Brave Browser Exits Beta After Nearly Four Years

Mobile phone with the Brave Browser on the screen

After almost four years spent in beta, Brave Software’s privacy-preserving web browser for macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS has been officially launched. Brave 1.0—as Brave Software calls it—is a “private, safer, and 3-6x faster browsing experience,” according to an announcement published Thursday.

A trio of features unique to Brave 1.0 were detailed in the innovative California-headquartered company’s milestone announcement. Below are explanations of these next-generation features.

Brave Rewards: Tip publishers and content creators

Brave Software explained that users can support publishers and content creators by activating Brave Rewards and its integrated Brave wallet on both desktop and mobile. This feature allows users to send Basic Attention Token (BAT) as “tips for great content,” Brave Software explained, “either directly as they browse or by defaulting to recurring monthly payments to continuously support the over 300,000 verified websites.”

Brave Ads: Compensating user attention

“Brave has pioneered a new blockchain-based advertising model that reforms the current system with privacy by design,” Brave Software declared in Thursday’s announcement. Under this model, Brave 1.0 users will enjoy 70 per cent revenue share in the form of BAT. Brave Ads–which is the world’s first private ad network and is intrinsic to Brave Rewards—allows users to opt-in to view relevant privacy-preserving ads in exchange for BAT. Brave Ads are enabled by default whenever a user opts into Brave Rewards.

Brave Shields: Automatic blocking of ads and trackers

Brave Shields blocks invasive third-party ads, trackers, and autoplay videos immediately—all without needing to install any additional programs. Thanks to Brave Shields, Brave 1.0 does not load unwanted content, meaning the browser “loads websites up to 3 to 6 times faster than other browsers.” Additionally, Brave Shields enables “significant memory and battery savings on desktop and mobile.”

Commenting on Brave 1.0’s launch was Brave Software co-founder and chief executive Brendan Eich, who in 1995 created the widely used JavaScript programming language. “Today’s Internet is broken, and users suffer the most. They are being tracked, tagged, and exploited; this not only violates privacy, but slows down page loads, drains batteries, and makes for a miserable experience.”

“Meanwhile,” Eich—who also co-founded the Mozilla project in 1998—stated, “publishers are losing revenue at a record pace due to a few gigantic super-companies and too many ad tech intermediaries. Advertisers are wasting time and money on an industry filled with fraud. Everyone with a legitimate stake in the open Web loses in this environment.”

Surveillance capitalism has plagued the Web for far too long and we’ve reached a critical inflection point where privacy-by-default is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have. Users, advertisers, and publishers have finally had enough, and Brave is the answer. Brave 1.0 is the browser reimagined, transforming the Web to put users first with a private, browser-based ads and payment platform. With Brave, the Web can be a rewarding experience for all, without users paying with their privacy. – Eich


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