Brave Browser — the open-source and ad blocking web browser — has seen a swell in its number of users over the last 6 months as it trends towards becoming a powerful tool for users of the future Internet.
Founded on a redefined content payment and revenue structure predicated on its native BAT cryptocurrency token system, Brave has launched into the mainstream. Recently surpassing 10 million Android downloads and attracting some high-profile partnerships, Brave is poised to become a mainstream browser in the trend towards faster, more private, and more secure web browsing.
Model and Future Plans
The Brave Browser is based on the Chromium web browser and Blink engine, focusing on providing a built-in ad and tracker blocking service to protect users and increase browsing speeds. Its unique content monetization model rewards content creators and publishers with a greater share of revenue than traditional ad models through a micropayment system based on user donations and automatic payments to their favorite sites.
The sale and monetization of user data by third-parties from traditional browsers have led to many recent revelations and frustrations with the current ad monetization paradigm. Brave instead built a model for revenue centering on micropayments by the user directly to publishers along with an anonymous third-party ad replacement system.
Brave has continued to build off of their success and recently implemented a Private Tab Beta that integrates with the Tor network for anonymous browsing. Further, the planned integration of an opt-in ad model will only contain high-quality and approved ads with trackers and personal browsing data still obfuscated from the third-parties. The revenue from these anonymous and private-matched ads will be split between Brave, its partners, and the users themselves for opting into the ad system.
Notably, Brave takes a hands-off approach to tracking and monetizing user data. Rather than selling user data to third-parties, Brave does not even have access to identifiable user data and also doesn’t use anonymized history data for ads. Aggregated user data is anonymous and used for reporting but cannot be mapped back to devices or users.
Trending With Market Demand
Recent scandals involving Facebook and other social media companies selling user data to third-parties has led to a growing trend towards a demand for better monetization models and reduced browser tracking. Brave Browser ideally fits into this emerging trend and is clearly demonstrated by its burgeoning number of users.
The deployment of private tabs and Tor integration will also go a long way in attracting many users who are already familiar with using Tor for privacy concerns, but now have it in the convenience of a popular web browser where privacy levels are optional. Additionally, Brave’s blockchain-based BAT payment system and default MetaMask extension are an excellent introduction for many mainstream app users to become acquainted with the broader cryptocurrency space.
Content creators and publishers have also faced substantial problems recently regarding their received share of revenue from ad companies and content platforms. By emphasizing user micropayments — one of the original and most promising use cases for crypto — as the structure for payment, content creators and publishers receive revenue directly from the consumers, bypassing the expensive intermediaries.
Brave has continued to surpass expectations since its then-record $35 million ICO. With some promising improvements and advanced features upcoming, it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.