What is Brave Browser?

Explore crypto’s leading secure, privacy-first internet browsing experience.

ShapeShift
Jan 17 · 7 min read

Brave browser is at the leading edge of privacy and innovation in both cryptocurrency and blockchain tech with regard to the privacy rights of the individual. Unlike many other of the thousands of altcoin projects that struggle to gain legitimate traction in terms of adoption and practical use, Brave is actually making waves.

Consider for a moment that during September 2019, Brave browser downloads for the Android operating system topped Mozilla Firefox and the top AdBlocker in Japan. That’s an excellent sign for Brave and the community that supports the browser. Not only because it ranked in the top 10 in Android downloads for that month, but also because one of the founders of Brave is also responsible for the founding of Firefox.

With so many people supporting the Brave browser, it’s truly a sign of the times. People care about data privacy rights of the individual and this is one of the most important social movements now and for the future.

It’s with this in mind that we explore what a privacy browser is and how the features and benefits of Brave are empowering web surfers. They can now protect their privacy, monetize the value of their information on their own terms, and reward content creators.

What is a privacy browser?

Brave browser is unique because it is a privacy-focused web browser. Privacy browser means that it doesn’t track every move a user makes with cookies. When you use a privacy browser, you don’t have to deal with accepting terms and conditions before using a particular website. It also means that advertisers can’t use retargeting ads to follow users around and seek their attention, and most importantly, advertisers can't sell products and services. Brave strives to be the ultimate privacy browser. It’s proving to be a better alternative to adblockers and also a way to reward creators.

The Brave Network + Basic Attention Token

Brave is more than just a browser that limits exposure to advertising and the distribution of data to third parties, it’s a network that uses the Basic Attention Token as a conduit for driving an economy of exchange. Users get access to ad-free content and are allowed to maintain their privacy. Content creators get compensated for their work through donations from other users, and advertisers get access to users who are actually interested in their offerings. While it’s true that users can still see ads, the point is that they get to choose whether or not to see the ads. No need to download a third-party adblocker.

All of these benefits are clearly outlined in Brave’s whitepaper. The document makes four major values, and so far since the project’s launch in 2015, it’s obvious that Brave is delivering on those promises.

  • Brave aims to be open source and remain a platform made for the community, by the community.
  • Brave will be transparent with users in regard to how data is blocked and stored.
  • Brave will remain a fully decentralized web browser and ecosystem.
  • Brave promises to be efficient in the way it uses both information and processing power.

The Secret Sauce Behind Brave

In comparison to Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, Brave is clearly the new arrival on the web browsing scene (having only been in business since May of 2015). Even with that being true and Brave being the first blockchain-based browser to gain any significant traction among users, it should come as no surprise that Brave’s development team is the secret sauce behind its robust ecosystem. The project itself is a new idea, but the leaders of it are two of the most familiar faces in the technology world.

Brave’s Leadership

The names Brendan Eich and Brian Bondy may not sound familiar, but most internet users are well aware of the projects these innovators have worked on in the past. Eich’s most notable invention has been driving internet and web applications for decades. He’s the inventor of the computer programming language JavaScript. He also is the co-founder of Firefox. Bondy is the primary developer of many projects and libraries that you may be familiar with. He’s worked with brands like Khan Academy and Firefox.

When Firefox took direct aim at Internet Explorer, it ultimately inspired other technology innovators to keep building new and improved web browsers. It’s that desire that is allowing Eich and Bondy to keep pushing Brave forward. The organization has a clear and focused mission to make browsing the web privately both easy and rewarding and it is all driven by the leadership team.

Why Do We Need Privacy Browsers in Crypto?

Privacy-focused cryptocurrencies fund some of the most utilized blockchains in the industry. The top ones include the aforementioned ZCash alongside other popular names like Monero, Dash, Verge and Bitcoin Private. With so many options, newbies might be tempted to ask: Why do we need privacy browsers in crypto at all?

The answer is simple. Blockchains and cryptocurrencies can’t be hacked for personal information, but a website or application certainly can be. Given that data is arguably more valuable than any other commodity in the world today, a privacy browser like Brave allows users to decide who should get their data, what advertisers should get their attention, and which content creators should stand to benefit from their own hard work the most.

When it comes down to it, the value of any privacy-related product, service or blockchain is only worth as much as the user experience that it provides to the individual, content creators, and advertisers. Brave serves all three without compromising the needs of any one party. It’s really difficult to do both of those things and still allow for commerce to take place.

Fortunately, such is the beauty of what happens when decentralized technology, blockchain and the desire to maintain personal data privacy rights come together.

Take Ad Blocking to the Next Level

Brave is the first browser of its kind that rewards advertisers and content publishers while allowing users to block ads. That doesn’t mean it’s the only company involved in ad blocking. Far from it. The bottom line is, web surfers are getting sick of having to view ads in order to consume content or use “free” platforms. The good news is, there are actually four different options users have when they finally decide they don’t want to see ads anymore. Brave is only one of them. The other three options include:

  • Virtual Private Networks
  • Blocking content with a wireless router
  • Browser Extensions

Virtual Private Networks

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) help hide the user’s identity on the web. This allows users to browse with increased anonymity. Some VPN providers offer ad blocking as part of their service and most charge a monthly or annual fee.

Blocking with a Router

Users can block content with their wireless router settings or a blocking router. Basic instructions on how to do this with a specific brand of router will come up with a simple Google search. There are also blocking routers that are available pre-programmed for users that block out less than desirable content.

Browser Extensions

Browser extensions are by far the most popular way to block ads on existing browsers like Google Chrome and Safari. AdBlock is one of the most downloaded extensions. The problem is, it allows some ads. UBlock Origin is the other popular extension. Its user base is growing because of its open-source software and that it’s a reasonable alternative to AdBlock.

The ShapeShift Platform + Brave Browser

If you're a fan of Brave browser, you’re in luck! You can use the web-based ShapeShift Platform with your favorite secure browser. Need help getting started using Brave Browser with the new ShapeShift Platform? Start here.

Trade crypto for free on the ShapeShift Platform. Create a verified account & get 100 FOX tokens to start trading for free.
Trade crypto for free on the ShapeShift Platform. Create a verified account & get 100 FOX tokens to start trading for free.

ShapeShift Stories

ShapeShift Stories: Sharing cryptocurrency education, news, and inspiration.

ShapeShift

Written by

Explore the new frontier in crypto management: shapeshift.com

ShapeShift Stories

ShapeShift Stories: Sharing cryptocurrency education, news, and inspiration.

More From Medium

More on Cryptocurrency from ShapeShift Stories

More on Cryptocurrency from ShapeShift Stories

What is ShapeShift’s FOX Token?

More on Bitcoin from ShapeShift Stories

More on Bitcoin from ShapeShift Stories

Phishing Scams: Don’t Take the Bait

More on Finance from ShapeShift Stories

More on Finance from ShapeShift Stories

Buy Bitcoin & Ethereum with a Debit Card

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade