Brave Browser, the privacy focussed browser, was exposed last week after some eagle-eyed users noticed Brave owners had inserted its own affiliate link when a user typed ‘Binance’, which sent the user to Binance along with Brave’s referral link.
The discovery was first made by @cryptonator1337, who tweeted about it before sarcastically signing off, ‘I see what you did there mates.’
After being exposed Brave creator Brendan Eich acknowledged the mistake and took to Twitter to explain:
‘We made a mistake, we’re correcting: Brave default autocompletes verbatim ‘http://binance.us' in address bar to add an affiliate code. We are a Binance affiliate, we refer users via the opt-in trading widget on the new tab page, but autocomplete should not add any code.’
After fixing the ‘mistake’, Eich took to Twitter again to try and explain the unfortunate blunder:
‘I never said it was accidental. We were treating it like a search query (which all big browsers do tag with an affiliate id to get paid from by the search provider). But a valid domain name is not a search query. Fixing.’
But is it really so bad for Brave to have done that? After all, it’s a company that has to make money, and an affiliate partnership is one way many Internet-based companies do to make money nowadays.
The main problem for most people, however, is that Brave is a privacy focussed browser, and with ‘Brave Shield’ it has claims of being the best secure browser, whereas any affiliate link basically means you’re being followed.
And with crypto being as tribal as it is, these things are quickly pounced on by critics. No doubt, it was a mistake for Brave to have done that without being upfront, but one that they will recover from pretty quickly and continue to grow.
Brave 15 Million Users Reached
The browser, which uses Basic Attention Token (BAT) to pay its users for their attention, recently announced it had reached 15 million users, 125% in the last 12 months.
Although this is only a tiny part of the browser market, it’s significant growth, and Brave is proving to be one of the most successful crypto-related projects.
The browser was popularized even further when Joe Rogan discussed it on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Show.
He and guest, Reggie Watts were chatting about its features and both said they were users, and both advocated its use.
Like Rogan, many users are drawn to Brave for its privacy, which is the default setting. However, any user can opt-in to accept advertisements and be paid in BAT.
The BAT payment is a percentage of Brave’s advertisement revenue, which has negotiated with company’s advertising on the browser.
With the likes of Google Chrome and Bing keeping all revenue, and offering none to the user, it means the corporate browser firms are making 100% of the revenue.
Therefore, was Brave’s decision to try and recoup some extra finance all that bad?
Brave is one of the most exciting crypto projects. It’s a privacy-focused browser that pays its users for their attention if they choose to.
Brave Browser is a free service and one that is aiming to democratize our Internet experience. The company should have been open with its affiliate technique, but has it really done wrong?
It’s faster than Chrome and more secure, so I wouldn’t stop using it, and neither has Joe Rogan.
Brave Browser Creator Apologizes For Adding Binance Affiliate Link was originally published in The Capital on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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