On July 12, 2018, blockchain-based internet browser Brave announced over 3.1 million monthly active users on its platform as of July 2018. The product is primed to reach the five million mark “before the end of 2018,” and represents one of the largest-used blockchain products.
Users Warm up to Brave
As stated on its official blog, Brave’s Android application reached the coveted top ten category in “free communication apps” on the Google Play Store in several countries, including Europe, United States, Asia, and South America.
Brave’s native Basic Attention Token (BAT), was additionally issued as part of a $500,000 BAT grant in July 2018, primarily to support the creation of unique content on sites like YouTube and Twitch. Users can claim approximately $5 in BAT value by checking the “Payments” section in the Brave browser.
At the time of writing, the BAT token trades at $0.03 as per data collated by CoinGecko and is the world’s 33rd largest token by virtue of its $372 million market cap.
Notably, over 18,000 Brave verified publishers are active on 4,500 websites and 13,500 YouTube and Twitch streamers, with the company confirming the release of payments to content creators for June 2018.
Founded by Brendan Eich in 2016, Brave aims to block unwanted advertisements and “cookies” that track one’s internet behavior and collect sensitive data which is sold to companies at a significant cost.
As reported by BTCManager, Facebook made the headlines in April 2018 after a massive data breach came to light, involving sensitive data of millions of users. The cryptocurrency community largely voiced the benefits of blockchain technology and data tokenization at the time, which can potentially mitigate data breaches of such magnitude in the future.
BAT Aims to Mitigate Centralization
For the uninitiated, the BAT is an ERC20 compliant token offering advertisers the ability to purchase ad space and user “attention.” While social media companies embed these policies in complicated user terms and conditions, Brave aims to base all advertising revenues on BAT. The company hopes to make advertisers pay for ads using BAT, allowing users to view ads while being compensated in the native currency.
The project eliminates the current digital advertising model, which places third-party tracking devices and go-betweens at the core, and matches advertisements as per users’ specifications.
Circumventing Centralized Firm Activity
As stated in the blog, traditional advertising models place 70 trackers on average when a user surfs the internet, subsequently placing ads after analyzing browsing behavior. However, this costs users $23 a month on average, while depleting mobile battery life by 21 percent.
The advertising industry is highly centralized and controlled by the likes of Google and Facebook. The two giants and their subsidiary companies account for 99 percent growth in all digital advertising-related developments and earn 73 percent of the total global ad revenue.
The marked growth of Brave browser, however, indicates the populaces’ conversance with this fallacy and goes to show how blockchain and cryptocurrencies could potentially mitigate the horrendous misuse of one’s information by centralized firms.