Brave CEO Brendan Eich Gives New Details on Ad Trials, BAT, and the Future of Brave

Brendan Eich answered questions from the Brave and BAT community on Reddit today. Brave is the browser that will soon be compensating users via ads, YouTube, and social media with its native BAT token.

Eich arrived slightly late, and sent a video as proof that he was stuck in traffic. This led one commenter to joke that “proof of parking” could be a new consensus algorithm before the discussion went on to cover more serious topics.

Users Are Now Testing Ads

Brave will soon compensate users who view ads with BAT tokens. This has been promised since the project’s inception, but Eich revealed several new details today:

  • Users will opt-in to ad rewards and will get as much BAT as Brave gets — 15% to the user, 15% to Brave, and 70% to the advertiser. “If we go bad, users will bolt and we’ll lose.”
  • Users are testing various payment models, such as payouts per click through, payouts by time spent on page, and so on.
  • Market trials, which “[sell an] anonymous audience to advertisers” are not in progress yet. Eich mentioned that these will involve high-CPX ads that are interactive, long-running, and have “multiple events.”
  • Brave has plans in case of a long-term degradation of ad quality. They will avoid ad exchanges to avoid “malvertising” with dangerous code.
  • User grants are being combined with clawbacks to handle bots that try to profit from ad viewing.
  • Brave may eventually block “You have reached your free article limit” banners from major mainstream sites.

The Value of BAT

Eich made clear that BAT isn’t intended to become a general-use cryptocurrency for online transactions.

“BAT has had relatively low volatility…if BAT became useful for general payments, it would be competing with the big cryptocurrencies that are good for general use,” said Eich.

The platform will pursue a “low balance” model with “high-friction barriers” that discourage cashing out and encourage redistribution. He said that the main reason people should buy the BAT token is to “donate it anonymously to their favorite creators via Brave.”

Eich is also concerned that average users might accidentally send crypto to a mistaken address or fail to maintain private keys. For broader appeal, gift card purchases may be offered as a simple way of cashing out BAT.

The Future of Brave

Eich gave new details on various partnerships. He mentioned a likely partnership with the Civic identity blockchain and a desired partnership with the KaiOS mobile operating system.

As for new features and spinoffs, Eich indicated that Reddit and Twitter tipping is scheduled for Q4. He also said that a Brave email platform and VPN may be created “when the time is right”–assuming Brave reaches a scale at which those are feasible. The project is also “keenly following” OmiseGo as a scaling solution.

Apart from that, Brave and BAT are working primarily on increased adoption. Right now, about 430,000 users opt in for the monthly payment incentives. A major step in increasing that number is attracting mobile users: Brave is being ported to Android and iOS, while a BAT SDK is in development for mobile developers.

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