as CTO and was appointed CEO in 2014, but he left shortly thereafter. Bondi has previously worked for Khan Academy, Mozilla, and Evernote.

Bondy and Eich founded Brave Software in 2015, and in 2016 they released the first version of the Brave browser, which stood out from competitors due to its lack of advertising and flexible privacy settings.

They did not go wrong with this idea: by the end of 2021, the browser gathered an audience of more than 50 million users. According to the official statistics of the platform, the number of daily browser users surpassed 19.6 million at the beginning of October.

In 2017, Brave Software conducted a lightning-fast ICO, selling $35 million in Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency in just 30 seconds.

The Brave Browser features

Brave Browser is a free open-source browser based on Chromium. It looks and functions similarly to the well-known Google Chrome, with the exception that it does not display advertisements and does not collect personal data by default. Brave also blocks location tracking, malware, does not play videos by default, rejects third-party cookies, and does not create a digital fingerprint of the user.

In its first version, the browser only offered ad blocking on sites, but later Brave Software said it would launch its own advertising network, Brave Ads, which operates on a Pay-to-surf (PTS) model.

It is activated if the user selects the appropriate option in the browser settings. The app will then begin to collect behavioral data and display relevant advertisements. The intensity of the ads can be altered. In exchange, the user receives BAT cryptocurrency rewards. In addition, verified advertisers receive a portion of the BAT payout.

In this case, the system decides which ads to display and under what conditions. Brave Software emphasizes that the key condition, regardless of the location of advertising in their browser, is the absence of obtrusiveness.

According to the developers, by blocking ads and trackers on websites, Brave browser runs up to 3 times faster and uses about one-third less memory than Google Chrome.

Brave Wallet

Brave’s main Web3 component is the built-in Brave Wallet, which requires no additional installation. Users can, however, choose familiar extensions at their discretion.

Brave Wallet, like other well-known solutions such as Metamask, connects to other wallets and decentralized apps directly from the web page. It supports transactions involving any digital asset issued on EVM-compliant blockchains (Ethereum, Polygon, BNB Chain, Fantom, Optimism, and others). On CoinGecko, you can also exchange fiat for cryptocurrency using Wyre or Ramp Network, store and transfer non-exchangeable tokens (NFT), and view quote charts.

Brave Wallet includes built-in DEX features, allowing you to swap assets using the 0x and Jupiter aggregators. Brave’s commission ranges between 0.8 and 0.9% depending on the pair.

In May 2022, Brave Wallet added support for blockchain and native cryptocurrency Solana (SOL). This allowed users to create accounts, perform crosschain swaps, and transfer SLP tokens.

The next version of the browser added the ability to store and transfer cryptocurrency Filecoin via Brave Wallet (FIL). In addition, the wallet is compatible with the Celo Network (CELO).

Key opportunities of Brave

Disabling Ads and Activating Brave Ads
One of the primary benefits of Brave is the ability to disable ads on websites. If you want, you can enable the Brave Ads advertising network, which will display targeted ads for BAT rewards.

When registering, the user specifies the number of advertisements that the system may show him. The ad network begins charging BAT for ad views after at least 5 seconds of clicking on a link. Brave Ads even supports micropayments, which are rarely available in traditional financial tools today.

Donations to content producers
With Brave Browser you can encourage the creators of your favorite channels on Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Vimeo, or GitHub, or you can leave them a one-time “tip.” A single translation must be at least 1 BAT in size. To use this feature, content creators must first register with the project’s partner network. There is also the option to pay for the sites where you spend the most time, which can be turned off.

Accessing blocked web resources and pages
Brave Browser will include IPFS support in 2021. It allows you to access blocked web pages, speeds up their loading and saves you money on hosting fees. In Thailand, for example, some sections of Wikipedia are unavailable, and approximately 100,000 websites are blocked in Turkey. If you install a full protocol node or enable the use of ipfs:// addresses through the gateway, you can view all of these pages in Brave Browser.

Brave Search
Brave launched its own search engine, Brave Search, in 2021 to prove its status as a private browser. It’s based on the open-source Tailcat system, which doesn’t track IP addresses or personal information. The user can still use a different search engine, but the Brave browser uses its own.

By the end of June 2022, Brave Search had more than 2.5 billion searches in a year. The project team announced the successful completion of the beta test of the service as well as its full integration into the browser. Brave also supports video calls with end-to-end encryption.

BAT cryptocurrency functions

Brave’s primary cryptocurrency is BAT. It is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token. As of October 10, the token was trading at $0.3; at its peak of growth in November 2021, its value reached $1.7. All major exchanges, including Kraken, Gemini, Binance, Coinbase, Bitfinex, and others, have listed the crypto-asset.

Users of the Brave browser can earn BAT for free by viewing advertisements. Payments are made to the cryptocurrency wallet Brave Wallet. Verified Brave Wallet users also receive “cashback” in BAT in the amount of 20% of the commissions paid for swaps made through the wallet.

Content creators on YouTube, Twitter, and other platforms can also accept BAT cryptocurrency donations from fans. You can withdraw funds only once per month for a minimum of 15 BAT.

Brave forks

On June 6, 2020, a fork of Brave called Braver emerged. The scandal outraged the developers of the new project, who had referral links to cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets sewn into the browser’s source code. The alternative version of Brave removed hidden links, video calls, and widgets.

Later, the original browser’s lawyers changed the name Braver. The fork’s creators promised to try again, already based on Chromium, like Brave.

Brendan Eich, the founder of the private blockchain browser, formally apologized three days after the high-profile fork and promised to remove referral links in the new version. However, users caught the Brave team in a lie: they found moving the links down the URL line, which is essentially a half-hearted solution.

This was not the blockchain browser’s first fork. Prior to Braver, there was Gab, a social media platform where the BAT token was replaced with bitcoin via the Lightning Network.

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What is Brave and BAT cryptocurrency? was originally published in The Capital Platform on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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