Brave, the privacy-focused internet browser that pays people with cryptocurrency for watching ads, is giving users a new way to trade in tokens for offers from brands.
The startup is partnering with TAP network, a data and advertising platform, which will let Brave users trade in Basic Attention Token (BAT) for offers from 250,000 brands. The news, announced today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, unlocks a new incentive for Brave’s 5.8 million monthly users, who will now be able to trade in their BAT for rewards from brands ranging from Amazon and Nike to Uber and Starbucks. Rollout will begin this spring, starting with Brave’s desktop browser and then introducing it to mobile platforms
Brave CEO and co-founder Brendan Eich—who previously founded Mozilla—said the partnership will further motivates users who are already using the Chromium-based browser for privacy purposes while also creating a direct relationship between brands and consumers. (The company uses cryptography to protect users’ data while also storing it locally on each device rather than sending it out to ad networks.)
“We want to set new standards for anonymous ads and donations … ways of blocking tracking without breaking websites,” Eich said.
Until now, users were able to use BAT to pay publishers or other creators for premium content. However, this is the first time there’s been a way to earn anything from brands themselves.
TAP, founded by the co-founders of Hooch, a subscription-based mobile app for bars, restaurants and traveling, already has a built-in network that lets them convert Brave’s token into rewards from various brands.
“Our business model and Brendan’s is really rewarding consumers and sharing with the majority and letting them participate with the economic upside,” Lin Dai, the co-founder of TAP and Hooch. “And we hope whatever we do does start to shift behaviors.”
Brave and TAP aren’t the only blockchain companies that are trying to move the internet towards a model that relies on tokens and rewards rather than digitally invasive ads. Last year, Kin, the cryptocurrency created by the Canadian messaging app Kik, also began testing a rewards program with brands including Red Bull and Swarovski. The Kinit program works with the Blackhawk Network to trade in points for deals from 700 brands ranging from Domino’s, Nike, Gamestop and Sephora.