Ultimate Resource On Private Blockchain Brave Browser
Privacy-oriented blockchain web browser Brave has seen its monthly active users (MAU) almost double from 5.5 million in 2018 to 10.4 million in 2019. At the same time, Brave’s daily active users (DAU) have tripled over the past year to reach 3.3 million, the firm announced Dec. 5. Private Blockchain Browser Brave Doubles Monthly Active Users In 2020
12x Increase In New Publishers
Alongside a spike in active users, Brave also recorded a 12-time increase in verified publishers that are registered to receive Brave’s built-in tokens — Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) — for sharing content.
According to data from BATGrowth — a site that tracks Brave browser adoption — the total number of Brave publishers was 341,880 as of Dec. 6. In contrast, Brave had just 28,000 verified publishers at the beginning of 2019.
Brave Continues To Grow After Launching Crypto Tipping On Social Media
A number of reports show that Brave is becoming increasingly popular. Brave reportedly overtook its major competitors like Chrome, Firefox and Opera in Japanese Google Play in September.
Private Brave Browser Integrates Auto Wayback Machine Lookup
Brave, a major privacy-oriented rival of popular browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox, now automatically redirects users to check out archived versions of pages that were removed from the web.
Starting from Feb. 25, Brave browser users can instantly access archived content of “missing” pages on the Internet via Wayback Machine integration on the Brave desktop browser.
In order to unlock the new feature, Brave has partnered with popular nonprofit digital library The Internet Archive, or Archive.org. The new feature debuted on Brave browser version 1.4 and is only available on desktop for now.
Archive.org revealed the development in a Feb. 25 blog post.
A Portal To The Internet’s History
Founded in 1996 with the purpose of offering permanent access to historical digital data, the Internet Archive has archived over 900 billion URLs alongside 400 billion web pages to date, and keeps adding hundreds of millions pages each day.
As a result of native Wayback Machine integration on HTTP 404 responses within the Brave desktop browser, users are now automatically offered to read an archived page instead of the traditional “Page Not Found” notice. If a page is missing or has been taken down, Brave will show the following notification:
“Sorry, that page is missing. Do you want to check if a saved version is available on the Wayback Machine?”
As such, Brave users will further be able to scroll through older versions of the page in case they have been archived on the Wayback Machine. Brave claims to be the first browser with built-in Wayback Machine support so far. Indeed, other popular browsers like Safari, Chrome and Firefox only currently support the feature via browser extensions.
Brave And The Internet Archive’s Partnership Dates Back To 2017
Brave’s support of the Wayback Machine is not the first collaboration of Brave and the Internet Archive though. Back in 2017, the Internet Archive added support for getting micropayments from participating Brave Browser users, allowing Brave users to privately tip their favorite websites with cryptocurrency. Eventually, the Internet Archive collected over $2,500 in tips via Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) by April 2019.
As part of its close relationship with Brave, the Internet Archive has expressed its positive stance to user privacy online. Their team wrote in the statement:
“We are grateful for their commitment to user privacy, helping advance alternatives to the current ad-supported Web, and focusing on improving the overall Web browsing experience. We applaud Brave’s leadership in these efforts and look forward to working with them on other ways to help make the Web more useful and reliable.”
The news comes amid a new comparative study proving that Brave browser is the best browsing solution among six popular browsers including Google, Safari and Firefox when it comes to privacy. As user privacy online has been increasingly discussed, Brave browser is apparently becoming more and more popular around the world. As reported previously, Brave browser saw its monthly active users almost double from 5.5 million in 2018 to 10.4 million in 2019.
Daily Users of Brave’s Blockchain Web Browser Pass 4 Million
The cryptocurrency-powered internet browser Brave seems to be gaining in popularity, surpassing four million daily users.
Brendan Eich, the co-founder and chief executive of Brave and former CEO of Mozilla, recently tweeted that Brave also has 12.2 million monthly users. As such, roughly 30% of Brave’s monthly users utilize the browser daily.
Brave has also seen a steady increase in the number of its publishers — with nearly 447,000 publishers currently participating in the Brave network.
Over 50% of Brave Publishers Operate On YouTube
Over half of Brave’s publishers operate on YouTube with 268,600 — up 560% from 40,390 one year ago.
The next largest segment of publishers operate on Twitter with 52,150 — despite the program only launching last year, followed by website publishers with 45,400 — up 220% from 14,100 last March, Twitch publishers with 33,000 — up 760% from 3,800 in 12 months, and Reddit publishers which have garnered 30,700 creators in less than one year.
On Github and Vimeo, there are 10,550 and 6,660 publishers respectively. Currently, no Brave publishers are operating on Soundcloud.
However, with only 254,327 BAT addresses, it would appear that many individual publishers are operating multiple publisher accounts.
Brave campaigns are currently active in 68 different countries.
Brave Pays Users Crypto For Viewing Ads
Brave is a free browser that boasts in-built ad and tracker blocking that saw its first public release during January 2016.
Despite the browser’s ad blocker, users can opt into Brave’s ad campaign to earn the company’s native token Basic Attention Token (BAT) in exchange for viewing ads.
The browser’s users can also choose to make donations or regular contributions in the form of BAT to their favorite content creators who have signed up to the Brave publisher program.
Brave Team Calls On U.K. Regulator To Crack Down On Google
Last month, Brave filed a submission with the United Kingdom’s consumer protection bureau to accuse it of failing to enforce regulations that would inhibit Google’s ability to mass-collect data on its citizens.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Brave chief policy and industry relations officer, Johnny Ryan, described Google’s real-time ad bidding as comprising “the biggest data breach in the world.”
On Feb. 25, Brave integrated Wayback Machine to allow its users to access archived versions of web pages through its browser.
Brave Made The Biggest BAT Acquisition To Date
March 9, Brave purchased 534,441 Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). This came one day before Brave announced a partnership with TAP Network, which enables convertibility of BAT into “gift cards from hundreds of top national brands”.
Brave’s Purchases of BAT
Brave Shares 70% Of All Advertisement Revenue With Its Users:
“Reward comes in the form of Basic Attention Tokens, purchased with advertiser dollars (or other fiat currency, when the advertiser does not pay in BAT. These routine purchases are listed in the table above.”
