Brave (web browser)

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Brave logo.svg
Brave on Windows 10
Brave on Windows 10
Developer(s)Brave Software, Inc.[1][2]
Stable release(s) [±]
Android1.0.94 / May 19, 2019; 2 months ago (2019-05-19)[3]
iOS1.9.2 / May 17, 2019; 3 months ago (2019-05-17)[4]
macOS, Windows, Linux0.64.75 / May 12, 2019; 3 months ago (2019-05-12)[5][6]
Preview release(s)
Beta: 0.66.99 Dev: 0.65.78 Nightly: 0.66.24 / April 25th, 2019
Written inC, JavaScript, C++
EnginesBlink, V8
Operating system
TypeWeb browser

Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser.[8] The browser blocks ads and website trackers. The company has proposed adopting a pay-to-surf business model in a future version of the browser.

As of 2018, Brave supports Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. The current version features five search engines by default, including their partner, DuckDuckGo.[9]

Business model[edit]

Brave allows users to support the sites they visit with BAT.[10] Users may earn BAT by watching ads or by funding their BAT wallet. Users are paid 70% of the revenue they generate. The remaining 30% is split between Brave and the advertisement's publisher.[11]

In a test version of the browser, Brave targets web ads by analyzing the user anonymized browsing history.[12]

Brave Software's Basic Attention Token ad exchange platform received investment from Danhua Capital, Digital Currency Group, Foundation Capital, Founders Fund, Huiyin Blockchain Venture, Pantera Capital, and Propel Venture Partners.[13] Originally incorporated in Delaware as Hyperware Labs, Inc in 2015, they later changed their name to Brave Software, Inc. and registered in California, where the company is headquartered.[14]


Brave is developed by Brave Software, which was founded on May 28, 2015, by CEO Brendan Eich and CTO Brian Bondy. On January 20, 2016, Brave Software launched the first version of Brave with an ad blocking feature, and announced plans for a privacy ad feature and a revenue sharing program.[15]

In June 2018, Brave released a pay-to-surf test version of the browser. This version of Brave is preloaded with approximately 250 ads, and sends 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 will follow.[16] Later that month, Brave added support for Tor in its desktop browser's private browsing mode.[17] In December, of the same year, Brave called for a boycott of Google because of its advertising practices.[18]

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.[8] The final Muon-based version was released with the intention that it would stop working and instruct users to update as the end of life approached.[19][20]

On April 25, 2019, Brave team members released Brave Ads on the release version of the web browser. They are also working with Vice Media, Home Chef, Ternio BlockCard, MyCrypto, and eToro, in addition to BuySellAds, TAP Network, AirSwap, Fluidity, and Uphold to pay users in cryptocurrency for viewing ads.[21] In July, Brave Ads also became available on their Android app.[22]

Brave browser will be the default browser on the upcoming cryptocurrency-focused HTC Exodus 1 telephone.[23]

In June 2019 Brave started testing 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 uBlock Origin and Ghostery algorithms.[24]

Critical reception[edit]

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".[25] TechCrunch,[26] Computerworld,[27] and Engadget[28] termed Brave's ad replacement plans "controversial".

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".[29]

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". Eich responded by emphasizing that the browser gives "the lion's share" of ad revenue to content publishers.[30]

In April 2017, TechWorld praised Brave's "great speeds and advanced ad-tracking controls", but said that its "extension functionality is still lacking".[31]

In January 2019, ZeroCrypted praised the UI, the new Chrome extension support, but said the "rewards were not clear to the users", similarly to what CNET said in their December review about Brave.

On June 21, 2019, the technical columnist for The Washington Post, Geoffrey Fowler, while recommending Firefox, listed Brave among the browser options available as alternatives to Chrome in his article indicating his abandonment of that browser because of the 11,000 tracking cookies documented in their browser in a single week. He noted that Brave "goes even further in trying to jam the ad-tech industry".[32]

Basic Attention Token[edit]

Basic Attention Token Logo

The "Basic Attention Token" (BAT) is an open-source, decentralized ad exchange platform based on Ethereum.[33] The platform is integrated with the Brave web browser. It is not possible to use or access the platform from any other browser. An official description of the token is provided via a whitepaper. [34]

Brave Payments, which formerly used Bitcoin, allows users to tip websites and content creators (such as YouTubers and Twitch streamers)[35] with BAT tokens, akin to patronage services such as Patreon.[36]

Integration of BAT into an application involves implementing BAT Ads, a system that displays ads to users based on locally stored data. Ad targeting is performed locally, removing the need for third-party tracking.[37]

In an initial coin offering on May 31, 2017, BAT sold 1,000,000,000 BAT for a total of 156,250 Ethereum (US$35M) in less than 30 seconds.[33][38] An additional 500,000,000 BAT was retained by the team for developer and user growth pools, which is used to promote the adoption of the platform.[33]

Additionally, they 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.[39]

In early December 2017, the development team 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.[40][41]

In mid January 2018, the team issued US$1M worth of BAT tokens to users in a promotional giveaway. These grants were claimed within ten days.[42]

On March 1, 2018, the company expanded Brave Payments support to streamers on the platform, and increased referral program grants by US$1M worth of BAT.[43]

On April 24, 2019, Brave implemented BAT Ads, a program that pays users with BAT for viewing advertisements as compensation for their attention.[44] Users get 70% of the revenue their attention generates, deposited into their brave wallet monthly.

