The Brave browser and its accompanying Basic Attention Token (BAT) token has been steadily gaining prominence since 2017, when Brave’s ICO managed to collect about $36 million in ETH in under 30 seconds.
The Brave team had a vision for an internet browser that would incorporate a cryptocurrency in order to drive the browser’s economy. Brave has advertised its browser as one that offers a more private and safer experience to users due to technology that blocks advertisements and trackers.
Interested people can collect BAT by using the Brave browser and watching native advertisements. Content creators in the Brave Publishers program can also receive tips in BAT from fans.
Algorithms on the Brave ecosystem calculate how long a user watches a particular Brave advertisement and then start to tailor new ads towards topics that a user might enjoy or be interested in. Users have to opt into the Brave Ad program, but they can receive BAT tokens for watching.
The idea of tracking users raised eyebrows among some who were worried about the potential privacy implications. Brave reiterated how the viewing program was an ‘opt-in’ affair and said data was stored locally.
Right now, BAT can only be used to tip different content creators and publishers. It’s not yet able to be sent to an external account. Eich also worked to make sure that content creators could only receive BAT if they opt into the Brave Rewards program. Brave faced criticism because some said the project was “illegally collecting donations for unaware creators”.
For those who want to receive BAT tips, the Brave team recommends Uphold as a payment processor. Uphold requires all people to successfully pass KYC verification and then link bank accounts or debit cards. This gives users the chance to buy BAT and then send it to a wallet.
However, BAT has also made its way into the Coinbase Earn program. People can earn BAT by completing different tasks, like taking lessons on Brave, the economics behind BAT, and doing deeper dives into the Brave ecosystem as a whole.
Coinbase hopes to give out about $5 million in BAT, but the ability to actually learn and earn is an invite-only process so far.
Overall, Brave has received a lot of criticism, but it remains a popular choice for people who are searching for a fast and private browser and who are interested in earning some cryptocurrency along the way.