In the world of stagnating Internet browsers, Brave is taking a completely different approach. Putting the end user in control of which ads to display – if any – and introducing Bitcoin micropayments will change the way consumers and content creators look at the World Wide Web.
A ‘Brave’ New Approach
Although most people in the world of Bitcoin and digital currency are well aware of what the Brave browser will bring to the table, the developers have recently posted another blog post to tell us a bit more about what’s in store. There will be a significant focus on replacing advertisements in a clean and safe way, but there’s more to this project than just switching the banners people see when visiting their favorite websites.
Browser tracking a grave concern, and a lot of more Internet users should be worried about this concept. The main purpose of and tracking is how the browser collects information on which websites are visited by users, and this data is then sent back the developers such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, and any other third company tracking user browsing behavior.
Brave will offer a way not just to replace ads, but ensure there is no ad tracking going on as well. Putting the end user back in control of the entire experience is of the utmost importance to this company. By ensuring none of the user’s browsing data will be visible on the company servers in an unencrypted format, Brave seems to be on the right track to put the user back in control.
But what is of even more interest than the ad replacement model is Brave Ledger, the long-awaited Bitcoin micropayment system for content creators and browser users. As Brave developers value the prospect of creating open source software solutions, they have shared Brave Ledger specifications with the world to spur discussion about this project.
The announcement reads:
Today we are discussing the Brave Ledger, a Bitcoin-based micropayments system for users and publishers. As part of our open source approach, we are sharing the specification with developers for comment and discussion […]. [W]e are planning on having everything running (and released as open source) in our 1.0 Development release later in May.
User feedback is more than welcome once everything has been made open source, and the team is open to making code revisions based on input from the community.
New Bitcoin Micropayment Models
The ad-free mode found within the Brave browser requires users to pay a flat monthly fee in Bitcoin. Once a user sends the payment, the browser will aggregate a list of the top 10 sites based on the browsing history, and assign a “weight” to each platform. The total payment sum will be tallied up every day, and after some number crunching, every website owner will receive their fair share of the cut. Do keep in mind there will be a processing fee put in place, although no official percentage has been announced yet.
Not everything about this process will be automated, though, as users can decide which sites should be supported by using the Brave preferences panel. Moreover, users will be able to set their own weight for particular websites, or even opt to reward more than ten different platforms. This feature will be changing over time as well, as the Brave developers expect a lot of feedback on how users want to tweak these settings.
Ad-replacement mode, which replaces the traditional banners with “clean” advertisements, is dependant on Brave’s advertising partners. Once again, a weighted list of publishers is created, based on the information gathered from users opting to use this ad-replacement model in the Brave browser. The developers will take a share of the generated revenue – currently set at 15% – and the ad-matching partner as well, whereas the rest is allocated to users and publishers.
The ad-replacement mode does have certain drawbacks. Although Brave users can opt to donate funds to publishers directly, there is also an option to transfer funds to a different Bitcoin wallet. However, doing so requires users to go through a KYC and AML verification process, which includes proving ownership of a phone number and an email address. No personal documents will be required.
Last but not least, publishers will have to go through a similar procedure to cash out their Bitcoin earnings, although things will be more strict in this regard. No specific details are revealed just yet, but verification by providing specific documents is not entirely out of the question.
With all of the different options available to Brave users, there is an exciting future ahead to reshape the way people browse the Internet. Rewarding favorite content creators is just one step, but choosing which sites can show default ads, which have to hide banners, and where one wouldn’t mind seeing replacement ads, is an entirely new experience. All of this is made possible thanks to the Brave developers, and Bitcoin.
What are your thoughts on this new blog post by the Brave developers? Is there anything that surprises or disappoints you? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Brave