Brave launches test of rewarding users for watching ads

Brave, the organization behind the ‘privacy browser’ of the same name, is starting tests in which users are rewarded for viewing advertisements. This is done on the basis of so-called Basic Attention Tokens, which are based on ethereum.

The organization writes that this month a small group of users will see advertisements on an opt-in basis in a special version of the Brave browser. It tracks detailed browsing data that Brave analyzes but doesn’t share. In the months that follow, Brave wants to expand the trial further with ‘thousands of ads’. In addition, users also get the opportunity to be rewarded for ‘interaction’ with the ads.

Brave reports that if its ad system eventually becomes widely available, users will receive a 70 percent percentage of the revenue from the ads. The advertising is periodically sent to users on the basis of ‘catalogues’. It is then determined on the device itself which advertisement is shown at which time, depending on which one fits best. That should protect the privacy of users. Ads are turned off by default and no information about users is published, claims the organization.

With the Basic Attention Tokens earned, which use the Ethereum blockchain, Brave users can then make donations to sites they visit or purchase “premium” content in the future, according to a FAQ. When users view ads, sites also receive a reward in the form of BAT.

Brave initially used bitcoin for its so-called Brave Payments platform, which allowed users to make donations to sites and with Brave reserves a 5 percent share for itself. This is replaced by the BAT tokens. According to Brave, these are not intended to be traded or as digital currencies, but the organization describes them as utility tokens.

Brave released one billion tokens via an ICO last year, raising $35 million. The open source Brave browser blocks ads and trackers by default. The organization wants to introduce a different form of advertising on the Internet, where users are “rewarded for their attention” and where their privacy is protected. Brave was founded by Mozilla co-founder and Javascript creator Brendan Eich.