Gab's Brave Browser Fork Uses Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Instead of BAT

Gab, a purportedly uncensored social media microblogging platform, is reportedly looking to fork the Brave browser to create a “free-speech browser” and, in the future, a “free-speech marketplace and app store,” both powered by bitcoin.

Bitcoin, as covered, has been promoted by the microblogging platform as “free speech money” to its then over 850,000 users. The company, headed by Andrew Torba, has recently launched a browser plug-in called Dissenter, meant to be the “comment section of the internet.”

Gab has been under fire after reports revealed the shooter behind the Pittsburg synagogue massacre was a Gab user. The platform first started accepting cryptocurrency payments in December of last year, after seeing payment processors like Square, PayPal, and Stripe turn their backs on it. The company has even seen crypto-friendly processors like Coinbase and Cash App refuse to work with it.

Its browser extension was recently booted from the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox web stores, which prompted Gab to fork the Brave browser, and launch its own “free speech” browser.

Gab’s fork of the Brave browser – which was created by former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich – isn’t going to use Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT), but will instead use bitcoin’s layer-two scaling solution, the Lightning Network.

Interestingly, Brave’s token is set to be used to create an entirely new digital revenue model, in which users are rewarded for seeing ads with a percentage of the revenue from them, while their privacy is preserved. By default, Brave blocks ads and trackers.

The browser has recently launched its own advertising network, meaning it is now rewarding users for seeing ads on the browser. These, so far, are only small notifications.

Dissenter: A Brave Browser Fork

Gab’s fork of the Brave browser, the Dissenter browser, is reportedly keeping the Brave parts it finds useful, like the default ad and tracker blocker, as well as access to Tor. It is, however, removing Brave’s ERC-20 based BAT token, which Gab has been bashing on social media.

The browser, Torba told Decrypt Media, has been created to help cut off access to “user data and ad revenue” for Silicon Valley companies like Google. This, per his words, includes Brave, which he claims built a model more beneficial for advertisers than users.

Brendan Eich himself has had a few clashes with Gab on social media, and doesn’t appear to be pleased with Gab forking his browser and removing BAT from the equation. To Eich, Gab’s goal appears to be to increase the reach of its extension.

Torba, on the other end, claims to not understand the controversy, as he claims the “point of open source is to allow others to build upon an existing codebase and add more value.” Brave itself, he added, “is a fork of the Google Chromium project.”

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Bitcoin Hashrate Hits New Record as New ASIC Miners Brought Online

Neil Dennis

Bitcoin's hashrate - the computing power dedicated to mining the world's biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization - hit another record high as thousands of new miners came online in the last few months.

Data from bitcoin mining pool showed another milestone level passed. At block height 594,720 , the average hashrate jumped to 85.08 exahashes per second (EH/s), smashing the previous record rate of 77.08 EH/s on September 1.

Mining Difficulty

As ever more powerful mining rigs come online and compete for bitcoin rewards, the hashrate increases as the network's blockchain adjusts its mining difficulty to ensure the time to produce a single block remains the same - around 10 minutes.

On Friday September 13, the difficulty rate also hit a new record high of 11.89 trillion, up from the previous 10.77 trillion as measured on September 1.

Powerful new application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners have an average hash power of about 55 terahashes per second (TH/s). Given that 1 EH/s is equal to 1 million TH/s it can be estimated that since June 14, when the hashrate stood at 53.03, the extra 33 EH/s may be accounted to around 600,000 new ASICs added to the total bitcoin mining pool in those three months.

Just last week, two new Bitmain ASIC models hit the market only to be sold out instantly.


Featured Image Credit: Picture Courtesy of Bitmain