Brave. What happended?

Brave is a fork Chrome aimed at being a privacy-centric browser that also lets you earn cryptocurrency, their BAT tokens, for simply browsing the web. The concept proved successful and I have used it to earn money that was later converted into stable coins. However, it has come under fire lately for mangement issues and not being completely true to their word.

Mismangment

But they’ve come under fire recently for using the same practices they criticized their competitors of doing. An awful development workflow is also what lead to fork known as “Braver”. However, this was renamed to “Bold” and going to be a fresh fork of Chromium already stripped of Google’s components due to legal threats from the Brave team.

  • On one hand: “Braver” really is a lazy name, but the fork was justified.

  • On the other hand: legal threats is a tad extreme.

Unaware of the scope of the internal turmoil, at the time, I had to give up on Brave because of their sync feature got disabled after a leak was discovered to be so bad that it forced them to rewrite it from scratch. But this also meant no longer being able earn new BAT tokens I was hoping to earn each month. That’s why my website now has an ad on it.

So, yeah, Brave is just in a slew of trouble lately.

BAT tokens

While we’re on the topic, my other issue with Brave is with their BAT tokens. For starters, Brave didn’t always have Metamask built-in. Because of that you have a wallet dedicated to earning BAT tokens and Metamask. What’s worse is that this disconnect is also probably why you need to use a third-party, Uphold, to send those tokens to your Metamask wallet or fiat money, such as the dollar. It’s an unnecessary step.

I sorta understand the transactions part for fiat money because Brave existed before stable coins, such as Dai, took off, let alone the DeFi infsturcture needed to support it. However, even Opera had Metamask built into it before Brave!

The web is built around protocols. The Ethereum community is also starting to understand that protocols are more important then individual tokens. Would also explain why crypto-collectibles are worth more then 99% of the tokens on the blockchain. So why wasn’t BAT a protocol that could built for any broswer or website? It probably would have seen better adoption. I would also imagine that the Brave team would have gotten more money in the long run, even if their browser failed. I don’t know. Tokens and their respective ICOs were more popular during Brave’s initial debut.

Final thoughts

Brave is ambitious and proved that there is another way of earning money on the web. But people are right to call them out on their hypocrisy, development mamangment, and their use of legal pressure over a fork is questionable. I support the Braver/Bold project. As much as I like Brave has done, I agree with everyone else.

Written on July 9, 2020