To date, Brave has bought 1,863,573 BAT. However, March 9th’s purchase was the biggest single-day acquisition by far.
Brave’s Impact On BAT Price
This latest acquisition clearly had a positive impact on the price of BAT amidst a bear market.
It should be noted that Brave keeps their BAT purchases transparent. Any interested party can track these transactions on Brave’s website. Brave uses Uphold as a payment processor to convert fiat to BAT.
We reached out to Brave for clarification on whether this purchase was related to the TAP Network partnership. Brave’s head of communications Catherine Corre explained:
“This BAT purchase was not related to the TAP Network announcement. It is part of our ongoing purchases to compensate our users with BAT Rewards for the Brave Ads they are opting in to view.
We give 70% of ad revenue to users via BAT, and since many advertisers pay in fiat, we buy BAT regularly to reward users. In other words, our ad deal flow is growing.”
Brave is a good example of how cryptocurrency can help mainstream products achieve success.
Brave New World: Browser Challenging Google For The Future of Privacy
On March 16, Brave, a privacy-oriented web browser, filed a formal complaint against Google with the Irish General Data Protection Regulation enforcer — since the multinational tech conglomerate’s European headquarters are located in Dublin.
According to Brave, Google has been quite irresponsible with how it has been collecting and sharing the personal data of its users. Brave’s chief policy and industry relations officer Johnny Ryan went as far as saying that owing to Google’s dubious operational policies, the multimedia giant has created a “free for all” data warehouse that is not only being abused quite blatantly but is also in clear violation of the GDPR rulebook.
From a technical standpoint, Google is being accused of violating Article 5(1)b of the GDPR, which states that digital data being collected by a company should be done purely for reasons that are “specified, explicit and legitimate” in nature.
The article states that the acquired data should not be in any way processed in a manner that is incompatible with the aforementioned purposes. Ryan contends that by filing a “purpose limitation” complaint with the GDPR, Brave will help give individuals the power to decide which of Google’s services they choose to share their data with.
Brave Points The Finger
In a recent conversation with Cointelegraph, Ryan stated that even though some of Google’s individual products (such as the Search function, for example) may be using customer data appropriately, the company takes personal information collected through all of its various offerings and combines it for various ill-defined purposes:
“This infringes the GDPR’s ‘purpose limitation principle.’ Brave’s evidence illustrates that there is a data free-for-all inside Google. One can never know what Google does with one’s data. If such a vast company as Google were to be permitted to operate a data free-for-all, then the GDPR would be an illusory fantasy.”
Furthermore, according to a study released by Brave that takes a detailed look at a number of documents written for Google’s business clients, technology partners, developers, lawmakers and users, the company claims that the multimedia giant routinely acquires a wide array of sensitive data from its customers — via the use of different websites, apps and operating systems — and uses it for “hundreds of ill-defined processing purposes.”
Providing his insights on the matter, Jesse Crouch, owner of Never Astray — a privacy-oriented firm that provides clients with detailed, 3D topographical maps — told Cointelegraph that Google obtains data from its users any way it can, calling this mode of operation the company’s “bread and butter.” On the subject, he added:
“Google created its analytics product so that it has as much data as possible about the web as a whole, including the traffic to websites that don’t come from its search engine. Google Maps isn’t some super expensive philanthropic effort to give the gift of navigation to the world — it was designed to give Google as much data about locations of places and users as possible.”
Cointelegraph received a similar view from Norbert Goffa, executive manager of ILCoin — a blockchain-based storage system solution — who pointed out Google’s various cases that have resulted in lawsuits worth more than $200 million.
One of the most prominent ones dates back to 2010, wherein Google had made use of specially equipped cars and trucks to collect emails, passwords and other personal information which was then transmitted over unsecured Wi-Fi networks owned by tens of millions of people around the world. Goffa went on to add:
“Another lawsuit against the corporation was related to inadequate protection by Google of the information of YouTube users under 13. The company’s actions violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which prohibits the collection of information and the publication of data belonging to users under 13 years old without the consent of their parents.”
A Brave Way Out?
From a fresh install, Brave looks like a browser that maximizes individual privacy and security, since ads and trackers are blocked automatically. This basically means that companies like Google and Facebook no longer have the ability to monitor the real-time activity of their users.
It should also be highlighted that people who make use of ad blockers and/or anti-tracking tools on Google’s native browsing service — Chrome — are often unaware that the browser automatically signs users into their personal accounts, thereby negating the overall effectiveness of most anti-tracking tools.
Enumerating the various points that make Brave stand out from the rest of the fray, Catherine Corre, head of communications for Brave, told Cointelegraph that unlike other browsers, Brave makes use of a privacy-by-default foundation; the browser blocks or neutralizes tracking scripts, third-party cookies, fingerprinting methods, crypto-mining scripts and other privacy threats:
“Google Chrome, in contrast, has surveillance built in: if a user logs into any Google service by a Gmail address or similar account key, by default Chrome tracks the user’s navigation for ad targeting.”
On a somewhat similar note, Chris Hauk, privacy advocate for Pixel Privacy, a platform that seeks to help users maximize their digital security and safety, told Cointelegraph that Brave browser’s use of specialized privacy protocols allows to load the web content faster which in turn results in a smoother browsing experience.
He also pointed out that the desktop version of the browser comes equipped with the ability to deploy the Tor network to route any connection through multiple relays before reaching the desired destination. Since these connections are also encrypted, users can experience increased anonymity — all without having to load the Tor browser separately.
Brave Wants To Up The Game?
Recently, the core developer team behind Brave browser announced that they are working on deploying an all-new feature called the “random browser fingerprint generator,” which will allow users to greatly enhance their individual privacy and digital security. Elaborating on the overall efficacy/utility of this feature in a bit more detail, Hauk told Cointelegraph:
“Brave’s random browser fingerprint generator will make every browser session look unique, as the user moves between websites and between browsing sessions, this will make a user’s browser appear completely unique when browsing, making it difficult, if not impossible to track a user.”
