ELI5 Brave Rewards Program

on January 6, 2020

Most folks seem to focus on the Brave Rewards program for publishers and the ad revenue for end users.

Watching the official Brave Telegram group I see mostly questions about Brave ad payouts, BAT grants and so on. Very very few questions about bugs, technical aspects and the overall forest view.

Brave fans are, until now, focused on the trees and don’t care about the forest.

But there’s more to Brave. It’s not just a ERC20 token distributed when you view certain ads, and not just a way for publishers to get paid for attention spent on their content.

It’s a lot bigger than that.

It’s about the decentralization of content-generated revenue.

The concept of “attention” is made abstract on purpose. It’s not just clicks, it’s not time on page, it’s not views, it’s all of those things and much more!

People should get rewarded for their attention span – people should get rewarded for their time.

Existing ad networks reward neither users or publishers for their time. If someone spends 30 minutes at a website and does not click ads, chance are the content creator will only get paid a minimal CPM commission. Something in the tenths of pennies range. But that’s not fair because those 30 minutes are actually valuable. Time spent on media channels is valuable but current advertising models do not reward content producers for that. Brave does.

Similarly, if a user spends 30 minutes research a given topic, they should get rewarded for giving that attention span and for generating value for the publisher. That’s why during their visit, the users see quality ads in Brave browser. Those ads are decentralized, not tracked, anonymous and displayed with limited rate of maximum 5 ads per hour (one every 12 minutes max). The user can choose to see less ads if they want to. All existing ad networks track users, record their personal info, identify them if they’re logged into specific services (e.g. Facebook, Google) and keeps complete control of online user activity. Brave doesn’t.

Brave doesn’t require BAT

This might sound a little controversial to BAT investors (myself included) but it’s the truth.

The Brave model is currency agnostic. You could use any decentralized cryptocurrency to reward publishers and users for their time. In fact some early versions of the Brave browser used Bitcoin as a currency!

Earlier in April/2019 GAB announced they were forking Brave Browser to use Bitcoin instead of BAT.

I won’t get into the specifics of this discussion. Suffice to say the Brave model allows for ANY decentralized currency to be used! BAT substituted Bitcoin in the Brave project because ERC20 tokens are very very cheap to transfer. They’re ideal for micropayments. Bitcoin on the other hand is expensive to transfer, takes longer than ERC20 tokens and would require something like Lightning Network in order to work like BAT (that’s what GAB is doing as far as I understand).

The point is that the Brave model is a new paradigm for online attention reward. It pays out to users and publishers. Everyone who adds value to online content gets rewarded under the Brave model. That is a unique and revolutionary concept.

I hope many more people fork the Brave source code. GAB is going to add their own innovations to the code. Brave can merge those innovations back if they’re good! Others may implement innovative ideas on top of Brave and that’s fine too! There’s enough fish in the sea for everyone.

The important thing to note here is that the Brave model was rich enough for folks to immediately start forking it.

There’s some disagreement about which token to use, but the underlying idea has already been absorbed by the community!

It’s as if the concept of rewarding people for their attention span was always there.

It wasn’t.

That’s the real beauty of the Brave Rewards model.