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 to their official website (https://brave.com/).
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. Nowadays, accept/decline buttons for each webpage pull internet society and many people accept without reading pages of warnings that are longer than 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.
For this test, I’ve tried with some common web pages, loading them with Brave browser that will be compared to Chrome (which is the base of Brave Browser). Tests compare loading time for the same webpage on the two browsers. A common chromium extension called “Page load time” will measure page loading times.
Below is a list with some results:
- https://peppe8o.com (Chrome: 2.68 s; Brave: 2.01 s)
- http://www.yahoo.com (Chrome: 4.79 s; Brave: 3.32 s)
- http://www.cnn.com (Chrome: 3.80 s; Brave: 2.92 s)
- http://www.amazon.com (Chrome: 1.42 s; Brave: 1.35 s)
But the revolutionary concept behind Brave browser relies on 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, Brave’s advertisement replaces those ads based on ad network publishers. So, ad 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 give 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 theoretical point. On the other hand, a user that is directly remunerated could be not completely receptive to giving donations on websites. This could be a matter of culture. In 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 into consideration. A second risk is that concentrating revenue flows could generate a critical point for earnings management with a lack of competition.
Users can connect BAT coins gained directly to their wallet and convert them with the preferred coin.
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’s advertisement market. But this should be monitored and tuned in order to avoid the death of small internet bloggers who make the web so great, as everyone can give its contribution.
So, I suggest giving a try to this browser, which can be a valid browser. But remember to leave a contribution to peppe8o.com active! 🙂
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