Why the brave browser is really great, and why it still needs work
I posted this on the weekend but it got buried by memes, so I thought I'd repost it now that they're gone in case people who'd like to discuss this missed it.
I've been using the brave browser for a little while now and I'm really impressed. Here's why you should try it out:
- Its faster (in most cases) and more light-weight than chrome, seriously
- Super easy to transfer all your old browser extensions and bookmarks so it really requires no commitment or effort to try
- It has built-in ad blocker and data collection blocking mechanisms that are always being updated to fight the new tricks to collect data and serve ads
- It has a built in tor browser, essentially giving you access to a very secure, completely free VPN
- It has built in IPFS (interplanetary file system) support, which is a decetralized, peer to peer file sharing system that no other browser supports natively yet.
- You can opt in to see discrete and unobstructive ads in exchange for payment in BAT, the Brave browser token. Here's an example of a new page tab with an ad in the bottom left, worth about 0.01 BAT or $0.005
- You can easily support any content creators you like, or even random users on a forum with BAT. Either through automatic monthly payments or just a tip. It even has a built in tip button for reddit, twitter, and github next to every user's name
I've always used ad blockers but kind of had a moral conflict with it, considering ads are really important to support content creators. But I really despise this economy surrounding selling people's private data. Companies are collecting information about you, and selling that information for profit, incentivizing them to manipulate your behavior so they can extract as much info about you as they can. Brave gives you the ability to sell your attention directly to advertisers, so you can still support creators with ads, but no middleman is profiting off of data collection. I will say though, it's not perfect, in fact, the crypto aspect of it isn't that great right now. If you'd like to withdraw the crypto you've earned through ads or payments from other users, you have to verify your wallet through Uphold, a centralized crypto exchange that requires KYC. This really goes against the ethos of crypto in my opinion and I hope that this will be able to change in the future, but apparently this is a legal requirement. Brave will soon be introducing a non-custodial wallet that ties together the rewards system, DEXes/DeFi, Fiat to crypto payments, and NFT use cases, but I'm still not sure if this means that withdrawing will be possible without KYC. Also, it would be ideal if payouts for ad watching was instant rather than monthly, but this is impossible now due to high gas fees. I think brave has put the cryptocurrency aspect of the browser on the backburner for a while, and that's a good idea in my opinion. We need to see good layer 2 before we can see really good utility of crypto in browser and focusing on making a great standalone browser while that stuff develops is essential before trying a bunch of crypto stuff, otherwise you just have a novelty browser that no one actually uses. I think this year could be huge for development of Brave's cryptocurrency functionality, which makes me excited to see where it goes.
What're your thoughts on Brave? Any positives or criticisms I left out?