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A secure web-browser to earn a passive income: Brave review

By Inkarias - 2020-06-03

Brave Software is a company founded by Brian Bondy and Brendan Eich, also co-founder of Mozilla. The developers of this project started off with the standard chromium web browser, the free and open version of Google Chrome, added major features to it, in particular an ad blocker and privacy protection mechanisms, and named it Brave. The Brave browser was officially launched in 2016 and, being based on Chromium, emphasizes security and privacy while not sacrificing features or performance. Furthermore, this new browser offers the possibility to earn a passive income via browsing and ads, two ground-breaking features that we will detail in this review.

A solution to improve daily usage and user’s privacy

Today in 2020, the vast majority of the world's population is constantly connected to the Internet through various means: phones, computers, tablets and more. This modernization of technology and its scale have led to the creation of many browsers within this sphere, also raising a major problem: data safety. At a time when the most lucrative business of internet giants is to sell data, services like Brave meet growing demand and concern for privacy protection from their users. In order to solve that issue, by using Brave, ads and trackers are directly blocked by default. Being a privacy-focused browser, Brave can be considered far safer than Chrome and Firefox. Not only does is block ads by default, but also trackers and blocking scripts. Brave does everything it can to shield the PC, Laptop, or mobile phone against malware and other malicious scripts. The basic browsing process, though safer than the flagship browser its built on, is still a small step in the right direction to protect the community. Brave, in an attempt to make their browser even more secure, offers users the ability to open a private window using The Onion Router (TOR).

The default ad blocker automatically makes for a safer browsing experience. Since Brave does not have access to identifiable user data, this data cannot be traced back to a user’s device. The incorporation of permanent HTTPS allows for encryption to be used everywhere when available while browsing. All the information regarding the management of the blocker and saved time can be seen in the front page of the browser such as follows:

Brave HTTPS

The company itself insisted on the fact that the user experience is therefore improved by a smoother and faster navigation because loading times are lower, giving a high-level of performance compared to traditional browsers. Furthermore, as Brave is quite similar to Chrome from which it flows directly, most Chrome extensions can therefore be used on it simply. For everything else, Brave remains similar to common browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera or others by its native features such as browsing features. By adding all the concepts of security and data management, users are much more reassured about their information and can also easily gain cryptos by using it regularly. The whole vision around Brave was focused on simplifying and constantly improving the user experience.

Important accessibility and incentives accelerating wide adoption

Technically speaking, Brave browser packs an important set of features, including high performances with great speeds and low RAM consumption. The browser is therefore accessible to anyone wishing to change their internet browsing habits. It is quite important to note that both mobile and desktop versions are available for the convenience of users. Mobile and desktop versions of Brave both include a built-in ad blocker, which saves the trouble of installing a third-party extension to more classic browser solutions. Users can also set up a synchronization chain between multiple devices to share bookmarks across all systems easily, improving the convenience for daily use.

Instead of forcing the user to create an account like most browsers, Brave accomplishes that through one-time verification codes, which are available in both text and QR form. The Brave solution features list includes, but is not limited to:

  • WebTorrent which let the browser download torrents without using a standalone client like uTorrent or BitTorrent. This solution can be greatly used for punctual download but is still under development to outperform standalone solutions.
  • Google Hangouts integration which allows users to get notifications across tabs from the platform and continue the conversations on multiple devices.
  • IPFS Companion that lets users load content over the InterPlanetary File System, namely IPFS, which is a peer-to-peer data protocol designed to make downloading large files overall more decentralized.
  • Dark and Light themes for browser interface with a color that can be changed in the settings. The current version also includes a night mode for easier browsing.

The mobile version also offers, like other browsers, the "Switch to desktop mode" function to simplify the use and display of certain sites during navigation.

Extra browser features

Brave settings

As stated above, the Brave browser has all the common functionalities integrated to other web browsers such as general and advanced settings changes, history tab, bookmarks and download. The two ground-breaking features implemented into Brave are the Crypto wallets tab, which allows to safely import a wallet via Ledger or Trezor or create a local wallet and Brave Rewards tab, the main incentive for users to use this new browser.

Brave Rewards and earning for browsing

Brave Rewards

Brave rewards is probably the most interesting feature integrated to Brave browser. It’s the company’s initiative to change how advertising works online today and brings a ground-breaking approach to revolutionize this sector. The system pays users who opt into viewing ads can expect to earn 70 percent of the revenue generated under the form of an Ethereum-based ERC20 cryptocurrency token called Basic Attention Tokens, or BAT, which can be used in several ways within the ecosystem. The principle of this system is rather simple to understand. Users receive BAT tokens in exchange for time spent navigating with the browser while receiving and/or viewing advertisements on a regular basis. In the same way as on other web browsers on the market, data is collected while browsing, but unlike the existing competitors, Brave does not directly make personal or economic use of this data. These are only used to more easily provide users with targeted advertisements corresponding to their interests.

