Brave Software reveals details about browser bitcoin micropayments and user earnings

Brave Software has created an open source internet browser, made to compete with the likes of Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. The browser initially removes all forms of advertising from a webpage, including banners, pop-ups, tracking pixels, malware, and flash cookies. The platform then serves different ads in some locations.

– Brave Software

 

The first beta version, released in January, showed users how speedy the browser could be, but didn’t have a micropayment solution. The development team announced Brave Ledger on Thursday, a Bitcoin-based payment system for users and publishers.

“We are planning on having everything running (and released as open source) in our 1.0 Development release later in May,” states the team. The code is currently being written, and is available for review and comment on Github.

Brave generally operates in one of two modes while browsing the web, either “ad-free” or “ad replacement.” Ad-free mode is sold as the faster of the two, and true to its’ name it generally won’t show any ads as you browse, minimizing page loading times. To enter ad-free mode you’ll need to have a balance, large enough to cover the behavior, in the bowsers bitcoin wallet.

– Brave Software

If a user arrives at a website in ad-free mode without the appropriate balance, Brave will ask them to fund the browsing wallet, currently provided by BitGo. Users can employ an automatic transfer from another bitcoin wallet or manually process the transaction. If the wallet is not funded in the allotted amount of time, the browser’s’ setting changes from ad-free to ad-replacement, which is not only free to use but can earn you an income for browsing.

Brave’s ad-hijacking technology uses localized personal information and the Sonobi ad network. The income from Sonobi is split in several ways.

– Brave Software

Payments in the Brave system are paid, sent, and stored as bitcoins. However, the browser doesn’t create a bitcoin payment every time a micropayment is generated. Each user’s payments will be batch processed, in a single transaction on the bitcoin blockchain, greatly reducing the ‘bloat’ created by too many transactions.

Every example in the technical documentation is denominated in Bitcoin, even payments from Brave to publishers and ad network providers. Assuming advertisers spend an average of US$0.21 cents per person per day on Brave, every million users would create about US$6.3 million per month in bitcoin payments.

The user’s revenue share can be paid to a bitcoin address of their choosing, but Brave is obliged to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) laws. The company must identify these users, a task that they say they would like to avoid.

To cut down on that likelihood, they offer an interesting alternative as the default setting, you can “donate” the funds to your favorite sites, giving users the option of dividing up their share between the websites that they most enjoyed browsing.

– Brave Software

Thursday’s announcement also mentioned that the team will be using a service called Anonize in an “anonymization process” that “allows the client and Brave Ledger to authoritatively agree on behavior without linking that behavior to personas, browsers, or wallets.”

The independant app is typically used for anonymous voting, but offers a service that makes it easy for Brave to process authorized, anonymous, transactions as well.

With Bitcoin’s halving happening in June, OpenBazaar’s full launch likely to happen in April, and now Brave’s target launch day set for May, Q2 2016 may very well turn out to be a major turning point in Bitcoin’s young life.

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