I hate ads.

I mean, who doesn’t?

But, if we want to consume content (websites, videos, etc.), advertising is something we’re just going to have to live with.

Or is it?

Enter the Brave browser.

A Brave New World

Scott introduced me to it a while ago and I’ve been using it on a semi-regular basis since.

The main selling point of this browser is that it will block most trackers and most ads, making for a fast, clean browsing experience.

What’s more, it reduces bandwidth usage which can really help with those cellular data charges.

While this is great, I also find myself with somewhat of a moral dilemma.

Why? Well, generally speaking, content creators don’t publish purely out of the goodness of their heart.

(Heck, this is a tiny website run by 2 cryptocurrency/blockchain enthusiasts but we’d still like to be compensated for our work, even if just a little.)

But blocking their source of revenue feels wrong. They’re producing something expecting a reward and I’m circumventing that reward system. Sounds pretty damned close to stealing.

I’m totally fine rewarding content creators I find offer valuable content, but would rather do it without having to consume ads everywhere I travel.

The model is clearly broken, or at best sub-optimal, so, what’s one to do?

The BAT Signal (er, Token)

Well, here’s where the Brave browser comes in again. More specifically, Brave’s BAT token.

The idea is to facilitate flow of compensation between publishers, advertisers, and consumers, all while removing the ad brokers from the mix.

What started as a Bitcoin-based experiment/PoC has evolved today into a functional beta project using an ERC20-based utility token.

The token is used in 2 ways:

  1. Allow consumers to reward creators.
  2. Allow advertisers to reward consumers.

Already #1 is in place with #2 on the way.

What this means is that you’re able to reward sites that you enjoy with some BAT.

In the future, advertisers will reward viewers with BAT tokens simply for consuming their content.

Getting Started

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the Brave browser, you can find a Payments section in the settings.

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It’s here that you can load up your built-in wallet with BAT tokens and configure how they are distributed to the sites you want to support.

Another bonus is that Brave is currently giving away BAT tokens to promote the project. A whopping 300 million tokens, to be exact!

Just look for the “Accept My Token Grant” button and get 30 BAT tokens.

I enabled payments on my desktop at home, clicked the button, and was almost instantly granted my starter tokens.

I installed Brave and did the same at another desktop I use but didn’t find the same button that was present on my home desktop, but no matter. I can always purchase new BAT tokens directly in the browser using Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or transfer BAT tokens from another wallet (incidentally, Jaxx just added support for BAT).

So, I hope this is where the future of online advertising is moving.

I’m happy to consume relevant ads (selected by me and not an algorithm) and I am extra pleased to have a way of supporting sites I like without having to consume irrelevant and disruptive ads and without having to waste bandwidth.

What do you think about the Brave browser and the BAT token?

Will you use BAT tokens to reward your favourite sites?

Would you view ads in exchange for BAT tokens?

Let us know!

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