Notable publishers who accept BAT tokens include the Washington Post, The Guardian, NPR, LA Times, Vimeo, MarketWatch, Barron's, DuckDuckGo, Qwant, BitTorrent, Slate, and Vice.[45]


  1. ^ "Learn About Brave and Our Team". Brave Browser. Retrieved 16 Jul 2018.
  2. ^ "Company Overview of Brave Software Inc". Bloomberg. 4 Apr 2018. Retrieved 23 Jun 2019.
  3. ^ "Brave, the browser with built-in ad blocking, tries again on Android". TechCrunch. 2016-10-31. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  4. ^ "Brave iOS vs Firefox Focus: Comparison of Privacy Browsers on iPhone". Guiding Tech. 2019-05-18. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  5. ^ "Releases". Brave Software. Retrieved 2019-04-23 – via GitHub.
  6. ^ "First Look at Brave Browser for Windows". 2016-02-25. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  7. ^ "browser-laptop/LICENSE.txt at master". GitHub. 29 Jun 2017. Retrieved 26 Jul 2018.
  8. ^ a b Cimpanu, Catalin. "Brave browser moves to Chromium codebase, now supports Chrome extensions". ZDNet. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  9. ^ "Brave's browser offers you a bit more privacy when searching online", CNET, CBS Interactive, 14 Dec 2017, retrieved 16 Jul 2018
  10. ^ "Brave Wants to Destroy the Ad Business by Paying You to Watch Ads in Its Web Browser". Gizmodo. 2019-04-24. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  11. ^ "Understand Brave Browser and BAT". Kauri. 2019-05-19. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  12. ^ "Brave Ads History Collection Privacy Policy". Brave Browser. 20 Jun 2018. Retrieved 10 Aug 2018.
  13. ^ "Basic Attention Token". Retrieved 16 Jul 2018.
  14. ^ California Secretary of State Business Search: Brave Software, Inc.
  15. ^ Ha, Anthony (20 Jan 2016). "With Brave Software, JavaScript's Creator Is Building A Browser For The Ad-Blocked Future". TechCrunch. Retrieved 16 Jul 2018.
  16. ^ Lomas, Natasha (20 Jun 2018). "Blockchain browser Brave starts opt-in testing of on-device ad targeting". TechCrunch. Retrieved 16 Jul 2018.
  17. ^ Shankland, Stephen. "Brave advances browser privacy with Tor-powered tabs". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Brave boycotts Google and complains about its advertising practices". Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  19. ^ "Brave breaking itself to try to force an update?". Reddit. 2019. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  20. ^ "Brave browser goes 'full Chromium' by adopting Google UI". IDG. 2018-12-16. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  21. ^ "This New Privacy-focused Web Browser Wants To Pay Its Users For Looking At Ads", Republic TV, 26 April 2019
  22. ^ Shankland, Stephen. "Brave shows ads on its Android browser, not just on PCs". CNET. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  23. ^ Shankland, Stephen. "Ad-blocking Brave is now the default web browser on HTC's niche cryptocurrency phone". CNET. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  24. ^ Tung, Liam. "Brave defies Google's moves to cripple ad-blocking with new 69x faster Rust engine". ZDNet. Retrieved 2019-07-01.
  25. ^ Anthony, Sebastian (2016-01-21). "Mozilla co-founder unveils Brave, a browser that blocks ads by default". Ars Technica.
  26. ^ Perez, Sarah (1 Aug 2016). "Brave, the ad-blocking browser from former Mozilla CEO, grabs $4.5 million". TechCrunch. Retrieved 10 Aug 2018.
  27. ^ Keizer, Gregg (25 Jun 2018). "Brave browser begins controversial ad repeal-and-replace tests". Computerworld. Retrieved 10 Aug 2018.
  28. ^ England, Rachel (20 Jun 2018). "Privacy browser Brave pays 'crypto tokens' for watching its ads". Engadget. Retrieved 10 Aug 2018.
  29. ^ Patrizio, Andy (2016-02-04). "Benchmark tests: How the Brave browser compares with Chrome, Firefox, and IE 11". Network World. IDG. Retrieved 10 Aug 2018.
  30. ^ Murphy, David (April 8, 2016). "Newspapers: Ad-Blocking Brave Browser Is Illegal, Deceptive". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  31. ^ Mercer, Christina; Dunn, John E (26 Apr 2018). "The most secure browsers 2018". Techworld. IDG. Retrieved 16 Jul 2018.
  32. ^ Fowler, Geoffrey, Goodbye, Chrome: Google’s web browser has become spy software, The Washington Post, June 21, 2019
  33. ^ a b c Russell, Jon. "Former Mozilla CEO raises $35M in under 30 seconds for his browser startup Brave". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Brave browser lets you pay your favorite YouTube stars". CNET. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  36. ^ Russell, Jon. "Blockchain browser Brave makes push to reward content makers and YouTubers". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  37. ^ "Google and Facebook Too Can Be Disrupted". 2017-12-08. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  38. ^ "Javascript creator's browser raises $35 million in 30 seconds". Engadget. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  39. ^ Perez, Sarah. "Brave, the ad-blocking browser from former Mozilla CEO, grabs $4.5 million". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  40. ^ "Ad-blocking browser Brave courts new users with free crypto tokens | VentureBeat". Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  41. ^ "This ad-blocking browser has some cryptocurrency for you". CNET. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  42. ^ "You can get some Brave crypto tokens free to fund website publishers and YouTube stars". CNET. 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  43. ^ "If you're streaming videogames on Twitch, the Brave browser offers a new way to get paid". CNET. 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  44. ^ "Get Paid to Watch Ads in the Brave Web Browser". Lifehacker. 2019-04-26. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  45. ^ "List of verified Brave Browser/BAT Publishers". BATGROWTH. Retrieved 2019-06-23.

External links[edit]