After months of development and hype, Brave Software Inc. has finally released an update that integrates under-the-hood bitcoin micropayments right into its browser.
Brave Browser Adds Bitcoin Payments
When Brave Software Inc. announced raising $4.5 million USD in early August, the company also revealed that an update bringing under-the-hood Bitcoin micropayments was coming in September. Now, the update is finally here enabling users to use its Bitcoin-based micropayments system that automatically and anonymously pays users’ favorite websites. It will also allow users and publishers to opt into a better, privacy-preserving ad model that shares revenue with users as well as publishers.
Today’s 0.11.6 release of Brave includes the beta version of Brave Payments. For the first time in browser history, people can now seamlessly reward the sites whose content they value and wish to support, while remaining anonymous and untracked. This removes the need for intermediaries who may overwhelm web pages with invasive trackers and ads (and sometimes even malware). It also avoids centrally-controlled “feed” algorithms that may or may not value content quality.
The company explains in its press release:
We believe Brave Payments will also help reform the ad-tech ecosystem by giving both browser users and website content creators the fair deal that they deserve, based on ownership of their data.
Brave, however, doesn’t believe it will change the ad-tech model overnight and sees this integration only as the beginning. “This is just the first step along a path that should offer users a revenue share for their attention, if they so choose, and that share will come back to the user’s Brave wallet,” the company explains.
How It Works
Users simply need to turn on Brave Payments from within Brave’s preferences page, create a Brave wallet, and fund it. This can be done by either setting up a wallet with Coinbase or using an existing Bitcoin wallet from any provider, and then browsing as usual.
While everything is automatic, once enabled, the Brave Payments preference panel allows you to control which sites receive your support by manually enabling or disabling funding for any of the sites you visit.
All of this analysis is done anonymously, over the network via the Anonize protocol and on-device via statistical voting, so that neither Brave nor any other entity can correlate browsing page views with payments. Meanwhile, publishers can collect their aggregated donations after authenticating themselves. Additionally, all of the Brave Payments code is open-source, to support verification and auditing.
Brave Payments now makes it possible for such users to try this new way of supporting the content they value, at the level they choose. Some will start with $5 a month, some more. You control your settings and support level.
Partners Include BitGO, Coinbase & PIA
To enable secure Bitcoin payments, Brave has partnered with Bitcoin security firm BitGo, to support the per-user Brave wallets.
“Each user has two of three keys for their Brave Wallet, BitGo has the third,” Brave CEO, Brendan Eich, told Bitcoin.com. “No key is shared among users.”
The other partners include Coinbase, where users can buy bitcoin within Brave using the Coinbase Buy Widget, as well as Private Internet Access, to mask the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of users from Brave’s servers. The company hopes this integration will attract privacy advocates and Bitcoin users who will help the browser establish a new standard for web payments and security.
“We are still looking at years of standardization efforts before anonymous and private micropayments can be added to the Web standards,” the company adds. “However, by integrating Bitcoin under-the-hood with Brave Payments today, along with the faster and more secure ad-free and tracker-free browsing already in Brave, we hope to gain enough loyal users so that, with your help, we can collaborate on a truly private (even decentralized) eventual standard for web payments.”
Since Brave Payments is currently in beta, the company is asking for user feedback and suggestions to improve the experience. Users can email firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, or if you’re a developer, jump into contributing via GitHub.
Are you looking forward to use Brave’s Payments? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Brave Software Inc., Shutterstock