Brave Software has announced that it is developing a feature allowing users to opt in to receiving ads sold by the company in place of ads blocked by the browser. Brave intends to pay content publishers and themselves 15% of the revenue, and 70% to the users. Users would be able to donate their revenue share to content publishers through micropayments.
Brave is developed by Brave Software, which was founded on May 28, 2015 by CEO Brendan Eich and CTO Brian Bondy. On January 20, 2016, Brave Software launched the first version of Brave with a partial ad blocking feature, and announced plans for an ad replacement feature and a revenue sharing program.
In June 2018, Brave released a pay-to-surf testing version of the browser. This version of Brave is preloaded with approximately 250 ads, and sends a detailed log of the user's browsing activity to Brave for the short-term purpose of testing this functionality. Brave announced that expanded trials will follow. Later that month, Brave added support for Tor in its desktop browser's private browsing mode. In December, of the same year, Brave calls to boycott Google regarding its advertising practices.
In January 2016, in reaction to Brave Software's initial announcement, Sebastian Anthony of Ars Technica described Brave as a "cash-grab" and a "double dip". Anthony concluded, "Brave is an interesting idea, but generally it's rather frowned upon to stick your own ads in front of someone else's."
In February 2016, Andy Patrizio of Network World reviewed a pre-release version of Brave. Patrizio criticized the browser's feature set as "mighty primitive", but lauded its performance: "Pages load instantly. I can't really benchmark page loads since they happen faster than I can start/stop the stopwatch."
In April 2016, the CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, David Chavern, said that Brave's proposed replacement of advertising "should be viewed as illegal and deceptive by the courts, consumers, and those who value the creation of content". Eich responded by emphasizing that the browser gives "the lion's share" of ad revenue to content publishers.
In April 2017, TechWorld praised Brave's "great speeds and advanced ad-tracking controls", but said that its "extension functionality is still lacking".
Basic Attention Token
Basic Attention Token Logo
The 'Basic Attention Token' (BAT) is an open-source, decentralizedad exchange platform based on Ethereum. The platform is integrated with the Brave web browser; it is not possible to use or access the platform from any other browser. Brave Payments, which formerly used Bitcoin, allows users to tip websites and content creators (like YouTubers and Twitch streamers) with BAT tokens, akin to patronage services like Patreon.
Integration of BAT into an application involves implementing BAT Ads, a system that displays ads to users based on locally stored data. Ad targeting is performed locally, removing the need for third-party tracking.
In an initial coin offering on May 31, 2017, BAT sold 1,000,000,000 BAT for a total of 156,250 Ethereum ($35M USD) in under 30 seconds. An additional 500,000,000 BAT was retained by the team for developer and user growth pools, which is used to promote the adoption of the platform.