In Brave’s view, current data acquisition practices disregard individuals’ privacy in pursuit of maximally acquiring commercially valuable information. Brave’s approaches to advertising seek to reaffirm privacy’s value. For this reason, Brave anonymizes the routes and transaction records through which Brave users can support content publishers (advertisers). Whilst browsing the web with Brave, a user’s attention—operationalized in terms of time spent on pages—is monitored and recorded privately on their device. Machine learning algorithms run locally to facilitate better targeted ads. Users who intend to support quality content creators can still do so via an automated solution: users can designate a monthly reward for quality content creation, which is distributed amongst content providers based on the individual's browsing history. Unlike many other browsers, the Brave browser defaults to HTTPS when possible, rather than more frequently utilizing unsecure connections. The competitive landscape includes a number of novel attempts to remunerate audiences for taking the time to observe advertisements, such as AirToken.
The Brave browser has supported payments in the Basic Attention Token since May 2018. Prior versions utilized Bitcoin as a means of payment within the ecosystem, with the pivot occurring due to Bitcoin scalability concerns and the desired flexibility to seed an initial BAT ecosystem through user and developer growth pools. Brave has offered a variety of grants and promotions to individual content creators in 2018. BAT is an ERC20 payment token with a embedded wallet in the Brave browser, giving users the ability to earn for viewing ads, automatically contribute a monthly allowance to whitelisted websites in proportion to time spent, and directly tip content creators. A total of 1 billion BAT were offered in the May 2017 token sale, raising $35 million in under 30 seconds; an additional 500 million BAT were allocated to the user and developer growth pools. Additionally, the Brave project has received $7 million in investment from VCs including Founders Fund, Pantera Capital, and Digital Currency Group. BAT was listed on leading exchange Coinbase in November 2018, becoming the second ERC20 token to be listed on the exchange.