Browser fingerprints can be thought of as digital markers that a number of firms use to track the movements of many casual browsers in an easy, hassle-free manner. For example, something as simple as keeping one’s browser window maximized all the time can allow one’s identity to be exposed to a number of miscreants.
In this regard, Brave’s latest effort to randomize its user’s digital fingerprints is being seen as a potential game changer by security experts. This, according to Crouch, is one of the many reasons Edward Snowden recommends the Linux distributions of Tails, a security-focused, Debian-based OS that, by default, randomly resizes itself to ensure that users have a minimal digital fingerprint.
Elaborating on the various technical aspects of Brave’s fingerprint randomization approach, Peter Snyder, senior privacy researcher at Brave, pointed out that the technology has been designed to protect users against web-scale fingerprinting attacks:
“Brave’s fingerprint randomization techniques prevent users from being uniquely fingerprinted when sites use broad, untargeted fingerprinting tools advertisers and trackers use (e.g., common open-source tools like fingerprint2.js); Brave’s fingerprinting is not likely to be robust against highly targeted identification efforts, such as those used by state actors or law enforcement.”
When asked about why other companies such as Google and Microsoft don’t make use of such forward-looking technology to secure the information of their users, Snyder gave a twofold answer. Firstly, he explained that the randomization technique in question is novel and previously only existed (for the most part) in academic research.
Secondly, he stated that there is a collective action problem in web privacy, where browser vendors are nervous about deploying new protection protocols out of the fear that their new schemes might break some websites — which are in fact major donors within this field of research.
Privacy-oriented Browsers Are Gaining More Traction
Recently, it came to light that the number of individuals making daily use of Brave’s blockchain browser had surged past the four-million mark. Not only that, earlier this month, Brendan Eich tweeted that Brave’s standard web browser also has a total of 12.2 million monthly users.
This meteoric rise can be attributed to Brave’s privacy-forward stance as well as it’s compatibility with a number of mainstream applications — like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Additionally, Brave runs on mobile devices as well as on desktop computers and claims to be faster by default than any other browser because of its ability to reduce the load on one’s machine.
On the subject of Tor browser versus Brave, and how the two fare against each other in terms of their overall privacy and security related benefits. John Jefferies, Chief Financial Analyst at CipherTrace, crypto forensics firm, told Cointelegraph that upon doing a quick test comparing the tracking potential of the two, he found that while Tor offers more anonymity, Brave provides users with a high level of privacy. Expounding his views on the matter further, Jefferies pointed out:
“The difference is important, but essentially Tor doesn’t hide user activity but obscures user details by giving a false location. Brave protects privacy by concealing all information about user activity unless the user explicitly enables cross-site trackers. As the Pew Research Center revealed in its privacy report, more people than ever are concerned about online data privacy. Increasing apprehension about the way personal data is being used may explain Brave’s extraordinary growth.”
Individual Privacy Is The Future
As users continue to discover ways in which their browser data — as well as other personal info — is being shared among companies, more people will likely become increasingly concerned with their online privacy and anonymity. As a result, many believe that consumer interest in online security platforms such as the Brave browser, as well as other anonymity tools like VPNs, will increase quite significantly in the years to come.
Additionally, Brave’s increasing popularity can be attributed to its goal of giving back to its users by way of a native cryptocurrency, Basic Attention Token (BAT). This is what sets Brave apart from mainstream web platforms like Chrome, Safari and Edge, which are not only prone to various third party intrusions (trackers, malware,etc) but also don’t offer much in monetary value to their users.
The masses at large seem to have reacted very positively towards Brave. Corre highlighted that the platform has witnessed a lot of growth on the creator side of things, with the browser now boasting of more than 500,000 verified publishers, concluding:
“The entire ecosystem is hungry for an alternative to the current broken ad tech ecosystem. The privacy tide is continuing to rise.”
Your Favorite Privacy-Minded Browser Is Teaming Up With Binance
Brave has partnered with Binance to bring in-browser crypto trading to its 13 million users. The Binance Widget allows Brave users to make crypto trades without leaving the browser.
Branden Eich, CEO of Brave Software explained the rationale behind this partnership in an interview with Cointelegraph:
“Our focus has always been on our users. This time, it’s about making crypto more usable by more people. We already have 1.6 million users who are crypto-savvy, they have signed up for the BAT Rewards Program; now they’ll be able to make crypto trades without leaving the browser”.
The Binance Widget will appear on Brave Nightly’s new tab. Nightly is a “testing and development” version of Brave that gets updated every night. The Binance wWidget will become available on the main version of the browser sometime in April
Users will be able to sign into the widget with their preexisting Binance account. For users in the US, Brave is partnering with Binance.US. Various regional affiliates of Binance will be available to Brave users around the world.
According to Eich, the widget is mostly focused on trading and may be missing some of the more advanced features of Binance. But all the trading pairs available on the localized version of Binance will be available through the widget.
Security and privacy remain central for Brave, the firm’s press release says:
“Additionally, the Binance widget is built into Brave and is not a loaded iframe (remotely embedded document), which preserves the user’s privacy. API calls will only be made into Binance if the user authenticates via OAuth and interacts with the widget.”
This configuration also means that Brave does need to worry about Know Your Customer or Anti-Money Laundering compliance, relying instead on the partner exchange.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (‘CZ’) Stated:
“The Binance widget on Brave’s privacy-oriented browser instills a safer way to buy and sell crypto and also reduces user friction to onboard, trade and interact with the Binance ecosystem. We are looking forward to our long-term partnership with Brave to make it even easier to interact with crypto and encourage more utility in the near future.”
Bravebook, Bravephone, Brave Messenger?
The future is interesting here. Eich confirmed that Brave has looked into the possibility of extending Brave into other areas, like messaging and operating systems for smartphones and computers. However, for now, Brave is completely focused on the browser.
Eich does not believe that we will see the fully decentralized internet anytime soon either, noting that blockchain-based VPNs like Brave’s VPN0 are more realistic.
The announcement of this partnership coincides with reports of Google abandoning the release of Chrome M82 and shifting its development resources to M83 due to COVID-19.
