Dow Jones Partners With Brave Browser To Trial Basic Attention Token

  • The Dow Jones Media Group has partnered up with Brave to offer users premium content and test its basic attention token.
  • Barron's and Marketwatch will become verified publishers on BAT's platform.
  • A limited number of users will receive access to premium content from Dow Jones Media Group.

In a thus far revolutionary move, the Dow Jones Media Group, a subsidiary of Dow Jones and publisher of Barron’s, has signed a deal with the ad-blocking Brave browser. The deal is set to see Dow Jones’ publications become verified publishers, potentially allowing users to pay for premium content with its Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Two years ago, multiple publications, including the Wall Street Journal, itself published by Dow Jones, dubbed Brave’s ad blocking manoeuvres “illegal”. Aligning themselves with the New York Times and Washington Post, it seemed that such a stance was invariably set in stone. 

Now, all of this has seemingly changed, as the Dow Jones Media Group is currently offering those who download Brave 24 months of free access to its Barrons.com website and/or to a premium MarketWatch newsletter. 

Explaining their new position, Barron’s senior vice president, Daniel Bernard, said:

“As global digital publishers, we believe it is important to continually explore new and emerging technologies that can be used to build quality customer experiences.”

Daniel Bernard

Dow Jones Media Group is not the only publisher who’s now on board. According to Brave’s Chief Executive, Brendan Eich: “Our discussions have become much better over the years. We’ll have other big publishers we’re announcing as partners.”  

Brave is unique in that it not only blocks ads, but also has software that tracks online behaviour and passes it on to other entities. Now used by over two million people every month, its popularity shows just how seriously internet users take their security and privacy.

Brave’s BAT Token

Brave’s intention is not to put a stop to advertising entirely, but to deliver ads in a more privacy-sensitive way. This will eventually mean ad revenue for the publishers who invest in it, and with this in mind, a cryptocurrency-based payment system already exists.

The browser’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) is set to allow advertisers to not only pay publishers, but also subsume a portion of the proceeds and distribute them amongst all who use Brave. Although said system is not yet completely functional, publishers are already able to earn some revenue through users’ BAT payments.

Such payments are distributed monthly by Brave, who gives the lion’s share to sites with the most activity. As part of this scheme, publishers, YouTubers and Twitch video streamers can all sign up free of charge to mark themselves as being eligible to receive tokens form users.   

Dow Jones Media Group will now become BAT verified publishers as a result of the deal signed on Wednesday, meaning it will be possible to pay for premium content with Brave’s BAT tokens.

Russia Will Not Legalize Facebook's Libra Says Top Official

A top Moscow official has said that Facebook's planned new cryptocurrency Libra will not be legalized Russia, according to a report this week from Russia's state-run news agency TASS.

Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, said Russia would not legalise the Libra stablecoin, due for launch next year, as it may pose a threat to the country's financial system.

No Russian Liberty for Libra

While Aksakov acknowledged Russians would be able to buy Libra on international cryptocurrency exchange platforms, he warned that the creation of any domestic mechanisms of exchange would be limited, or even prohibited.

TASS quoted Aksakov as saying:

With regard to the use of Facebook cryptocurrency as a payment instrument in Russia at this stage - my opinion is that in our country it will be banned.

He added that in Russia there were no plans to adopt legislation that "gives space for active use of crypto-tools created in the framework of open platforms and blockchains" that may pose a threat to Russia's financial system.

International Ministers Speak Out

Aksakov is not the first financial minister to express concerns over Facebook's cryptocurrency plans and their potential to damage sovereign currency markets and financial stability.

On Tuesday, French economy minister Bruno Le Maire, said that global governments must ask Facebook for "guarantees" that Libra will not be aimed as a disruptive force against sovereign currencies.

Facebook's plans have US government and regulatory officials so rattled that a Senate hearing by the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has been scheduled for July 16. The government has asked Facebook to halt work on the project until the hearings have been held.

Sherrod Brown, senior Senator for Ohio and the Democratic Party's ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, said on his Twitter feed on Tuesday: "Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy. We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight."

While Aksakov has major concerns about the growth of the cryptocurrency sector, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said on Wednesday that the Russian government was set to adopt the country's crypto bill "On Digital Financial Assets" in the next two weeks.