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Web Browser Brave to Trial Crypto Payments for Opt-In Ads

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:09 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:09 PM

Brave, the web browser from Javascript creator and Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich, is taking an important step toward its goal of using blockchain technology to address what many people believe to be one of the chief problems of the internet: advertising.

In a statement  published Tuesday, Brave announced that it will begin an early access program that rewards users for opting-in to device-based ads that don’t track or expose user data to third parties. The browser, which has more than 2.7 million active monthly users across all devices, blocks ads by default.

When fully deployed, users will receive 70 percent of the gross ad revenue, which will be paid out through the Ethereum-based Basic Attention Token (BAT) and automatically converted to local currency through Uphold.

BAT was initially distributed through an initial coin offering (ICO), and users had previously been able to use it to tip verified publishers directly for producing quality content.

“The current advertising model exploits users and has eroded trust, as well as net revenue to publishers and other creators,” the company said. “We believe that user data and attention hold substantial value if they are defended vigilantly on users’ devices, and that the transparent Brave ads delivery approach and the Basic Attention Token will provide users a fair share.”

The initial tests will involve just 250 prepackaged ads, though this list as well of the number of users involved in the trial will increase as the pilot program progresses. It’s not clear when the opt-in ad rewards program will be merged into the standard Brave browser and made available to all users.

Prospective testers should be aware that, unlike the normal Brave browser, the testing platform will track browsing activity and send logs to Brave so the company can verify the effectiveness of the machine learning algorithms that deliver ads.

Users can volunteer for the initiative on the official Brave forums .