If Binance can capitalize on Brave’s vast userbase, this would lead to the influx of new liquidity to battered crypto markets.
Few Brave Browser Users Take Advantage of Crypto Features, Says CEO
While Brave boasts over 13 million monthly users, few of them appear to be utilizing the cryptocurrency aspect of the platform.
While enjoying a wide user base, cryptocurrency-enabled web browser Brave’s users do not seem to be taking advantage of its token features.
During a May 5 Twitter live stream, the CEO of major crypto exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao, talked with Brendan Eich, the CEO and co-founder of Brave. Eich said that his crypto-enabled web browser reached 13.8 million monthly active users at the end of April, to which Zhao said:
“That’s probably the most active user base in crypto, to be honest.”
Still, Eich admitted that most do not actually use its built-in cryptocurrency features. He said that the number of users who choose to join the crypto-based Brave Rewards system that had their wallets active over the last 30 days is 1.7 million, about 12.32% of total users.
Brave Blocks Traditional Ad Tracking
Eich explained that, when a user browses the internet, web activity is measured and tracked, and all of the data is used to target advertisements to that individual. He explained how the system works from the advertiser’s standpoint:
“People in advertising — working for the brands who make the products, goods and services we buy — will spend a lot of money to try to get you to buy their goods. And so they throw money into this digital ad system, and some of it causes you to see an ad or tracks you so they can decide what ad to show you, but at the end of the day you don’t get any of that money, all you get is the ads and the tracking.”
Eich explained that Brave’s browser blocks traditional advertising and tracking, and instead allows the user to choose to participate in a “clean” ad and donation model which is private by default.
The browser’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) is meant to be a unit of account for user attention that can be used to support content creators and award users who view ads.
Since many Brave users are new to cryptocurrencies, Eich explained that the firm is attempting to onboard users by giving them free tokens in exchange for their activity in the Brave Rewards program. This allows users to participate in the system and earn tokens that they can automatically donate to creators or set up monthly contributions, much like Patreon. He continued:
“When we first released [Brave Browser] on desktop, it was 40% of the desktop browser share and as we added mobile we found people were less willing to use it, but we are working to make it more attractive to use by making it more convenient, making it reward the user more.”
The live stream comes shortly after Binance and Brave partnered to integrate the exchange with the desktop version of the browser. The Brave Browser desktop version now features a Binance widget that allows users to trade on the exchange.
Brave Browser Delivered And BAT’s A DeFi Darling
Crypto loves a troublemaker. When the Brave browser debuted in 2016, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) sent it a cease and desist letter:
“You are hereby notified that Brave’s plan to replace our clients’ paid advertising content with its own advertising violates the law, and the undersigned publishers intend to fully enforce their rights.”
Four years later, Brave is still going strong (while the NAA changed its name). At the end of 2019, the browser had more than 10 million monthly active users.
Brave’s founder, Brendan Eich, previously led Mozilla and watched what the surveillance economy was doing to the internet. As web users will tell you, looking at ads isn’t really the problem; it’s that the ads look back.
This post is part of the CoinDesk 50, an annual selection of the most innovative and consequential projects in the blockchain industry. See the full list here.
The plan for Brave was to break that model by delivering ads directly to internet users and then rewarding them for their attention when they chose to give it. Thus, the Basic Attention Token (BAT) was born amid the initial coin offering (ICO) boom of 2017. Brave’s modest (for the time) $35 million token sale sold out in seconds.
“Out of all ‘utility’ tokens on Ethereum, BAT is one of the few that backs a finished product – the Brave browser,” Lucas Nuzzi of Coin Metrics told CoinDesk in an email.
Beyond delivering a more private experience with the Brave browser, BAT won acceptance from key market players in the past year. It was one of the first five cryptocurrencies that decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Compound accepted as collateral at launch. It became the second asset, after ether (ETH), that MakerDAO accepted as collateral for generating dai loans.
Delivering on its promise to launch a new ad platform in April 2019 seems to have made a difference. Shortly thereafter, venture capitalists gave Brave a fresh $30 million to keep going. But consumer opt-ins to the ad network have not exploded, perhaps because the returns are small and users have to go through Uphold to get paid. It’s a lot of friction.
“The number of addresses with a balance greater than 0, which is seen by many as a proxy for adoption, is still somewhat flat,” Nuzzi said. That figure has been hovering around 100,000 since the launch of Brave ads last April, with only a slow, gradual increase, according to Coin Metrics data.
Users may not think the rewards have proven to be worth the trouble. Still, the long-tail approach may be a winning, if unsexy, strategy for Brave’s long-term relevance.
Regardless, the ad blocking it launched with still works great.
Brave Browser Launches Encrypted Video Calls Before Zoom
Brave has launched in-browser video calls featuring end-to-end encryption.
Brave, the privacy-centric cryptocurrency-powered web browser has launched in-browser video calls featuring end-to-end encryption.
The encrypted video service, dubbed ‘Brave Together’ can be used to make unlimited encrypted video calls featuring two participants. All Brave users can access the feature, with no account sign-ups needed.
Brave revealed that video conferencing supporting more than two participants is currently being tested on Brave Nightly — the development version of the browser.
Brave Together is based on the open-source encrypted video software Jitsi — which was vouched for by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2017.
Video Conferencing Software Demand Spikes
The move comes following an explosion in the use of video conferencing software amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, with Zoom seeing an enormous spike of usage.
However, Zoom has received criticism concerning privacy and security, with ‘Zoom-bombings’ emerging as a rampant phenomenon during the lockdown. In April, an internal memo revealed that Elon Musk’s company SpaceX had banned its employees from using the video conferencing software due to “significant privacy and security concerns.”
Zoom will also introduce end-to-end encryption to protect its 300 million daily users this week.
Brave Adoption Grows
Despite the strong uptake, Brave CEO Brendan Eich recently remarked that only a small percentage of its users take full advantage of the browser’s privacy features. As of this writing, more than 662,000 content creators have signed up to Brave’s publisher program. 53% of Brave publishers operate on Youtube.
