Josh Metnick posted an insightful opinion piece weeks ago where he introduced Brave, a browser powered by bitcoin that could potentially change how we browse forever.
The veteran entrepreneur and proficient startup investor recently met with one of the brains behind the bitcoin browser “Brave,” where he was given a lucid insight into the origin of the idea and how it came to hold so much potential today.
The Brave Journey
Brendan Eich, the CEO of Brave shared the intricate story of how Brave came into fruition with Metnick as the entrepreneur was seeking answers concerning the potentially revolutionary first ever bitcoin-based browser.
The idea of monetizing content using bitcoin was spawned in 2013 although it had not fully matured into the Brave browser idea just yet.
Basing his idea on the current paywall system which is a great source of revenue for most existing companies, he formulated a bitcoin-based paywall system, which he pitched to The Chicago Sun-Times.
When Brendan Eich and his team finally managed to convince the Pulitzer Prize-winning firm to get on board with the idea, the results, although meager, were promising.
The Chicago Sun-Times experienced what was the highest paywall conversions using bitcoin in all their existence.
Numerous experiments followed, all with varying levels of success but the idea never fully gained the traction that Brendan was looking for.
Bitcoin Browser “Brave”
Josh Metnick was introduced to the Brave startup by CoinDesk several months after the initial bitcoin paywall experiments were conducted.
Brendan and his team’s head of communications Catherine Corre were just in the process of setting up a firmer foothold in a playing field full of titans such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox.
In total, the team consisted of 16 experts who specialized in different technical areas – there were no advertisers or salespersons whatsoever.
Metnick was able to test out both the prototype and the payment-enabled version of the bitcoin browser Brave and aside from a few expected bugs which were corrected in the proceeding versions, the first ever bitcoin-powered browser was looking more than feasible.
The Nitty Gritty
As Metnick observed, the browser uses the content publisher’s established URL ownership to create an escrow account which allows the publishers to automatically accumulate the funds and claim them at their own discretion.
User will be required to set up and fund a monthly content budget (in bitcoin) in order to gain access to the various publisher sites.
Tracking of usage is based on the amount of time spent on a particular website and at the end of the month; the user’s monthly pre-funded account is equally distributed to the specific sites using the aforementioned URL ownership establishment method.
The minimum threshold that can be withdrawn from a particular publisher account is $10, of which Brave takes a 5 % fee.
Metnick also noted that website revenue was significantly higher when using the bitcoin-based payment especially considering the absence of revenue-generating ads and/or salespersons.
Completely AD-Free Browsing with Enhanced Privacy
In exchange for what promises to be one of the most lucrative paywall systems for publishers, the bitcoin browser also comes with an arsenal of privacy features, the center of which is a powerful in-built ad-blocking feature which effectively neutralizes any form ad revenue generation for the publishers.
In addition to ad-free browsing for the user, Brave also optimizes web usage for the user by impeding websites from collecting user information for free and often without the user’s knowledge or consent.
Brendan pointed out that the primary mission for the bitcoin browser was to restore the user’s browsing control and enhance their online privacy.
Other highlights of the bitcoin browser include minimized CPU usage and much faster speeds than Chrome.
Reprieve for Under-Appreciated Content Producers and Publishers
Perhaps the main reason why publishers and content-creators would wholeheartedly get behind Brave Browser’s system of digital payment using bitcoin is the fact that they would finally get a chance to be connected with their readers directly.
The fact that bitcoin is the primary mode of payment makes the whole payment network safe from manipulation, anti-inflationary, highly programmable and, most importantly, instantly transmittable.
Brave Browser promises to be one of the bravest bitcoin-based technological innovations of our times and a herald for optimized browsing in the times to come.