Californian browser startup Brave has released a beta version of its bitcoin-based micropayments system, called Brave Payments. Introduced a few months ago, the system pays users in bitcoin for watching ads that were approved by the browser.
Co-founded by Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, the startup has developed an open source ad-blocking Brave Browser that offers an increased level of privacy for its users. The content-filtering extension, which is available Windows, Linux, iOS, Mac, and Android, is aimed at improving users’ web experience by making it safer and faster. It provides a 2x to 4x speed growth on mobile devices and a 40-60% speed growth of the desktop version.
Brave Payments allows users to donate money for websites they want to support, while avoiding ads and trackers that overwhelm web pages and slow down computer performance.
To activate the service, users have to choose an option on the Preferences page, then create a Brave wallet and top it up via Coinbase or existing bitcoins. They then have to select their favorite websites and insert the amount they wish to donate. Users can easily control websites that receive their money and can disable financing at any time.
All payments are anonymous and your identity remains undisclosed. Nobody, including Brave Browser, can correlate page views with payments due to the use of Anonize protocol. Besides, the code for Brave Payments is open source, allowing it to be verified and audited.
“We’ve heard from many people who say that they are tired of the current ad-tech ecosystem that clogs their web pages and data connections with annoying ads and tracking pixels and scripts, and that they would be happy to go ad-free if they could instead funnel their support directly to the websites they visit,” the company said. “Brave Payments now makes it possible for such users to try sending small payments to sites, at whatever aggregate support level they choose.”
The startup has teamed up with BitGo to support Brave Browser wallets that keep bitcoin for conducting Brave Payments, with Coinbase to enable users acquire bitcoin through Coinbase Buy Widget, and with Private Internet Access to hide IP addresses of users.
“We believe Brave Payments will also help reform the ad-tech ecosystem by giving both browser users and website content creators the fair deal that they deserve, based on ownership of their data,” the company added.
Last month, Brave secured a $4.5 million funding from major investors and venture capital companies, including Digital Currency Group, Propel Venture Partners, Founders Fund’s FF Angel, Foundation Capital, and Pantera Capital.