Once in a while, a new technology built by the people, for the people emerges under the shadows of the tech giants.
Brendan is an Internet Hall of Famer, in our humble opinion. His goal for this new browser is to fix the brokenness between advertisers and folks browsing the web, putting both parties on equitable ground.
Chromium-based Brave looks and feels almost identical to Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser. It can be installed on both mobile and desktop platforms as well.
Brave’s notable features include ad-blocking, support for password managers such as LastPass, a must in our eyes, and HTTPS Everywhere (see https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere).
Most users switching to Brave are doing it for the ad-blocking and privacy feature set, but there is something interesting brewing under the hood…
“Brave currently runs an experimental automated and anonymous micro-donation system for publishers called Brave Payments” (see https://basicattentiontoken.org/).
Brave Payments leverage blockchain-based tokens called Basic Attention Tokens, or BATs. According to the URL above, this is how BATs will be used:
“The [BAT] utility token is for conducting transactions and obtaining services on the platform. The token will be used, for example, in acquiring ad slots to be filled with privately matched, anonymously confirmed ads.”
So Brave is not only a cool browser but also an experimental advertising platform in which end users and advertisers are equitably “rewarded” for taking part in a blockchain-based “game”, as Eich describes it.
According to Sophos’ Naked Security blog, “Brave’s BAT platform shields the anonymity of users while guaranteeing the authenticity of their viewing in detail. Only genuine ads are served so there’s no malvertising” (see https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2017/09/07/whats-under-the-hood-of-the-new-brave-browser).
In addition to cross-platform VPN, MFA, and password managers, we count Brave as a must-have in your set of privacy-first, security-focused tools.