The contradiction that is Brave Rewards

in LeoFinance3 months ago

The contradiction that is Brave Rewards.

Direct from the desk of Dane Williams.

A look at Brave Rewards, the company’s data collection process and contradictory policy of forcing users to do KYC in order to withdraw BAT.

I've finally bitten the bullet and made the switch to Brave Browser.

Drawn in by the fact that it runs on the exact same code as Google Chrome, but with privacy features like ad blockers, TOR and without all of the Google trackers.

At first I was super excited about the fact I could earn BAT crypto by doing so.

But after delving a bit deeper into what's really happening, I can’t help but shake my head.

Let’s take a look at Brave Rewards and talk about why I think the system completely defeats the purpose of using a privacy focused browser in the first place.

Brave Rewards screenshot on the Brave Browser.

What are Brave Rewards?

Brave Rewards is a program developed by the company Brave Software, Inc. that rewards users of the Brave web browser for viewing advertisements.

The rewards program is designed to incentivise users to view what they call privacy-respecting ads, shown to users as notifications.

Users can earn rewards in the form of Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), a cryptocurrency, for viewing these ads.

The rewards program is intended to provide a new revenue stream for content creators and to give users a way to support them financially without having to share their personal data with advertisers.

But there is more to the story here.

Do I need to give Brave my data to earn BAT?

According to Brave Software, the rewards program does not require users to share any personal data in order to earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT).

However, the entire premise of opening yourself up to advertisers on a privacy focused browser is still at best, super contradictory.

Brave Rewards selects private ads to display to you based on your browsing activity, but this matching occurs only on your device and no personal data is sent to Brave's servers.

An anonymous accounting process is used to confirm ad event activity and protect your personal details, while also ensuring that you receive rewards for your attention.

This means that both Brave and the advertisers are unaware of your identity and what you are viewing online.

However, the entire premise of opening yourself up to advertisers on a self-proclaimed privacy focused browser is contradictory at best.

And downright dodgy at worst.

Do I have to do KYC to withdraw BAT from Brave Rewards?

Brave makes themselves out to be different from Google.

To be all about privacy and not intrude on your private life.

But the reality is that Brave Software Inc are nothing more than a registered company like Google, also with regulators and governments to appease.

In order to withdraw the BAT tokens that you’ve earned, supposedly from viewing privacy-respecting ads... Yes, you have to do KYC.

Thus defeating the entire purpose of using the Brave browser itself in the first place.

So Brave’s ethos of being privacy focused is all good and well.

But they’re a company and a company still has to make money in order to survive.

They obviously aren’t paying you 100% of what they’re receiving from advertisers and they’re selling out their users by doing it in a completely traceable manner.

Into KYC only accounts and using a shitty pre-mined token that they remain in full control of distributing.

Final thoughts on the contradiction that is Brave Rewards

Put simply, if you’re using Brave for its privacy focused ethos, but happy to KYC in order for Brave Software Inc to pay you pennies for viewing what they spin as privacy-respecting ads…

…then you’re an idiot.

In saying that, I certainly have nothing against them or anyone who chooses to go down this path.

But just don't pretend you haven't sold out your ethos of permissionless money for a few bucks.

Best of probabilities to you.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta


I stopped using Brave Rewards after 3-4 months when I couldn't withdraw my BAT earnings.
I was ready to do the KYC, but I don't think they accept registration from Philippine residents.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

You're high risk it seems.


Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

Brave is a big bad tech firm just like the big bad tech firms that they put down in their advertising.

I really dislike intrusive ads and Google's doubleclick ads that track the living daylights of out users.

The sad thing about ad blockers is that they also destroy the last means of revenue of independent web sites ... including less intrusive ads.


The sad thing about ad blockers is that they also destroy the last means of revenue of independent web sites ... including less intrusive ads.

If only there were other ways for independent journalists to monetise and fund their work!!!!

Cheers for stopping by, here have some cash via my HIVE and LEO upvotes.

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Brave does suck in regards to their tokenomics.

I found a post where the author will trade your BAT (Brave's Basic Attention Token) for HIVE or BCH (Bitcoin Cash) for two-thirds (2/3) of its worth, so that you don't have to register to Brave's third-party exchange partners to withdraw your earned BAT. 🤓 The post is at 😏 !PIZZA !LOLZ

Good find this.

My issue is still that people are choosing to use a privacy focused browser, but happy to be fed ads at all.

But for anyone that doesn't care and wants to take the money on offer, this is another avenue.

