Brave (web browser)

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Brave
Brave logo.svg
Brave Homepage.GIF
Brave Browser
Developer(s) Brave Software, Inc.[1]
Stable release(s)
Android 1.0.54 / August 31, 2018; 3 years ago (2018-08-31)[2]
iOS 1.6.4 / August 15, 2018; 3 years ago (2018-08-15)[3]
macOS 0.55.18 / October 19, 2018; 3 years ago (2018-10-19)[4]
Windows, Linux 0.23.105 / August 29, 2018; 3 years ago (2018-08-29)[4]
Preview release(s)
Beta: 0.72.121 Dev: 0.73.63 Nightly: 0.74.13 / 9 November 2019
Written in C, JavaScript, C++
Operating system
Engines Blink, V8, (WebKit on iOS)
Type Web browser
License [5]
Website https://Brave.com

Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser and its Blink engine. The browser blocks ads and website trackers, and provides a way for users to send cryptocurrency contributions in the form of Basic Attention Tokens to websites and content creators.

As of 2019, Brave has been released for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. The current version features five search engines by default, including their partner, DuckDuckGo.[6]

History

Brave is developed by Brave Software, which was founded on 28 May 2015 by CEO Brendan Eich (creator of Javascript and former CEO of Mozilla Corporation) and CTO Brian Bondy.[7] On 20 January 2016, Brave Software launched the first version of Brave with an ad-blocking feature, and announced plans for a privacy-respecting ad feature and a revenue sharing program.[8]

In June 2018, Brave released a pay-to-surf test version of the browser. This version of Brave was preloaded with approximately 250 ads, and sent a detailed log of the user's browsing activity to Brave for the short-term purpose of testing this functionality. Brave announced that expanded trials would follow.[9] Later that month, Brave added support for Tor in its desktop browser's private browsing mode.[10]

Until December 2018, Brave ran on a fork of Electron called Muon which was marketed as a "more secure fork". Nevertheless, Brave developers moved to Chromium, citing a need to ease their maintenance burden.[11] The final Muon-based version was released with the intention that it would stop working and instruct users to update as its end of life approached.[12]

In June 2019 Brave started testing a new ad-blocking rule matching algorithm, implemented in Rust, that Brave claims is on average 69 times faster than the previous implementation in C++. The new algorithm is inspired by the uBlock Origin and Ghostery algorithms.[13]

Brave launched its stable release version 1.0 on 13 November 2019 while having 8.7 million monthly active users overall.[14] At the time, it had approximately 3 million active users on a daily basis. Brave 1.0 was made available for Android, iOS, Windows 10, macOS, and Linux, and integrated "almost all of Brave's marquee features across all platforms," according to engadget.[15]

Business model

Brave uses its Basic Attention Token (BAT) to drive revenue.[16] Originally incorporated in Delaware as Hyperware Labs, Inc in 2015, the company later changed its name to Brave Software, Inc. and registered in California, where it is headquartered.[17]

By August 2016, the company had received at least US$7 million in angel investments from venture capital firms, including Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Propel Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital, and the Digital Currency Group.[18]

In November 2019, Brave launched an ad network which returns a 70 percent revenue share to users.[19]

Critical reception

In January 2016, in reaction to Brave Software's initial announcement, Sebastian Anthony of Ars Technica described Brave as a "cash-grab" and a "double dip". Anthony concluded, "Brave is an interesting idea, but generally it's rather frowned upon to stick your own ads in front of someone else's".[20] TechCrunch,[21] Computerworld,[22] and Engadget[23] termed Brave's ad replacement plans "controversial" in 2016.