Regular use of Brave can be interesting for those who want to acquire some cryptocurrencies easily without having to invest money themselves. It is possible to modify the number of advertisements displayed per hour between 0 and 5 in order to leave the choice to the user as to the reception of these tokens. It is also possible to completely deactivate the Brave rewards system in order to have the browser without cluttering up with all the details around. Finally, the reward system, despite its limit of 5 advertisements per hour maximum, can make it possible to build up a minimal portfolio fairly quickly via frequent use or depending on the number of referrals registered on the browser via the referral link. As shown in the photo above, the reward for 61 advertisements viewed is 3.1 BAT for a ratio of approximately 0.05 BAT per advertisement. The payment of these rewards is fully automated and made on the basis of a single monthly payment, very often based at the beginning of the month. The list of rewards and the details can be seen in the appropriated tab for the reward program.

How to use the BAT tokens

By its nature and the intrinsic vision of the project, the BAT token is not intended to be withdrawn from a wallet to resell but rather aims to support the ecosystem through current and multiple exchanges. There is however a method to withdraw the funds which we will specify just later in the next section dealing with Brave Creators. There are several ways to use BAT tokens within the ecosystem and within the browser itself:

Auto-Contribute

Auto-Contribute

The first way to easily use the BAT acquired during navigation is to activate the self-contribution to the visited sites registered as Brave Creators and therefore eligible to receive donations by users. This system is a way of rewarding content creators on the Internet while allowing current users to show their interest in a particular site or creator. The Brave system takes care of the monthly payment according to the chosen setting, the number of sites viewed, and the interest shown in each of them according to a Brave algorithm allowing this measure to be calculated.

Monthly Contribution

In the same way as the contribution, it is possible to set up an automatic monthly contribution to reward the different sites visited. The principle is almost the same as mentioned above.

Tips

Brave Tips

The Brave team has chosen to integrate the most popular social networks and platforms within its crypto community via a system of tips to easily offer tokens to another person on Twitter, GitHub or Reddit. The receiver must be a creator in order to be able to receive the tip directly to his wallet.

Brave Creators, uphold wallet verification and how to withdraw tokens

The Brave ecosystem, as explained above, makes it easy to reward talented creators via the BAT token. However, in order to actually receive the tokens acquired with the use of the browser, it is mandatory to become an official Brave Creator. This title is awarded to those who have registered on the official site: https://publishers.basicattentiontoken.org/ and who have verified their real identity with the official partner UpHold. For information, the project has been under discussion with Coinbase for a long time in order to be able to integrate this function into its verification system to allow a larger number of users to access this title to receive tips and be able to transfer the funds outside the Brave ecosystem given Coinbase's reputation.

[caption id="attachment_8909" align="aligncenter" width="1877"]Brave Rewards - creators *Preview of the creator dashboard including statistics for earnings, referrals, linked social channels, tipping banner and direct access to verified UpHold account.[/caption]

What is uphold

Uphold is a cloud-based financial services platform based in the United States and launched in 2015 that supports more than 30 currencies both fiat and crypto and is available to users in over more than 180 countries across the globe. This digital wallet is designed to make it quick and easy to store assets, send funds to other Uphold users around the globe and instantly exchange between currencies. Operating on a 100% reserve model, uphold backs all member stores one-for-one with its own holdings. This function has been introduced in late July 2019 in order to bring more usability and possibilities for investors and users. Even if Uphold is currently the main banking partner of Brave, the wallet also allows storing other crypto assets including Bitcoin and fiat currencies such as USD or Euro. With this solution, verified brave creators can easily withdraw their assets either in bank account or in another wallet.

How to withdraw BAT tokens?

As we explained above, the official Brave creators have the ability to claim their earned tokens and even withdraw them outside the native browser wallet. Once the BAT tokens have been successfully transferred to UpHold, it is possible to withdraw the earnings directly either to a bank account already linked to the platform or to another wallet able to receive and store the BAT tokens.

There is however a drawback with the system currently implemented by Brave which is important to precise. If a person has multiple devices, such as multiple phones or computers in the same household, then it is impossible to link the accounts directly to each other in a single common account. In this case, it is still possible to transfer BAT tokens very easily with the “tipping” function already implemented on social networks. This method can be used to self-transfer tokens to the creator account to store them in one place for future withdrawal.

Full details of browser usage, as well as the reward process, can be found on the official website at https://brave.com