Thanks for sharing the link :)

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

Yes, he is a good Baby! I have a feeling that my BAT keeps disappearing from my wallet, it doesnt seem to increase much each month! !LOL

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Maybe it's because you have Auto-Contribute enabled on your Brave Rewards Settings that makes your BAT disappear from your Brave Wallet. 🤔 If that's the case, then you can see to whom, when, and how much you contributed to each of the Brave Verified Sites that you visited for every month you have used Brave Browser. 🤓

I think maybe I didn't "claim" my tokens on time some months. I don't like tricks like this or non-freely trading tokens. Therefore Brave, Presearch and any othe gimmicks I will kick to the touch this year.

Yeah, I think it's probably the auto-contribute setting.

I have a feeling that it is automatically ticked so they were just giving away what you were earning without noticing.

Presearch and any other gimmicks I will kick to the touch this year.

I haven't gone down the presearch rabbit hole yet.

Not worth it?

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

Maybe you want to try the Bold Browser, which is a fork of Brave Browser without ads or tokens. 🤔 Its name used to be "Braver Browser", but was changed due to the fact that its name is too similar to Brave Browser. 🤓

It doesn't have an official website, and the project exists only on #GitHub. 🤯

Presearch requires around 3 years of using the service to build up enough to withdraw and then the gas fees are gonna take a large slice. I dont know anyone who withdrew any PRE until now..

Does that mean that you haven't seen the button for claiming your BAT rewards whenever you use Brave Browser? 🤔 You are right about the need for a feature on the app that allows you to automatically claim your BAT rewards (or at least make the notice that you have rewards to claim more visible), and probably remove the need to remove the CAPTCHA when claiming the tokens. 🤓

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BAT is meant as a tipping token for content creators, you do not need to KYC to use BAT for what it was meant for. It´s also not Brave that is asking for a KYC, it´s UPHOLD and Gemini wallet that requires a KYC.

Now I do agree that BRAVE should not work with 3rd parties that require a KYC and are only available in 50 of the 188 countries where Brave has ads running. They should work with a system that allows you to send your BAT to a wallet/address of your choice.

That way you are able to tip or monetize the ads you sign up to view without any restrictions or KYC. I am still trying to uncover why in hell you partner with an epic fail such as Uphold Wallet. My best guess so far is that it´s because of the fees of being an ERC token or something similar but I hope to figure it out one day.

I btw happily KYC because I don´t believe that anything I do is still private. Hence if I can monetize my data at least I get something out of it. And it allows me to offer others who are making BAT from Brave but are in regions unsupported by Uphold or gemini, or wish to not KYC to still monetize the BAT they make from Brave.

But I definitely see the controversy you highlighted.

An interesting post that highlights serious dilemma people are facing when dealing with anything online - whether to sacrifice their freedom and privacy for the sake of convenience or not.

At the end of the day, just as the recent events in cryptosphere has shown us, most people are going to opt for the latter.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

To be fair, I do like what Brave has built in terms of a more private version of Google Chrome.

It's just their Brave Rewards program that pushes things backwards.

But people don't have to use it if they don't want to and still take advantage of the browser :)

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

I also wanna get rid of this. If u have a verified profile, please let me know, and I can give u brave at a discounted price. I have very few BATs and I am not being able to withdraw them. It's too complex.

You should talk to @whywhy about this. He offers great BAT deals.

Thank you so much. Let me try. If you have his discord ID, would you please share, if you are okay with that?

@iskafan thanks for spreading the word and at @milaan we can chat under my post but if you prefer discord BitcoinBaby#3310

It's a pleasure. 🥰

Smart man.

I love this! :D

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Yeah, it's not for me.

whywhy's service looks like it could work for you.

Let me know how it goes if you choose to go down that route.

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Yeah, it was a super cool swap, and this gentleman is a nice guy, everything was smooth and he had a kind gesture to my request. Thank you.

Very cool :)

Cheers whywhy!

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The rewards aren't big enough for me to really care too much about it. Then again, I feel that people just want to earn a few dollars while they are doing what they normally do.

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I do wonder how much Brave makes from advertising and what percentage of that revenue gets paid back to users.

I tried, but can't seem to find any numbers published... not that I really expected them to.

From a LeoFinance perspective, I hope that Khal makes ad revenue completely transparent and we see all of the raw numbers.

...hopefully not just hope.

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I got rid of them few days after trying brave browser I just knew all their privacy shits was just a ploy to get people onboard.

If you're using Brave for its privacy features, turning off Brave Rewards was the smart choice.

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Oh, okay.

I can consider that, thank you.

I had the same thoughts about Brave ever since it launched but decided to stay out of the debate. Surely so many people using it can't be in the wrong but when you lay it all out as you did in this article there is hardly any pro argument for Brave left.

It's a glorified Chrome browser with extra steps no one ever asked for. They also somehow managed to make the browsing experience worse than Chrome...

