Brave to Roll out Its Privacy-Focused Ads Beyond Its Own Browser: Report

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The privacy-centric, cryptocurrency-funded Brave browser is reportedly going to roll out its ads to other browsers and apps by releasing a software developer kit in the second half of this year. This will help other programmers use its privacy-protecting ads.

During an interview with CNET, Brave’s CEO Brendan Eich noted that the company’s ad model is going to first be tested on its own browser, and only then will go for wider audiences. Reportedly, the spread of Brave’s ads could help the company financially in the long run, while also supporting users’ online privacy.

The Brave browser, which raised $35 million in 30 seconds through an initial coin offering (ICO), has already started testing its “ad display and delivery” on its developer version, in what it claimed to be “very early iterations” that “aren’t for the faint-of-heart.” While users aren’t currently able to earn its native Basic Attention Token (BAT) from seeing ads yet, that will happen in the future.

Specifically, Brave users will receive up to 70% of the revenue from ads that show up in a notification that can be clicked, while Brave itself will get the other 30%. In a second phase, Brave ads will also be enabled on publishers’ websites, in partnerships with said publishers. In these, the publisher will keep 70% of the revenue, will the user and Brave get 15% each.

This second phase is set to come later this year, according to CNET. The company will allow users to choose whether or not they want to see ads and earn BAT tokens for it. As CryptoGlobe covered, users may earn over $70 per year just for seeing ads on their browsers.

By default, the funds Brave users earn on the platform are shared with website publishers, YouTubers, and other online content creators as a reward for the attention users give them. In the future, users are set to be able to pay for content with these tokens, and to withdraw them for themselves. A BAT tipping feature is already available.

Apps that use the company’s developer kit are set to help fund Brave’s operations, and to continue rewarding users for ads they see with 70% of the revenue, with Brave and the app splitting the other 30%.

Before this happens, Brave is working on countering fraud and other schemes related to its model. Per Brendan Eich, a “trade group” will likely govern the use of BAT-powered ads beyond its browser, to ensure scammers don’t take advantage of it by, for example, getting bots to see ads.

Eich further hopes ad-related transactions will help stabilize BAT’s price by beating speculators’ volumes. He was quoted as saying:

As we get more transactions on the platform, that will dominate the pricing and help stabilize the price.

An Uphill Battle

Since its launch, Brave has been steadily growing. Earlier this month it revealed it already has over 5.5 million monthly active users (MAU), and some analysts expect its numbers to soar as soon as it starts rewarding users for viewing ads.

While the figure is impressive for a cryptocurrency-based project, it still has a challenge on its hands when it comes to getting Google Chromes’ over one billion users to change browsers. While it offers native ad and tracker blocking features, it’s still an uphill battle.

Per CNET, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, a “thorny law for companies like Google,” may help Brave. If it succeeds, it could go on to disrupt the online advertising industry, which is expected to see advertisers spend $132.3 billion on US digital ads this year.

Brave is notably not the only browser using cryptocurrencies to further its growth. The popular Opera browser has recently added a built-in cryptocurrency wallet to its Android browser, which has over 100 million installs.

Ripple CEO: 'You Don’t Want to Use BTC at Starbucks'

On Thursday (January 23), Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, told the Wallet Street Journal (WSJ) that Bitcoin is not a good means of payment because BTC transactions take too long.

The Ripple CEO's comments were made during his talk with Phillipa Leighton-Jones (Editorial Director for Innovation) at a Ripple-sponsored event (organized by the WSJ) called "Ripple Panel: Changing the Finance Industry From Within" held alongside this year's World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Although we don't yet have a full transcript of this interview, we do know about two of the things he talked about thanks to tweets by Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple, who was at this event.

First, it seems that although the Ripple CEO likes Bitcoin as a store of value, he does not see (at least, as of now) as a viable means of payment. The example he gave was paying for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. He believes that BTC transactions take so long to confirm that by the time you have finished paying for your coffee, "it'll be cold." 

Second, within the next 12 months, he sees several companies in the crypto space holding initial public offerings (IPOs) and he wants Ripple to be "on the leading side" since this is "a natural evolution" for Ripple, which raised $200 million via a Series C funding round (which valued the company at $10 billion) last month. 

On Wednesday (January 22), Ripple published the "Q4 2019 XRP Markets Report", which is a quarterly report that allows Ripple to "voluntarily provide transparency and regular updates on the company’s views on the state of the XRP market, including quarterly programmatic and institutional sales updates, relevant XRP-related announcements such as Xpring and RippleNet partnerships and commentary on previous quarter market developments." 

In Q4 2019, Ripple's total XRP sales were down just over 80% compared to the preceding quarter ($13.08 million vs. $66.24 million). Ripple "continued the pause of programmatic sales" (to crypto exchanges), and focused exclusively on over-the-counter (OTC) sales to "a few strategic partners, who are building XRP utility and liquidity in strategic regions including EMEA and Asia."

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