Ad-blocking browser Brave launches payments, so you can support sites with cash, not ad clicks

By September 1, 2016Bitcoin Business

The ad-blocking web browser Brave co-founded by Mozilla’s former CEO Brendan Eich is today rolling out its grand experiment “Brave Payments,” which will encourage web users to reward their favorite sites by automatically and anonymously sending them Bitcoin-based micropayments. The idea here is fairly radical – online publishers have always relied on ad revenue to fund their sites, but Brave believes they would be happy to go ad-free, if people were willing to fund them directly. The question is, of course, will web users actually want to pay for content that has historically been free? It’s true that online advertisements have seemingly gotten worse over the years, but with the shift to mobile, their ability to negatively impact the web experience has increased. Where before, web surfers suffered with pop-up ads, flashy banners, interstitials and pop-overs, software like the popular AdBlock Plus has helped mitigate many of these issues. But on mobile, advertisements often make it difficult to read the content – even obscuring an article’s text as you scroll. Plus, along with the tracking pixels and scripts, publishers’ sites have begun to eat away at users’ bandwidth, too, which costs money. That said, technology companies like Facebook and Google have been spearheading solutions to this problem, as with Facebook’s fast-loading “Instant Articles” that strip out the extraneous content, and Google’s “Accelerated Mobile Web” project which does much of the same for sites around the web. AMP also has the support of numerous publishers, analytics providers, adtech firms, and tech companies, including LinkedIn, Medium, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, and others. Google recently began penalizing mobile sites that show hard-to-dismiss pop-up ads, too. With these improvements, it’s unclear that web users will embrace Brave’s more altruistic paid support system. But at least Brave is crazy enough to try. To activate Brave […]

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