Crypto-Powered Brave Browser Reaches Over 15 Million Monthly Active Users
Cryptocurrency-powered web browser Brave Browser announced that its monthly active user count increased 125% over the past year.
Brave Browser, a cryptocurrency-powered web browser, announced that its monthly active user count increased 125% over the past year.
According to a June 1 announcement, Brave Browser’s monthly active users reached 15.4 million by the end of May. Daily active users, on the other hand, reached 5.3 million after increasing by 165% over the past year.
According to May data only about 12.32% of Brave Browser’s total users use the software’s cryptocurrency features. The firm’s co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich explained at the time:
“When we first released [Brave Browser] on desktop, it was 40% of the desktop browser share and as we added mobile we found people were less willing to use it, but we are working to make it more attractive to use by making it more convenient, making it reward the user more.”
Brave’s Crypto-Powered Ads Gain Popularity
Brave Browser’s advertisement 90-day average click-through rate is 9%, much higher than the industry average of 2%, according to Brave. Notably, some firms using the service see up to a 15% click-through rate. There have also been over one billion ad confirmation events to date, a 930% increase compared to the 97 million reported in October 2019.
Brave Comes Under Fire For Binance Affiliate Link Autofill
Brave appears to have removed a controversial feature that was auto-filling the company’s affiliate link when a user attempted to access Binance.
Crypto-powered privacy-focused web browser Brave has come under fire for automatically filling an affiliate link into its address bar when a user attempts to access the website for leading crypto exchange Binance and its United States-based subsidiary Binance.US.
Brave’s co-founder and chief executive, Brendan Eich, has acknowledged the “mistake,” pledging that the error will soon be corrected to remove the automatic completion of its affiliate link after the situation gained traction on crypto Twitter.
“Brave default autocompletes verbatim Binance.us in the address bar to add an affiliate code. We are a Binance affiliate, we refer users via the opt-in trading widget on the new tab page, but autocomplete should not add any code,” tweeted Eich.
Brave Embroiled In Affiliate Link Controversy
After gaining controversy on Twitter, Brave has announced it will remove a function that forcefully inserts the company’s affiliate link into its address bar when users access Binance’s website.
Eich thanked members of the crypto community for identifying the issue and providing feedback to the company, and sought to assure the community that the error will quickly be fixed.
“The autocomplete default was inspired by search query clientid attribution that all browsers do, but unlike keyword queries, a typed-in URL should go to the domain named, without any additions,”
“Sorry for this mistake — we are clearly not perfect, but we correct course quickly,” he added.
Prominent crypto analyst, Whale Panda, also posted that the browser has been similarly inserting affiliate links into the address of users seeking to access top U.S.-based exchange Coinbase, and leading hardware wallet manufacturers Ledger and Trezor.
Brave Popularity Grows
In recent days, Brave reported that its active monthly user base has exceeded 15 million — a more than 100% annual increase. Roughly one-third of Brave’s monthly users utilize the browser every day.
A recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast saw the host and guest Reggie Watts discuss internet-based operational security, with the pair advocating for Brave’s use.
Brave Partners With K-Pop’s BTS To Release Browser Exclusive To Japan
Brave is collaborating with a Japanese e-sports team and Korean pop idol group to offer a limited release version of its browser in Japan.
Cryptocurrency-powered web browser Brave is partnering with the Korean pop group BTS and Rush Gaming to provide a limited edition release of its browser for residents of Japan.
Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported on June 5 that the Brave Browser and BTS — AKA the Bangtan Boys — have developed a browser exclusively for users in Japan. This is the first known collaboration between a privacy-based browser like Brave and a K-pop boy band.
According to the Nikkei, the two aim to find a new touchpoint between idols and fans. Users of the limited edition browser can earn points by watching ads to support Rush Gaming’s e-sports team.
Brave Growing In Popularity
Brave Browser is an open source web browser that focuses on providing better privacy and blocking intrusive ads and trackers. The browser provides an opt-in advertisement system powered by the Ethereum blockchain and the firm’s proprietary Basic Attention Token (BAT).
Cointelegraph recently reported that the number of monthly active users on the browser had increased by 125% over the past year, reaching 15.4 million people at the end of May. A recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast discussing privacy and security had the host pushing for Brave’s use to millions of listeners.
Criticized For Binance Affiliate Link Autofill
Despite Brave citing privacy as one of its top concerns, the platform was recently caught using some rather underhanded tactics.
Crypto Twitter users noticed that the browser automatically filled an affiliate link into its address bar for anyone attempting to access the website for leading crypto exchange Binance and its United States-based subsidiary Binance.US. Brave co-founder Brendan Eich called the issue a “mistake” and pledged to remove the function causing the autofill.
Brave’s International Referral Program Hits Major Roadblocks
Brave has paused its BAT referral program in five countries after detecting “a high number of fraudulent referrers.”
Crypto-powered web browser, Brave, has halted its referral program for users in China, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Ukraine after detecting “a high number of fraudulent referrers” in those regions, according to a June 11 announcement.
Brave’s referral program allows content makers to earn Basic Attention Token (BAT) — utility tokens that run on the Ethereum blockchain — for getting new users to download the browser via unique referral codes.
While the program was initially capped at $1 million USD worth of BAT tokens, it has now done “several times that amount”, Brave’s statement alleges, stressing that the scheme has been a key part of its worldwide growth:
“The ability for Brave supporters to share the browser directly has led to unprecedented success, helping grow the Brave user-base to more than 15 million monthly active users worldwide.”
Over the course of the past few months, Brave has detected “a high number of fraudulent referrers” in “a small set of regions”.
The web browser was reportedly able to put a hold on this activity before any BAT tokes were paid out, halting the referral program effective Thursday June 11.
According to Brave, the changes are temporary, as the company hopes to resume the program for those countries “in the near future”. Moreover, content makers will now be asked to verify their ID before using the referral program.
Cointelegraph reached out to Brave for additional details, but received no reply as of press time. This story will be updated, should a response come in.
Binance Affiliate Link Autofill Issue
Earlier this month, Brave found itself in hot water when reports surfaced that the browser was automatically filling an affiliate link into its address bar when a user attempts to access the website for Binance and its United States-arm Binance.US.
