Brave Browser: a new browser experience with a payback program

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Recently I discovered a new web browser called Brave. This attracted my attention because of some web news talking about a browser with a built-in ad blocker system and with an associated reward program. I was awfully curious and I went immediately on their official website (https://brave.com/).

The team has its main offices in San Francisco e London. Brendan Eich, the CEO and Founder, isn’t new to the browser market: he is ex CEO from Mozilla and creator of Javascript.

Main focus

The team declares as main goal privacy, security and performance. Privacy and security are assured by its built-in ad blocker features and improved by default settings configured to block phishing, malware, and malvertising. This is, in my opinion, a great idea because most people leave default configuration to their browsers not taking care of security tunings that may be necessary. Nowaday, accept/decline buttons for each webpage pull internet society and many people accepts without reading pages of warnings that are longer that the content they are looking for. I don’t think that this is improving web security because everyone tends to click Accept without reading all accepted conditions…

To test the browser I’ve installed it in my notebook and performed some internet queries.

Performance test

For this test, I’ve tried with some common web pages, loading them with Brave browser that will be compared Chrome (which is the base of Brave Browser). Tests compare loading time for the same webpage on the two browser. A common chromium extension called “Page load time” will measure page loading times.

Below a list with some results:

Reward program

But the revolutionary concept behind Brave browser relies behind its reward program. In fact, Brave browser foresees a cryptocoin reward for users. Instead of showing the user with advertisements from websites, it is Brave browser to let the user the when to view ads. In this way, Breave’s advertisement replaces those ads based on ad network publishers. So, ads rewards move from websites owners to Brave.

At this point you could ask what is the advantage for content creators, stated that they could see their revenue falling down and their content creation work not remunerated. Brave promises the following compromise:

  • 70% of Brave earnings from ad revenue will route to users
  • users can contribute these earnings to the sites that they love

The advantage that Brave wants to pass is that usually ad networks gives website owners only a very small part of ad revenues. With their system internet stakeholders (user and content creators) should obtain a larger percentage. Users will become the decisors on how much and who will receive their contribution.

This approach can be smart from a theory point. On the other hand, a user that is directly remunerated could be not completely receptive in giving donations on websites. This could be a matter of culture. At the end, in my opinion the risk could be in leaving many minor content creators without revenues and this could drive to web contents pauperizations. This could be different if the Brave team could fix a defined minimum percentage of user rewards to content creators. This way both creators and users could benefit from the system.

BAT coins, a new attention based coin

Finally, a note about remuneration. Brave Rewards pays with BAT (Basic Attention Token). Here below a brief description of this coin (ref. https://basicattentiontoken.org):

“The Basic Attention Token (BAT)is an ERC20 token built on top of Ethereum, will be the token utility in a new, decentralized, open source and efficient blockchain-based digital advertising platform.”

The team behind BAT is the same behind Brave browser. From a point of view this could be an advantage, because increasing popularity and use of both browser and cryptocoin could result in benefits for people using both the two tools. But the risks of interest conflicts could be a danger to take in consideration. A second risk is that concentrating revenue flows could generate a critical point for earnings managements with a lack of competition.

Users can connect BAT coins gained directly to its wallet and convert them with the preferred coin.

Final consideration

From a technical point of view, Brave browser appears to be a valid competitor to most popular browsers. It is really fast and well responsive, while its structure (based on Chromium) appears familiar to users used to Chrome.

About the Rewards program, it is a new concept and could be really revolutionary in today advertisement market. But this should be monitored and tuned in order to avoid the the death of small internet blogger which make the web so great because everyone can give its content contribute.

So, I suggest to give a try to this browser, which can be a valid browser. But remember to leave contribution to peppe8o.com active! 🙂

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