Browser War 2.0 and Other Crypto News for 11/20

Rounding crypto news for the rest of us for the week of 11/20 so you don’t have to.

Some of you may be too young to remember but long ago before we could browse the internet seamlessly on our smartphones, we did most of our internetting on our computers. The number of browsers were extremely limited and most of us used these now defunct browsers called Netscape or Internet Explorer. They worked okay but as the internet matured, the browsers couldn’t keep up with the technologies changing the way websites were being made, internetting on our computers was an extremely poor experience (slow loading times, features and functions didn’t work, etc.).

In 2007, Chrome was introduced and the browsers wars to win over web 2.0 started. Fast forward a decade, now most of us use Chrome in 2017.

I completely forgot about the browser wars and the days I was frustrated with my browsing experience as I’ve been using Chrome for so long. Lately, I’ve been a little annoyed with Chrome via my computer and thought I was spoiled for wanting certain sites to load a second or so faster but, apparently, I’m not the only one unsatisfied with my experience 1, 2.

Browser Wars 2.0?

I didn’t think an alternative would exist or even have a chance at breaking into the market. Until I saw a piece of news flow through my crypto feed: YouTube Stars Can Now Earn Money from Cryptocurrency 1, 2, 3.

As someone who doesn’t spend much time on YouTube — more or less keep up with YouTube ‘stars’, this didn’t seem like a big deal. Then Jon sends a message: “this is a big deal” linking the news. My initial reaction: “How so? Do you really think YouTubers and their fans actually understand crytpo?

But the more I thought about, the more it made sense that this really could be a big deal — especially, as I am no longer 100% happy with Chrome.

What is Brave?

Founded in 2016 and built by Java Script creator and Mozilla (Firefox) co-founder. 1, 2

Why is Brave a big deal?

Aside from a new browser that loads almost all sites faster, Brave blocks ads from Google by default and introduces an alternative way for content creators to get paid. Currently, it’s only available for YouTube but as they mature, Brave could eventually become a Google and Facebook’s billion dollar ad business competitor.

How does Brave work?

Brave has a payment platform connected to their browser with their own form of digital currency called BAT (Basic Attention Token), so content creators can get paid by their peers vs relying on YouTube (basically, Google’s ad network).

Why is this a big deal for cryptocurrencies?

Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, Brave’s currency BAT, can not be purchased or traded on blockchain platforms and is considered currency only on Brave’s platform.

However:

  1. Brave is one of, if not, a rare use case of a problem being solved on the blockchain made for the mass.
Image source

The above chart shows some of the products built on the Ethereum blockchain like Brave and sadly, a lot of the products aren’t relevant to me. But what Brave accomplishes, is a working example of how the middleman — in this case Google — could be cut out. (To understand what this means, read my primer to blockchain.)

2. In a world where the ICO hype is raising red flags galore and driving a lot of skepticism, Brave is a working example of a successful ICO.

So should I try Brave?

I downloaded Brave on my computer and phone, made it my default browser so you don’t have to. A week in, I am happy to report: so far, so good. Gmail and the GSuite are what I use the most on my computer. I’ve been annoyed with the load times on Gmail — Brave has fixed that.

The only reason I can not completely wean off Chrome to Brave, is how switching from multiple Google accounts on Brave just does not work but other than that, I am 10000% satisfied with my browsing experience and keeping Brave as default. But more so, as a believer in blockchain and a fan ICOs in theory, Brave’s success case makes me optimistic how not all ICOs are sketch.

Exciting times!

Other crypto news for the week of 11/20:

  • Indian government is experimenting putting land records on the blockchain. India’s property fraud is a multi-million dollar problem. They are hoping digitizing these assets by enabling exchange through a Swedish startup Vizag can help solve the $700m bribery problem. 1, 2,
  • US introduces new bill that can possibly bring blockchain to mass adoption. The bill is for the Department of Defense and yet passed, but it’s encouraging how cryptocurrency is on even the Department of Defense’s radar 1, 2
  • SAFT (Simple Agreements for Future Tokens) seems like the middle ground between IPOs and ICOs for venture capitalists to enter the ICO landscape with some security. What you need to know: SAFTS are a big deal since Sequoia Capital has funded two companies that ICO’d using SAFT: Filecoin and Orchid 1, 2. Why it’s included in this week’s news: Tzero announced they will be holding a SAFT ICO on Dec. 18th.
  • Speaking of ICOs, simple wrap-up of where countries stand on ICOs via The FT:
    ICO Bans: China, South Korea, Vietnam (Russia — no outright ban but data laws make it difficult)
    ICO Fans: Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Mauritius
    ICO Wary:US, UK and European Union, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland
  • Joke ICO of the month: An escort service built on the blockchain h/t Jon Russell

Until next week, stay excellent!
Mona

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