Brave’s co-founder and chief executive, Brendan Eich, soon acknowledged the “mistake,” pledging to fix the issue.
Approved By Joe Rogan And BTS
Brave’s popularity has been surging lately, possibly in connection with recent endorsements by podcast host Joe Rogan and the renowned K-pop band BTS.
Brave Browser Fork Makes A ‘Bold’ Move Citing Legal Pressure
“Braver”, designed as an adware-free fork of the Brave Browser, has allegedly been forced to rebrand due to legal threats.
Blockchain browser formerly known as ‘Braver’, which originally forked from the open-source Brave browser, rebranded itself to ‘Bold Browser’ earlier today citing legal threats from a ‘certain party.’
Braver Browser launched in June following reports of Brave auto-filling the company’s affiliate link into searches for certain crypto exchanges like Binance and Coinbase.
Announcing the project in a now-deleted tweet on June 6, the Braver team said it had removed Brave’s referral link injection, adding that the full release was going to delete “all adware”, including the Basic Attention Token (BAT) — in-house ERC-20 utility tokens that are awarded to Brave content makers for promoting the platform.
Around the same time, Brave co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich tweeted that the forked project “will have to rename, also run a bunch of services and updates on their own.” He added: “No free riding on our servers.”
On July 9, Braver Rebranded As “Bold Browser” On Twitter, Github, And Discord, Tweeting:
“Due to legal threats sent to one of our community members by a certain party, specifically looking to harm them financially because of what this browser is forked from, we are immediately changing the name and removing all association to ‘the browser that shall not be named’.”
Bold Browser noted that it was also removing all references to “a browser that we previously mentioned from our tweets”, calling it “a gesture of goodwill to those who send legal threats to open source contributors.”
When Asked Whether They Expect The Legal Threats To Stop After The Rebranding, A Bold Browser Contributor Told Cointelegraph:
“The threat letter demanded the coders change the project’s name and remove all references to them. Everyone did the best they could to comply. You’ll have to ask them to see if they find it’s enough to go back to their privacy and anonymity respecting standards that they advertise themselves by.”
Cointelegraph reached out to Brave for additional details, but received no reply as of press time.
Another Potential Fork Incoming
Additionally, the contributor told Cointelegraph that they are planning to build a new browser by forking Ungoogled Chromium rather than Brave. “Not because of legal issues, but because the original code is a bit messy and difficult to maintain/update”, the developer said, elaborating:
“We plan to make Bold a Chromium-based browser that contains the features that people expect from privacy-respecting ad-blocking browsers, with next generation integrations (such as web3 and ipfs), without any advertising programs or token reward schemes.”
BitFlyer Partners With Brave To Develop New Crypto Wallet
Brave has found a major partner in Japan to explore the growing Japanese market with.
BitFlyer, the biggest crypto exchange in Japan in terms of trading volume, has announced a partnership with Brave, the privacy-protecting browser.
According to the announcement, BitFlyer and Brave will develop “a crypto asset wallet for Brave browser users”.
No further details about the new crypto wallet have been made available. Japanese users of Brave browser are rewarded with Basic Attention Token Points (BAP), due to regulations that prevent them from earning the cryptocurrency BAT, or trading their points for money on exchanges.
The announcement is likely to fuel speculation that the new crypto wallet could pave the way to enable Japanese users to earn BAT, instead of BAP, or somehow convert between the two.
A Brave Spokesperson Told Cointelegraph:
“At this point, we are using ‘points’ to reward users but there are some limits. [Through the partnership] we think it may be possible to go beyond that”
BitFlyer explained that further details about the crypto wallet will be revealed at an event held on July 30th in Tokyo in which Brendan Eich the founder of Brave will participate. The event is mainly targeting advertisers.
Brave’s Growing Popularity In Japan
Brave is becoming increasingly popular in Japan. Last month, Brave partnered with Korean pop idol group “BTS” — AKA the Bangtan Boys — and Rush Gaming, a Japanese esports team to develop browsers exclusively for users in Japan.
In the case of Rush Gaming, users of the limited edition browser can earn BAP by watching ads. The BAP can be used to support Rush Gaming’s esports team.
Recently, several Japanese crypto exchanges including BitFlyer announced trading of Brave’s native token BAT.
While Refraining From Saying What Users Can Do With The New Wallet, Bitflyer Said:
“Brave is the BAT connected browser and browsing is an everyday activity. It will be a new opportunity for users to use and earn cryptocurrency and we see it as a new model case to show the potential of cryptocurrency […] We want to make people feel more familiar with cryptocurrency through the partnership with Brave”
BitFlyer and Brave are also planning to launch a joint marketing campaign in Japan “to expand the recognition of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology among our customers and to improve customer convenience”.
Brave Browser Brings New Level of Security To iOS Users
Brave Browser takes the security and privacy of iPhones and iPads to the next level by partnering with Guardian, provider of VPN and Firewall services.
July 27, Brave Software partners with Guardian to bring greater levels of security and privacy to the iPhone and iPad users.
This partnership will combine the privacy stack of the two companies — Brave’s privacy focused browser with Guardian’s VPN and firewall service. The iOS users of Brave Browser will be able with one click to turn on Brave Firewall + VPN that will protect the entire device from privacy intruding trackers.
Guardian Is Good For Brave Users
Brave CEO Brendan Eich told Cointelegraph that he has been a long-time user of Guardian VPN, and now Brave is making it easier for its users to discover this service:
“I’ve paid for their firewall already and I use it. But many users haven’t discovered it, with Brave we’re promoting it, making it easier, the switch is right there in the settings. So I think this is good for Guardian It’s good for Brave users who haven’t acquired a VPN.”
Brave users will not be able to subscribe to Guardian’s VPN with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), however. Apple does not currently allow it.
Anti-Encryption Bills Won’t Affect Brave
Discussing anti-encryption bills, Eich opined that even if such a bill were passed, it is unlikely that authorities would go after Brave. He believes that law enforcement would have more valuable targets to pursue:
“Now, if this turns into ‘you must backdoor your browser, your open source browser’, I would be very surprised because it won’t really work. And of course, I think that the higher value targets for it through three letter agencies are the operating systems that the code is always running. We’re just an alternative browser. I don’t think we’re going to get any new subpoenas or national security letters yet. If we did, I couldn’t tell you because I’d be dead.”
