With the rise of advertising on the internet, everyone is trying to make money. There are many groups that need to be accounted for such as advertisers, publishers, content creators, and the other various middlemen. From there comes the countless trackers, instances of fraud and misuse of personal data for corporate gain! Some of the main problems in the sector include:
- Abuse of a user’s time and money (i.e. mobile data usage running unwanted advertisements)
- Violation of privacy (i.e. tracking data being sold or used for other things)
- Increased malware and other phishing software
- Publishers not becoming monetised (as users run ad blocking software)
- Advertisers not knowing what they are paying for
- Poor targeting of advertisements.
There are several ways that you are able to combat these issues.
- Not use the internet at all
- Block all advertisements and various scripts from running
- Download the Brave browser that will let you choose whether you would like to block ads, or watch ads for a small reward.
What is the Brave Browser?
The premise behind the brave browser is to keep user’s data safe and to prevent advertisements and tracking dater from websites. Brave is also aiming to help fight phishing and malware.
What are the benefits of brave browser?
Browsing up to 3x faster
Brave was tested against Mozilla Firefox and chrome and without any addons on extensions, brave performed 2x faster on desktops and 8x faster on mobile phones.
Automatically blocking ads and trackers
The Brave servers do not see or store any browsing data. It only stays on your host computer (in your private history) until you delete it. Data is therefore never sold. Brave has a shield icon, where users can see how many trackers or scripts are blocked from a website. Users are able to select if they would like their setting specific for certain pages, or default for all browsing.
Default settings in Brave automatically upgrade to HTTPS (secure) versions of websites (where possible), block phishing, malware and malvertising, and block known security risk plugins by default.
Brave also has Brave Sync, allowing settings and bookmarks to be securely shared between devices. Be careful not to lose your password or keywords though, as brave does not have the keys to decrypt the data.
Get rewarded with cryptocurrency for browsing
By browsing with Brave, you are able to earn cryptocurrency rewards (Basic Attention Tokens (BAT))) either through free token grants or opting in for watching ads. Advertisements are not forced onto you, you choose whether you would like to watch advertisements for a reward.
These BAT tokens can then be (1) automatically distributed amongst the sites you most frequently visit (2) directly tipped to the sites you like the most (3) kept for yourself.
Funds are made available to site owners through anonymous ledger systems, so you are unable to be identified.
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The Brave Browser and Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) combination
For rewards to be appropriately distributed through the browser, a new cryptocurrency was created. This is the Basic Attention Token (BAT for short). This token acts an exchange currency which can be exchanged between users, advertisers and publishers. The token itself would be useless without an appropriate platform.
By using the Brave Browser, your attention is privately monitored in the browser (this never leaves your device), which in turn provides relevant advertisements that you can choose whether to watch. By combining both Brave and BAT, suddenly there is an efficient cryptocurrency-based digital advertising market that both reduces fraud, and rewards everybody.
What is the BAT Token?
BAT stands for Basic Attention Token, which is an Ethereum based cryptocurrency token. The token was created as a way to value attention and to connect publishers, advertisers and users.
The BAT token rewards both the user (for watching ads) and the content creators and publishers (through tipping / viewing the page). The purpose of the Basic Attention Token is to:
- act as the exchange currency that is swapped between advertisers, publishers and users
- reward users for watching ads
- rewards publishers for creating great content (that you keep coming back to)
- provide advertisers with a higher interest rate in the advertisements and provide better targeting.
How Do I get BAT Tokens?
Users of the Brave Browser are able to obtain tokens in many ways, once you have downloaded the Brave Browser. Methods of gaining BAT include:
Once the browser has been allowed to locally (locally as in stored on your computer) obtain some browsing history, you will be provided with relevant advertisements. Ads are presented separately from web content and you can choose when to watch them. You control the number of ads you see (0 to 5 per hour), and earn 70% of the revenue that Brave would receive from the advertisers.
You can then pass on that revenue to the sites you most frequently visit (but not a requirement).
Being rewarded with grants
Every so often, Brave browser may distribute some BAT tokens to your account as a reward for using the platform.
Fund your wallet with cryptocurrencies from your external accounts
You can fund your wallet with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or other Basic Attention Tokens. The currencies will be automatically converted to BAT once they come into your wallet.
