Brave Browser: Review

I’ve recently begun using the Brave browser as my primary web browser, and so far I’m loving it.

Brave is a privacy-focused web browser that has been generating buzz in the crypto community for some time.

What’s great about it?

First of all, it’s blazing fast. Brave claims to be 3X faster than Google Chrome (my previous browser of choice), and the difference in speed is very noticeable.

Brave enables this by aggressively blocking ads and various trackers. Personally I’ve never been a user of ad blockers, and as long time digital advertiser I appreciate the tradeoffs when it comes to online privacy and trackers. But the speed boost is nice.

Secondly, Brave is based off of Chromium, the same open-source technology behind Google Chrome. So the interface and feature-set is pretty much identical, and all of my extensions & bookmarks transferred over easily to the new browser. They also make a mobile browser for the iPhone, which is equally fast & easy to use.

Brave also has native integrations with various decentralized projects such as ENS (Ethereum Name Service) and IPFS (Interplanetary File System)– topics for a future blog post.

But perhaps most interesting of all, Brave comes built with its on crypto token called BAT (Basic Attention Token). The idea behind it is simple but revolutionary: you can opt-in to receive Brave’s native browser ads, and in exchange advertisers will actually pay you to serve you ads using the BAT token.

While the amount you can earn currently isn’t much (roughly $5/month), this could be a new model that advertisers follow in a more privacy-conscious future.

The eyeballs and attention of users have been treated as a commodity in the advertising-driven world of the web for far too long– this could be the start of returning more value to users, rather than massive corporations such as Google and Facebook.

Brave also lets creators sign up as a Brave verified publisher, which then allows other Brave users to tip content creators for their work. You can also setup automatic tipping based on the amount of time you’ve spent consuming a creator’s work.

Again, the amounts here are not much, but this represents the opportunity for content creators to earn an additional income stream outside of advertising. Tokens like BAT also open up the possibility of finally bringing micropayments to the web, and possibly allowing content creators to charge per article or per video as an alternative to monthly subscription services.

Brave still has a long ways to go to before they start to make a meaningful impact for creators and advertisers, but the browser has grown 34.4 million users & 1.2 million creators in just 2 years, an impressive growth trajectory.

For now Brave is a great web browser with some nice DeFi features built-in, and I will continue using as my default browser on desktop and mobile.

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