Brave, the blockchain-based browser initiative that raised $35 million in an ICO earlier this year, is making its first major move to build an ecosystem that rewards publishers in a new kind of way.
One of the selling points of Brave is that it uses its token (BAT, Basic Attention Token) to disrupt the current financial norms of online publishing. The company wants to reward users for browsing the web, while also helping to make advertising less intrusive and more relevant. In another important focus, it wants to use BAT to let readers reward content makers whose websites they visit.
That’s where its new push this week is focused on. Brave is giving its users a total of 300,000 BAT tokens — worth around $60,000 — over the next 30 days. Users typically earn tokens by using Brave, but this promotion will put additional credit in there, which can then be given directly to publishers or YouTube channel operators.
That’s a fairly major move given that Brave claims to have one million monthly users and, on the publisher side, over 1,100 websites and 600 YouTube channels as content partners. YouTube was added to the platform last month.
Users will get a maximum of $5 in BAT over the next 30 days — or until the token allocated is reached — which will be added to their Brave payment wallet. That wallet can be used to ‘tip’ websites that they visit based on time spent on the site.
The default, for example, allocates the total tip jar based on the percentage of time that a Brave user has spent on Brave-verified websites and YouTube channels. It can be overridden, however, to allow a user to tip whatever they like to whichever website they like.
In effect, Brave is boosting the wallets of its users with this offer giving them greater potential to tip their favorite content creators, who can convert the BAT into fiat currency.
“It is one of many steps toward dealing users back in for a fair deal, and dealing out the toxic middle players,” Brave CEO Brendan Eich, who was formerly in charge of Mozilla, told TechCrunch in a statement.
“We are moving from good-will contributions to user grants to private ads that share the bulk of the gross ad revenue with the user, without any targeting or tracking by remote parties (including Brave),” he added.
Unlike many other ICO projects, Brave has a product in the market in the form of its browser. The full scope of the project will take some time to roll out, however, with payment options and YouTube added over the last two months, for example. But it is certainly at a more advanced stage than the majority of projects that have raised funding via a token sale.
Prior to its ICO, Brave had raised $6 million in traditional venture capital funding.