Alternatively, you can exchange the tokens on Binance using Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Brave Browser Download
The Brave browser is simple and easy to download and install. It’s as simple as installing google Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or other popular internet browsers. So far the browser has been downloaded from the Google Play store over 10 million times! There are also over 100,000 reviews as well.
One file download, single-click install. You can download the browser here.
Brave Browser Set-up and Use
Everything is set up on your browser automatically, there is no need to go through and change any settings. Each time you load a new webpage, you’re provided with your stats, showing how many:
- trackers have been blocked
- advertisements have been blocked
- pages have been upgraded to secure versions
- seconds have been saved.
Brave Browser Review
With the rise of the internet and the amount of information that is out there, privacy is a massive concern. There seem to be hacks and various data breaches happening every day. Before I tried out the Brave browser, I was already deeply concerned with privacy and security. I was running Adblock Plus and Ghostery on my current install of Chrome. Adblock was used to block advertisements that are plastered over most websites, and Ghostery was used to stop trackers and provide a layer of anonymity. Once I switched to the Brave browser, I did not notice any changes in the way websites were showing up, or the way they worked.
Alternatively, if you choose not to use the Brave browser, you can gain similar privacy functions through extensions (mentioned above) of other browsers (Chrome, Mozilla etc).
At the moment it seems like there is a new cryptocurrency wherever you look. Most of these, don’t have any viable usability or haven’t been properly thought out. However, the Basic Attention Token is different. It is not just a cryptocurrency, but also a system (and a platform – the brave browser) that you can see being adopted.
The rise of the Brave browser and the BAT tokens seems like a workable solution to the current problems with advertising.
The browser has been out for a while now and is being adopted well. The browser has already been downloaded over 10 million times from the Google Play store. It is also the default browser on the new HTC Exodus 1 cryptocurrency phone.
Earning Basic Attention Tokens as a Publisher
The Brave Brower doesn’t just reward users for watching advertisements, it can also reward you – if you have your own website (i.e. you are the publisher).
To earn BAT tokens, you just have to sign up as a verified content creator on Brave Rewards, then when viewers come to your website, you may earn BAT. There are no costs involved, you just need to prove that you own the webpage.
You will also have to create and connect an uphold wallet to be able to receive BAT contributions. There are no costs associated with this either.
You can add channels for your website, Youtube, Twitch, Twitter, Vimeo, Reddit and GitHub
Verifying your webpage
Verifying your webpage is a straight forward process. You can download the brave WordPress verification plugin, upload a secure file into your website structure, or use a DNS record method to verify your site.
I tried downloading the WordPress plugin, however, I was unsuccessful with my verification. It is most likely because of the other plugins I run on my website. I then easily uploaded the secure document into the well-known file in my website structure.
After you have inserted the file or used the plugin it may take some time to get verified. Once you are verified, you can go to your webpage (from the Brave Browser) and make sure that you are a verified creator (this could take up to 24 hours).
Customising your Tipping Banner
Each content creator has a tipping banner that shows when a user decided to tip you. The banner comes as a standard layout, but can be easily customised through the control panel.
Brave Rewards Creator Dashboard
The creator dashboard is the main control area of your publisher portal. From here, you are able to link accounts (Twitter, Youtube, your website etc.), download statements, check out your earned BAT, and also view your referral status.
Brave Browser Referrals
The brave browser also offers a competitive referral system, rewarding BAT tokens for each download. The current rate is $5 worth of BAT tokens until December 2019. From December 1 2019, Brave will reward referrals based on location, with referrals will range between $1 and $6.50 worth of BAT tokens.
Cryptocurrency TaxesWith the increasing utilization of cryptocurrency in today’s age, it’s important to be aware of tax obligations that may arise through your cryptocurrency use. To help you keep track of your coin movements, and potential tax obligations, there are companies that are able to keep track of all your purchases, exchanges and sales. Here are two of the best at the moment:
- CoinTracker (the program I use) is a unified interface for cryptocurrency. It lets crypto holders connect their wallets and exchanges, see their portfolio, wallets, and transactions in one place, and generate their cryptocurrency tax returns with the click of a button. There is a free version, or use this code for $10 off any paid plans.
- CoinTracking analyzes your trades and generates real-time reports on profit and loss, the value of your coins, realized and unrealized gains, and reports for taxes. There is a free version, or use this code for 10% off any upgraded plans.