Brave Browser: Reforming Online Privacy and Advertising
Its first-ever version launched in 2016, with basic ad-blocking features. Between 2016 and 2019, the company fleshed out the browser, adding the details that make it recognisable today.
Toward the end of 2019, Brave released the official version 1.0, beginning its journey into the spotlight.
What is Brave browser?
Brave is a browser with both standard web2 browser functionality and web3 decentralized app (dapp) integration. It’s Chromium-based, meaning it was developed with the same open-source codebase as Google Chrome, but with slight differences.
Brave’s focus on online privacy and speed is what makes it unique. The browser has ad-blocking and privacy-preserving features embedded into its code, preventing persistent ads and trackers from following users around the web.
Additionally, blocking ads results in the browser downloading less content from web pages, leading to load speeds three times faster than Google Chrome according to Brave.
Brave browser replaces the traditional online ad infrastructure with a blockchain-based advertising ecosystem featuring incentives and optional ads that show as push notifications.
Similar to how Chrome and Microsoft Edge have their Google and Bing search engines, respectively, Brave browser also has a privacy-focused search engine, Brave Search.
Whereas search engines like Google are notorious for collecting users’ search and browsing data and selling it to advertisers, Brave’s privacy-friendly policies restrict its search engine from collecting or tracking such user data. As Brave says, “We keep user data out of our cloud Brave Vault by default. It’s better for you and us that we don’t store any of your data without your permission.”
How to earn on Brave Browser
Users can earn Basic Attention Token ($BAT) – Brave’s Ethereum-based cryptocurrency token – through the Brave Rewards system by viewing Brave private ads. The ads are optional and users can customise how frequently they appear, ranging from zero to ten ads per hour. The more ads viewed, the more tokens earned.
To start earning on Brave, you must first download the browser from the official site. Once installed, navigate to the Brave Rewards screen from the top-right menu or by clicking the triangle icon near the input field. From there, you can toggle on the Brave Private Ads to start receiving $BAT, and personalize your settings.
You’ll also need to setup or connect to a Brave or Uphold wallet or trading account on Gemini to send your monthly $BAT rewards into. From there you can trade your $BAT for other crypto, swap it for gift cards or use it for in-dapp purchases.
Brave also allows $BAT holders to tip their favourite websites and content creators; providing a second way to earn. To qualify for the tips, one must register for the Brave Creator program and link the platform on which they publish content.
How much can you earn with Brave browser?
Brave doesn’t appear to publish statistics on average reward payouts, so we surveyed a small group of Brave ad-viewing users (not content creators) from the community. The monthly payout range for ad viewers, assuming the user sets maximum ad delivery (10 ads per hour) and is working from a computer five days a week, is between 12 and 19 $BAT per month. The higher end of that range was more likely if the user also installed Brave as their smartphone web browser and and configured with their chosen wallet/exchange solution there.
While $BAT is currently trending around $0.27, it ranged between $0.50 and and $1.50 for most of last year, peaking up around $1.75 in November 2021. So from January 2021 to now, an average month’s $BAT earnings may have ranged in value from $3.25 to $33.25 at the time, with some outliers outside of this.
Maximum monthly payout will be a function of how many ads a user can be served, which is in turn a function of how many advertisers are paying to advertise in a market. To provide transparency into this, Brave publishes statistics on campaigns by market on its website. From these, we can see the advertising audience is truly global. While the country with the most current campaigns – the US – has 49, the large group of countries with the smallest amount of campaigns still have 11 each.
This means that people almost everywhere have a chance to earn with Brave, provided they have a smartphone and internet access.
Since its launch, Brave browser has experienced consistent and impressive user growth.
Earlier this month, Brendan Eich reported that the app recorded a monthly active user (MAU) count of 57.35 million in October – a 2% increase on September, a 36% increase on October 2021, and a more than 900% increase on June 2019.
Its daily active user (DAU) count has followed the same upward trend; Eich said the browser had 19.92 million DAU in October – a 1.6% rise from September.
Brave browser’s growing popularity is mainly attributed to its aggressive anti-ad stance and excellent privacy protection features. The browser has one of the best out of the box privacy settings, securing users’ browsing experience without extra tweaking or extensions.
Its ads and rewards system also proves effective in attracting new users. Plus, the platform makes it easy to switch from Chrome, importing users’ histories, extensions, and more from the former.
It should be noted that while Brave’s user statistics are impressive for a three-year-old browser, it still has a long way to go to challenge Chrome, whose MAU is usually in the billions.
Brave is still bolstering its privacy protection capabilities and has recently released a few new updates.
In September, it announced its new cookie consent pop-up blocking feature, which lets newer versions of the browser hide/block those annoying cookie consent banners that come up on the first visit to a website. In late October, it also added support for 93 new languages for Brave Translate, the browser’s in-built translation tool; taking the total to 108.
Most recently, it introduced a security update for the Brave Wallet that improved its signing experience to ensure safer transactions from the wallets.
What’s next for Brave?
Brave’s development and innovation look set to continue apace. It plans to launch an auto-earn feature for BAT in the Brave Wallet, and is also eyeing collaborations with select NFT projects and creators. It’s also working on further DeFi, metaverse and gaming utility.
You can read more about Brave’s plans here.
Brave is a project to keep an eye on and use. As Brave and web3 utility and adoption increase, so too should the earning potential and impact for the savvy web3 user.