Humans seem to be hardwired for kindness.
We enjoy helping others. It makes us happy.
We even embody kindness in our fictional selves – our superheroes, like Superman or Batman. Sure, they’re very different, but most would agree they value kindness and virtue above all else.
Taking down The Joker isn’t the only way to help your fellow people, of course. Kindness can be as simple as giving someone a little support when they need it most. Or recognising someone for a job well done.
So when we heard that Brave, a new internet browser, was giving users the chance to support their favourite websites, we had to know more.
More than just a browser
As a browser, Brave is tough to beat.
It’s super fast – twice as fast as Chrome on desktop and up to 8 times faster on mobile.
It also blocks ads, malware, trackers, upgrades sites to HTTPS, and protects your privacy while you browse.
But in many ways, Brave is a gateway to something much much bigger.
Let me ask you a question: How do websites make money?
Unless they’re selling something or charge you for access, most web content is free. But they need to earn money somehow so they can continue making content, so how do they do it?
The answer is advertising.
Every website offering free content, be it blogs, videos, software, or photos, earns advertising revenue that helps pay for the content.
The problem with this business model is that most people don’t like ads, and the websites don’t always have control over them. These ads are often managed by third parties, and might be malicious or poorly-coded, as well as being just plain annoying.
Brave blocks annoying ads by default. But what happens to websites’ lost ad revenue? Without it, they might shut down, or enforce paywalls so you have to re-enable ads or pay to access the content.
Brave doesn’t think that’s a good idea.
Instead, Brave gives you the means to reward your favourite websites through a proprietary cryptocurrency called BAT (Basic Attention Token).
It’s called Brave Rewards.
At the moment, you have to buy BAT yourself, either in-browser or by transferring BAT from another exchange like Uphold. Once you’ve BAT to spend, you can tip websites as well as YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit posts.
In the future, you’ll be able to earn BAT by watching ads curated according to the type of content you most enjoy. This process is anonymous, and is based solely on how much attention you give each site you visit.
Of course, you don’t have to watch ads at all. You can simply tip your favourite sites with BAT you’ve bought yourself, or not tip them at all. The choice is yours. But that leads us to an important question…
Why is tipping your favourite websites so important?
It costs money to create and host content on the internet. You need to pay writers, designers, filmmakers, and for servers and countless other costs. Ads usually help pay for this, but if you block them, the site won’t make any money.
This is a problem for all sites that rely on advertising revenue, especially new and emerging sites that don’t have capital behind them or any other sources of income. A site like CNN can probably afford to lose browser ad revenue, but web-only content providers might not.
The web might then be dominated by large, corporate sites. The smaller, independent ones will lose out as they can’t afford to keep going.
That’s why it’s important to be able to reward your favourite websites, no matter how big or small, to ensure the internet stays open, free, and diverse.
You’re supporting a democratic web that ensures everyone can continue seeing their favourite content, without being bombarded by annoying ads.
How to set up Brave Rewards
If you’ve not downloaded and installed Brave, do it now.
Then follow the steps below:
- Open Brave
- Click the small triangle to the right of the Brave Browser URL bar. This opens the Brave Rewards settings page.
- Enable Brave Rewards
- Add funds by sending cryptocurrency or fiat through Uphold or other exchanges
- Choose Auto-Contribute and/or Tips
Auto-Contribute will divide your BAT automatically between the sites you visit, or those you include in the list beneath the Auto-Contribute panel.
But if you want to stay in control of which sites you reward – such as only rewarding the sites that need it the most – then tipping is the way to go. This is especially useful if you want to support a new or emerging website that you want to help succeed.
Brave won’t make you the next Superman, but it does help show kindness to the people creating the content you love. So start using Brave today – it might not turn you into a superhero, but we sure will make you feel like one.