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The endless tradeoff between privacy and convenience, huh...

I admit that I do like the Browser itself.

The ad blocker is fantastic for reading news websites and not sending data back to Google is always a plus.

But that rewards program is dodgy af.

Don't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

KYC is a no-no. I do use it for Leo because I have much less issues with all of it. Chrome is very buggy with Leo finance for me.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

Oh really?

I would have thought that as they're both essentially the same browser under the hood, that they'd act the same.


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I’ve actually stopped using the rewards myself and have left my rewards account inactive. I’m annoyed that I’ve done the KYC thinking it was good to earn a little bit but I realized that it wasn’t in my best interest to do that so I stopped using it. The damage has been done, so they say, but can’t go back now and change it, only go forward.

I do enjoy the browser and the functionalities of it though.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

I do enjoy the browser and the functionalities of it though.

That's the thing, isn't it.

The browser itself and all of its privacy enhancing features, is great!

But the rewards program just goes against everything that they're supposedly about.

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I discovered that masked Brave-Browser face from the very beginning when I innocently tried to reward my bats, I immediately deleted it and applied the anti-tracking filters manually.

applied the anti-tracking filters manually.

Oh, interesting.

Do you mind sharing a bit more on what you've done here?

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

There is no single answer, if what interests you is security and privacy being a basic user (who does not want to struggle with complex configurations) my suggestions are:

  • Use a blocking extension, AdBlock OR Ghostery, combined they complement each other very well.
  • Of the Chromium-based browsers I recommend Yandex, it incorporates security patterns provided by Karpesky, you can also add the above-mentioned extensions.
  • If you are not dependent on Google extensions consider using Mozilla Firefox which has good security features and can also be improved by extensions without too much effort.

Brave's security features are good, but with its marketing of the BAT token and others, it plays minesweeper. If it incorporates a wallet, it was nothing for them to make a deposit mechanism without giving away the privacy of their users.


Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

For some reason, it didn't actually occur to me that there would be other Chromium based browsers.

I might give Yandex a go.

Anyway, all great suggestions.

It's much appreciated mate! :)

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Lol, it took you so long? I was wondering if I'm the only one that sees this shit, lol, I ditched brave a long time ago as the primary browser, I rather give out my data for the sites I'm visiting and they earn money than give it to an hypocrite of a company.

What can I say, I'm slow 😂.

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It's more like using the KYC to reveal the information they said they wouldn't reveal in the first place. It's all smoke and mirror if you ask me, but they're only placating users by giving them a tiny share in the pie while categorically going on with the data selling.

The base product of their browser is so good.

It's just like you said, the smoke and mirrors of their rewards program.

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Yeah that's true, maybe that'll convince More people to stay anyways

I like its feature that gives a built in wallet and you can use it as an alternate to metamask.

They send earned BAT to uphold, you need to do KYC with uphold not brave.

And one thing if you don't know, Brave uses your CPU power if you turn on ad revenue, so the revenue does not come from ads but your CPU/GPU usage to create something on Brave's server. Mind it.

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Well that's worse isn't it haha?

Does that mean they're essentially taking money from advertisers, pushing it on their users, and paying them in crypto that they 100% control the emissions of?

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Exactly, they charge advertisers in USD and send their users less than pennies in crypto.

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Point taken.
I use it as a ( privacy ) browser, as most other browsers feel worse

that ad thing never really worked for me.

But just don't pretend you haven't sold out your ethos of permissionless money for a few bucks.

reading this, I can't help but think of the hopefully about to fail CBDC's haha!

Happy New Year!

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Don't worry, I wasn't specifically talking to you.

Now I'm coming back and reading it 24 hours later, I really need to edit how I worded that conclusion to not be a total asshole... 😬

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Haha! No worries but at least you're aware of what effect wording can have on your reader and willing to adapt. That alone shows that you're not a ( total ) asshole ;<)

P.S. I'm not the average person ( the main character in my stories of the last couple of years isn't called 'Hypersensitivosaurus' without a reason haha! ) but I also have a sense of humor so I get you and don't take things literally.

Happy New Year!

😂 Happy new year right back at you!

Also, I need to be a little bit of an asshole because anger inspires engagement.

Engagement inspires ad revenue and ultimately will make my LEO investment worth more.

Just playing the long game here haha 😉.

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Also, I need to be a little bit of an asshole because anger inspires engagement.


In that case I have a problem. I don't get angry easily ;<)

I'm in it for the long game too ( my main account @vincentnijman has been here since June 2017 )

Have a nice day!

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Braves tokenomics is shit and shady for sure. I do like free money but KYC sucks. The compromise is huge.

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