I think it’s safe to say that the web browser has become one of the most important tools in modern times. It’s how we research, communicate, make purchases and even unwind at the end of the day. It’s also probably safe to admit that you were probably served tens of thousands of ads during that time, most fading into the background of your subconscious never to be heard from again. But still generating income for the publisher, the ad network and the inevitable tax system behind it. There is an underlying economy underneath your browsing.
But what if this whole time, you could have been profiting from your web surfing yourself? Well, there is a specific browser that is designed to do just that. I’ve been using it for over a year now without really paying any attention to the monetization system running underneath it. Until recently that is, when I had the time to set up a digital crypto wallet and to analyze just how much digital cash I’ve accumulated so far. The answer is, not really alot. But also, not really a little either.
First off, Brave browser is the browser in question. It is a Chromium-based browser that is free to use and that pushes strongly for user privacy. The browser aims to not track and follow you around the web enticing you to purchase whatever item you clicked on weeks ago, like the ad networks want. This is what differentiates Brave from the crowd, in that many other browsers will track you on your phone, tablet, laptop, PC and any other IOT device that you may have enabled to create an advertising profile that can then later be sold to advertisers. Advertisers can then better target you with ads that are more relevant. Not necessarily an evil deed. There just isn’t much transparency in the matter.
Aside from privacy, the main standout feature of Brave, that isn’t found in any other web browser to my knowledge, is that ads are served on-demand at a cadence of your choosing and that you earn tokens for every single ad that you choose to click on. Essentially, you are being payed for your participation in this ad ecosystem.
Brave refers to this token as a BAT, or Basic Attention Token. Essentially what is happening is that Brave is paying you a portion of the ad revenue that they make by serving the ad in question, and they are doing it through their very own digital currency. Just how much can you make through this tokenized attention system? Well, it depends actually. The BAT token, much like other cryptocurrencies, fluctuates in overall value based on a myriad of factors that is beyond the scope of this article.
But it will mainly depend on the number of ads that you choose to click on each day. For me personally, as I jump around from browser to browser due to password managers and need of different extensions and plugins, I don’t make Brave my primary default browser. I’m a casual user who relies on it when I’m doing general browsing without any bells and whistles. And based on that, the number of BAT that I earn per month changes. Here is a quick breakdown of the past few months in terms of tokens being earned.
As you can tell, there is a wide variance.
Ads can be adjusted to be served more frequently or less frequently per hour depending on your browser settings. You also have to actually click and view the ad in order to be compensated. On Windows 10 for example, ads are pushed through the notification bar once you allow for the proper permission. Clicking on the notification window will launch Brave and serve you the desired ad.
Brave also runs on mobile with a similar mechanism. A notification appears in the notification bar and clicking on it will serve you an ad as well as launch the Brave browser. If you let the ad notification sit there, which I tend to do often, eventually it’s invalidated and pretty much takes you nowhere. And no, you do not earn a token for that. This is the main cause of the wide discrepancy in my earnings. Some days, I just don’t find the energy to distract myself by clicking on the notification. Though always tempting.
It’s an interesting and clever use of advertising, but definitely not something completely brand new. This model is similar to how affiliate networks work as well. Essentially, you direct someone to a desired link, they purchase the product, and you receive a percentage of the total amount generated. The main difference here is that Brave seems to have a steady in flow of ads ensuring that you can earn some form of revenue daily.
And that’s impressive considering that Brave currently has over 25 million monthly active users and over 1 million daily active users. Most of the ads served, not shockingly, are ads for crypto currency services, such as exchanges and digital wallets and for the most part, it’s an actually decent ad experience. It isn’t overly intrusive and you know immediately what the product is. There is no “You won’t believe what…” style copy anywhere to be found.
I currently have Brave installed on my main laptop, my Android phone and my Android tablet. I tend to use all 3 of these items heavily every day for web development, writing, research, etc. And yes, you can earn BAT from each of these and push all of the earnings towards the same account. At the current price of BAT, this is how much I’ve earned during the past 3 months.
As you can tell, I’m not going to the moon anytime soon. But, the price of BAT has increased substantially since I first signed up. Just 6 months ago, each BAT token was worth around .22 cents USD. It now sits at around $1.43 USD per token. Had I seen that growth coming, I probably would not have cashed in the couple of hundred BAT tokens that I had accumulated up to that point.
Odds are you won’t be earning your monthly rent by simply just browsing the web. Unfortunately. There just aren’t enough ads to go around per hour to do so. At least not just yet. As mentioned above, Brave currently serves around 1 million people daily, which while relatively high, is a tiny fraction of the total browser marketshare. Things on the internet however have a tendency to change quickly and sometimes overnight.
As Brave grows in popularity and in adoption, so too will its ad network expand. And that inevitably will mean better earning potential and a higher valued attention token. If you aren’t into the whole crypto scene just yet, this would be a great way to get started as the entire setup process takes just a few minutes and once completed, you pretty much start earning automatically without having to change anything else about your browsing experience.
Browsing the web might not pay for your new car just yet, but it can maybe pay for your phone bill for the month, which is a good start.