Brave Is Not A “Niche” Product
Eich does not see Brave as a “niche” product. He feels it is on the same growth trajectory as Firefox, with the pro-privacy momentum helping to overthrow Google’s market dominance:
“What we don’t view ourselves as ‘niche’, every browser goes through it from zero to one, to in our case, heading toward 16 million users monthly. So, that’s not niche,that’s getting through the same growth curve that Firefox did back in the day. [There is] a rising sort of wave of consciousness that comes from this lead user cohort from and reporters who break these stories, antitrust regulators and others who are taking Google to court.”
Brave recently itself came under fire from privacy activists who forked an “anti-adware” iteration of the browser.
Brave Browser: Number Of Monthly Users Increases 130% In 1 Year
Brave has now onboarded 20 million active users and almost 1 million content creators.
Brave Browser recently hit a major milestone — 20 million active monthly users, up from 8.7 million the same time last year. The number of active daily users has increased at a similar rate, from 3 million to 7 million.
The number of verified content creators on the Brave platform have comparably expanded from 300,000 last year to nearly 1 million today. Brave is a privacy-focused browser that rewards participants for viewing ads using its Basic Attention Token (BAT).
Many users choose to allot some or all of the tokens they earn to content creators across the web. These participants have paid out 26 million BAT to content creators since the project’s inception.
Brave is built on Chromium, the same software base that powers Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge browsers. This means that Chrome browser extensions work in Brave as well, helping to remove adoption barriers.
Brave claims to offer its users much better privacy than its rivals, however. The company has also urged authorities to take action against various tech giants, which Brave believes abuse their power to the detriment users.
Youtube Star Mr Beast, With 50M Subscribers, Becomes A Verified Brave Browser Publisher
Mr Beast, joins almost 1 million other verified Brave publishers, potentially exposing some of his subscribers to Brave browser and its native BAT token.
Jimmy Donaldson, aka “Mr Beast,” a prominent YouTuber boasting 50.2 million subscribers and 8.5 billion total views, now owns a verified Brave browser account — potentially exposing some of his enormous audience to virtual currency.
Donaldson is not new to crypto and is believed to have made a considerable amount of money via cryptocurrency investments. The star previously hosted videos discussing crypto before his channel exploded in popularity and he reportedly purchased a $100,000 car using his crypto profits. However, his account was later purged of all content relating to virtual currency.
Mr Beast also spoke on KEEMSTAR’s podcast about how he almost lost his BTC due to a house break in, but managed to move the funds to a new wallet.
With Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies surging in price, the famous YouTuber appears to be making a return to crypto, by becoming a verified Brave browser publisher. This will allow viewers to tip his channel with BAT tokens — the native Brave browser crypto.
The addition of Mr Beast to Brave’s growing list of publishers has some in the community predicting large price increases for the BAT token. According to Coingecko, BAT tokens are currently trading for $0.254 each, up 9.5% over the past 24 hours.
Mr Beast is far from the first prominent YouTuber to embrace crypto. In 2019, PewDiePie, who once held the most subscribed channel with more than 100 million subscribers, began hosting his streams on the blockchain video platform Dlive. However, on May 4, 2020, YouTube signed an exclusive deal with him, preventing him from continuing to use Dlive.
Brave Becomes First Browser To Offer Native IPFS Integration
IPFS integration gives Brave users easier access to the protocol while improving the overall resilience of the internet.
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a decentralized peer-to-peer protocol designed to make the web less centralized and to avoid censorship, has been integrated into the desktop web browser Brave, making it the first browser to have a native IPFS integration.
The move continues to add accessibility to IPFS, allowing Brave users to access content on the protocol by “resolving ipfs:// URIs via a gateway or installing a full IPFS node in one click,” according to a statement accompanying the announcement.
“IPFS is important for blockchain and for self-described data integrity,” said Brian Bondy, CTO and co-founder of Brave, in an email to CoinDesk. “Previously viewed content can even be accessed offline with IPFS. The IPFS network gives access to content even if it has been censored by corporations and nation-states, such as for example, parts of Wikipedia.”
What Truly Decentralized Access To Information Can Look Like
According to Dietrich Ayala, technical product manager of browser integrations at IPFS, while the protocol is still in development, making it easily and directly available is important for users who have real problems in their daily online lives around internet access, trust of data, censorship and addressing data from blockchains for Web 3.0 apps.
One goal of this integration is to provide an early look at what truly decentralized access to information can look like and get feedback from developers and users so IPFS can start layering on more features and functionality in Brave, according to Ayala.
Brave users who enable the IPFS node will have a network that still functions during internet outages and shutdowns and, for example, can access critical information such as COVID-19 news which is censored in some countries.
IPFS keeps what you browse so it can be used while offline, which is key in places with expensive internet access or spotty networks.
“IPFS also provides the ability to share and collaborate in offline or disconnected environments – nodes can discover each other over local networks even when not connected to the internet,” said Ayala. “Easy and direct availability of IPFS through the Brave browser radically lowers the bar for developers to take advantage of these features in the applications.”
IPFS: How It Works
As CoinDesk reporter Daniel Kuhn wrote last year, IPFS is “a radical redesign of how people navigate and use the internet.”
“The current paradigm of web-search runs HTTP, which sends requests for online content to a single server that stores information, meaning that if anything is changed or blocked there is no reliable way to access it again,” he wrote.
“IPFS, a peer-to-peer protocol, instead allows users to download webpages and content stored across multiple servers and provides “historical versioning” that shows how documents have been manipulated. “
With this new integration, Brave users will have easier access to the protocol, while also offloading server costs from the content publisher and improving the overall resilience of the internet. There are currently over 4,000 IPFS contributors worldwide; the Brave browser is used by 24 million people, potentially expanding the reach of IPFS.
A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a unique web identifier made up of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or a Uniform Resource Name and is used to retrieve information on a network.
