BAT Over Bitcoin
As CCN reported last month, Brave Browser has demonstrating a rapid rate of growth throughout 2018, achieving 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store.
Since its debut in 2016, Brave has consistently partnered with publications and publishers such as YouTube and Twitch streamers to reward content creators with payments made through cryptocurrency.
When Brave Browser initially launched and for the subsequent three quarters, Brave Browser utilized Bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency in the global market, as the main cryptocurrency of the browser.
On September 3, Eich explained:
“I don’t respond to drive-bys who can’t even be bothered to have used Brave in 2016 or first 3 quarters of 2017, or to have read our blog to learn that we actually built Brave Payments on bitcoin first, from fall 2016 to fall 2017, and discover the problems we had.”
According to Eich, Bitcoin was too slow and expensive to purchase large amounts of to hand out to publishers. The issue, which is not specific to Bitcoin, could have persisted on Ethereum and any other blockchain that is not equipped with a utility token specifically designed to incentivize a large network of publishers.
“We used bitcoin, it was terribly slow and expensive to buy in moderate amounts. We also could not give users grants of it, because no bitcoin holder was willing to give us a big pool of coins to hand out. You might think those are not bitcoin problems. They were for our users,” Eich added.
Incentivizing Publishers is Complex
Digital content creators, especially popular YouTube channels and Twitch streamers, operate as fully established companies with many employees that are required to complete a wide range of tasks.
Hence, Eich noted that most businesses and publishers do not have much interest in holding or selling crypto but rather utilizing the income to cover their costs.
Understanding the needs of publishers, Brave Browser has partnered with Uphold to ensure that every publisher on the network is free to receive their incentive via fiat or crypto.
Eich further emphasized:
“Almost all businesses, esp. advertisers and publishers, do not want to buy, hold, or sell crypto. Crypto is bleeding edge stuff still, easy to lose via key loss, without chargebacks and other amenities people expect. We do not require any publisher to accept crypto of any kind. We partner with Uphold for exchange from and to many fiats and cryptos.
Essentially, Eich stated that the Brave Browser team had to pivot from Bitcoin to an independent blockchain network called BAT because of the high level of anonymity and scalability that is required to support a browser with tens of thousands of publishers and content creators.
Most recently, Coinbase, the world’s largest cryptocurrency brokerage and exchange, disclosed its plans to integrate BAT into its exchange as one of the first ERC20 tokens on the platform.
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