In February 2016, Andy Patrizio of Network World reviewed a pre-release version of Brave. Patrizio criticized the browser's feature set as "mighty primitive," but lauded its performance: "Pages load instantly. I can't really benchmark page loads since they happen faster than I can start/stop the stopwatch".[24]

In April 2016, the CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, David Chavern, said that Brave's proposed replacement of advertising "should be viewed as illegal and deceptive by the courts, consumers, and those who value the creation of content".[25][26]

In April 2017, TechWorld praised Brave's "great speeds and advanced ad-tracking controls", but said that its "extension functionality is still lacking".[27]

YouTuber Dallas Rushing, in an April 2018 review, praised Brave as offering "some of the fastest speeds [he's] yet experienced"[28]

In November 2019, CNET reviewed the newly released 1.0 version of Brave. They praised the speed, saying "Brave is hands-down the fastest browser I've used this year on any operating system, for both mobile and desktop. Memory usage by the browser is far below most others, while website loading is far faster."[29] They also said battery usage could be reduced by using the browser – "With less strain on resources comes less strain on your device's battery life as well."[29] However, they had concerns that the user base is still far below Chrome, and thus it may not be able to build out its ad system fully yet, saying – "The browser will need more users, however, to truly build out its new ad system: while 8 million people is a good start, it will still need to compete with Google Chrome's billion-plus users".[29]

Features

Basic Attention Token

Basic Attention Token logo

The "Basic Attention Token" (BAT) is an open-source, decentralized ad exchange platform based on Ethereum.[30]

In an initial coin offering on 31 May 2017, Brave Software sold 1,000,000,000 BAT for a total of 156,250 Ethereum (US$35M) in less than 30 seconds.[30][31] An additional 500,000,000 BAT was retained by the company, to be used to promote the adoption of the platform.[30]

In early December 2017, the company disbursed the first round of its 'user growth pool' grants: a total of 300,000 BAT was distributed to new users on a first-come first-served basis.[32][33]

Brave Rewards

Since April 2019, users of the Brave browser can opt in to the Brave Rewards feature, which sends BAT micropayments to websites and content creators.[34] Site owners and creators must first register with Brave as a publisher. Users can either turn on auto-contribute, which automatically divides a specified monthly contribution in proportion to the time spent, or they can manually send a chosen amount (referred to as a tip) while visiting the site or creator.[35]

Users can choose to earn BAT by viewing advertisements which are displayed as notifications by the operating system of their computer or device. Advertising campaigns are matched with users by inference from their browsing history; this targeting is carried out locally, with no transmission of personal data outside the browser, removing the need for third-party tracking. In addition or alternatively, users can buy or sell BAT through Brave's relationship with Uphold Inc., a digital currency exchange operator.[36]

According to BATGrowth.com, a tracking site not affiliated with Brave Software, as of January 2020 over 370,000 publishers were registered. Around two-thirds of these were YouTube channels, with the others divided among websites, Twitter handles, Twitch handles, Reddit accounts, Vimeo handles and GitHub accounts.[37]

The first version of the micropayments feature, launched in 2016, was called Brave Payments and used Bitcoin.[38] Advertisements were shown in a separate browser tab.[39]

See also

References

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  2. "Brave Browser: Fast AdBlocker". Google Play Store. Google. Retrieved 30 June 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Brave Browser: Fast AdBlocker on the App Store". iOS App Store. Apple. Retrieved 30 June 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Releases". brave/browser-laptop. Brave Software. Retrieved 30 June 2018 – via GitHub.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  6. Brave's browser offers you a bit more privacy when searching online, CNET, 14 December 2017, retrieved 16 July 2018<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Bondy, Brian (13 November 2019). "The road to Brave 1.0". Brave Press. Archived from the original (html) on 19 November 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2019. It took another few months to get initial funding, but in May 2015 we started this ambitious project.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Ha, Anthony (20 January 2016). "With Brave Software, JavaScript's Creator Is Building A Browser for the Ad-Blocked Future". TechCrunch. Retrieved 16 July 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  17. California Secretary of State Business Search: Brave Software, Inc.
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  19. "Brave browser launches an Ad Network while blocking publisher's ads". PPC Land. 14 November 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  39. Shankland, Stephen (16 November 2017). "Brave browser lets you pay your favorite YouTube stars". CNET. Retrieved 14 January 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links