“Brave users will be able to load ipfs:// and ipns:// URIs, which gives users the ability to load a lot of new content which they can’t access in other browsers,” said Bondy. “Dapps are ideal candidates to be hosted on IPFS, and some dapps make use of referencing IPFS content.”
The news comes less than a week after internet hosting behemoth Cloudflare announced that it will be able to connect to domains hosted on the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and IPFS, further expanding IPFS’ reach.
“At Cloudflare Research, we have been exploring alternative ways to resolve queries to responses that align with these attributes. We are proud to announce a new resolver for the Distributed Web, where IPFS content indexed by the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) can be accessed,” the blog states.
Brave Browser Active User Base Doubled In 2020, Hits 25M Per Month
The privacy-centric browser allows users to “opt out of the surveillance economy,” said Brave CEO Brendan Eich.
Brave, the privacy-centric web browser built on Basic Attention Token (BAT), more than doubled the size of its user base over the course of 2020. The browser’s monthly active users increased from 11.6 million to 25.4 million, according to a recent press release.
Brave blocks ads and stops websites from tracking users’ movements around the internet while rewarding them with BAT tokens for the attention they do choose to give to advertisers. These tokens can be used to reward content creators and publishers via the browser’s in-built wallet or can be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.
The browser’s daily active user count climbed a similar amount, rising from 3.8 million to 8.6 million — a 126% increase. Meanwhile, the number of verified content creators crossed the 1 million mark, representing those who have chosen to accept Basic Attention Token as advertising revenue for their work.
Co-founder and CEO of Brave Brendan Eich said the browser’s swelling user base was a sign that more people wanted to “opt out of the surveillance economy,” adding:
“25 million people have made the switch to Brave in order to protect their privacy and to regain control of their browsing experience. Users are realizing that a new way to browse the Web is just one click away with a seamless Brave download, and that they can opt out of the surveillance economy and instead get rewarded for browsing.”
Brave appears to have benefitted from a growing movement of internet users who are seeking to retain their privacy rather than have their every movement tracked, analyzed and sold for profit. Eich said the “global privacy movement” would grow in the coming year as Big Tech continues to tighten its grip on the internet.
“As the global privacy movement swells in 2021 and as less users trust Big Tech, we look forward to bringing more innovative privacy-protecting tools to our users, and to reforming invasive Web tracking practices,” said Eich.
Brave Acquires Search Engine In Bid To Offer Alternative To Google Search
Privacy-focused browser Brave has acquired open search engine Tailcat to introduce its own alternative to Google Search later this year.
Major privacy-focused browser Brave is inching closer to offering a private search engine.
Brave announced Wednesday that the company has acquired Tailcat, an open search engine developed by a group formerly working on privacy search and browser products at Cliqz. Operating under the majority holding of Hubert Burda Media, Cliqz terminated its efforts on browser and search tech in May 2020.
According to the announcement, Tailcat will serve as a foundation for the upcoming Brave Search — an inbuilt search engine designed to enable private and transparent web surfing.
Brave CEO and co-founder Brendan Eich told Cointelegraph that the firm expects to introduce Brave Search by summer 2021.
“Brave is now working on integrating this technology and making it available to all as Brave Search, first via early access for testers, and then for general availability by this summer,” Eich said.
Brave browser currently relies on major external search engines, offering users the choice between popular search engines like privacy-mindful DuckDuckGo and Startpage, as well as mainstream tools like Google Search. According to Brave, “nearly all of today’s search engines are either built by, or rely on, results from Big Tech companies.”
In contrast, Tailcat is built on top of a completely independent index and does not collect IP addresses or personal data to improve search results. Eich stated that Tailcat developers have been working on privacy-preserving search “the last seven years, while at Cliqz, and then on the Tailcat project after the Cliqz closure.”
The new announcement comes shortly after Brave recorded a major milestone in its browser adoption, doubling its active user base from 11 million monthly users to over 26 million. In late February, Brave released its “BAT Roadmap 2.0,” announcing the company’s plans to explore the utility of its Basic Attention Token (BAT) for search engines. As part of the roadmap, the firm is also working on a DEX aggregator and NFT functionality.
Brave Takes Aim At Google With Privacy-Protecting Search Engine Beta
Brave hopes users will want to search the web without being tracked.
Crypto-powered web browser Brave has branched out into the world of search with a new privacy-protecting beta search engine.
The platform aims to take on the likes of Google, which harvests personal data and browsing habits while serving up targeted ads and tailored search results. But it faces an uphill battle against the tech giant which accounts for more than 90% of the market.
In an announcement on June 22, Brave stated that it had launched Brave Search beta built into its browser, offering users “the first independent privacy search/browser alternative to big tech.”
Users wanting to test drive Brave’s non-tracking privacy-focused search engine will find it at search.brave.com. It has been built on top of an independent index that does not track users or their searches and clicks and will appeal to those wanting to avoid surveillance-based tech products such as Google search or Microsoft Bing.
The search engine will include a “Google fallback mixing” option for those that still want to use results from the global tech giant’s search engine, or when not enough results are returned.
Brave Search will not show ads initially, avoiding the primary way that Google monetizes its search results. However, it will offer free, ad-supported search in future alongside a paid option without ads and will incorporate its Basic Attention Token (BAT).
“When we are ready, we will explore bringing private ads with BAT revenue share to search, as we’ve done for Brave user ads.”
Chief Executive Brendan Eich, who led Mozilla and Firefox before co-founding Brave, said that getting a lot of people to use the search function is crucial to its success as their collective actions will anonymously steer Brave servers toward the highest-quality search results.
Brave’s privacy-focused browser currently has 32 million monthly active users after hitting 25 million in February, however that is a drop in the ocean compared to Google’s dominance over browsing with its Chrome browser and web search.
According to Statcounter, Google commanded a whopping 92.2% market share for global search engines in May 2021, with Bing coming in second at 2.27%.
There are already privacy-oriented search options available such as Duck-Duck-Go which provides privacy tools such as tracking blockers. It claims to have between 70 and 100 million users according to Tech Crunch, but it is still an uphill battle against the all-consuming Google Goliath.
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