Brendan Eich (u/BrendanEichBrave)

Proof:

https://twitter.com/BrendanEich/status/1194709298548334592

https://brave.com/about/

Hello Reddit! I’m Brendan Eich, CEO and co-founder of Brave. In 1995, I created the JavaScript programming language in 10 days while at Netscape. I then co-founded Mozilla & Firefox, and in 2004, helped launch Firefox 1.0, which would grow to become the world’s most popular browser by 2009. Yesterday, we launched Brave 1.0 to help users take back their privacy, to end an era of tracking & surveillance capitalism, and to reward users for their attention and allow them to easily support their favorite content creators online.

Outside of work, I enjoy piano, chess, reading and playing with my children. Ask me anything!

Brian Bondy (u/bbondy)

Proof:

https://twitter.com/BrendanEich/status/1194709298548334592

https://brave.com/about/

Hello everyone, I am Brian R. Bondy, and I’m the co-founder, CTO and lead developer at Brave. Other notable projects I’ve worked on include Khan Academy, Mozilla and Evernote. I was a Firefox Platform Engineer at Mozilla, Linux software developer at Army Simulation Centre, and researcher and software developer at Corel Corporation. I received Microsoft’s MVP award for Visual C++ in 2010, and am proud to be in the top 0.1% of contributors on StackOverflow.

Family is my "raison d'être". My wife Shannon and I have 3 sons: Link, Ronnie, and Asher. When I'm not working, I'm usually running while listening to audiobooks. My longest runs were in 2019 with 2 runs just over 100 miles each. Ask me anything!

Our Goal with Brave

Yesterday, we launched the 1.0 version of our privacy web browser, Brave. Brave is an open source browser that blocks all 3rd-party ads, trackers, fingerprinting, and cryptomining; upgrades your connections to secure HTTPS; and offers truly Private “Incognito” Windows with Tor—right out of the box. By blocking all ads and trackers at the native level, Brave is up to 3-6x faster than other browsers on page loads, uses up to 3x less data than Chrome or Firefox, and helps you extend battery life up to 2.5x.

However, the Internet as we know it faces a dilemma. We realize that publishers and content creators often rely on advertising revenue in order to produce the content we love. The problem is that most online advertising relies on tracking and data collection in order to target users, without their consent. This enables malware distribution, ad fraud, and social/political troll warfare. To solve this dilemma, we came up with a solution called Brave Rewards, which is now available on all platforms, including iOS.

Brave Rewards is entirely opt-in, and the idea is simple: if you choose to see privacy-respecting ads that you can control and turn off at any time, you earn 70% of the ad revenue. Your earnings, denominated in “Basic Attention Tokens” (BAT), accrue in a built-in browser wallet which you can then use to tip and support your favorite creators, spread among all your sites and channels, redeem for products, or exchange for cash. For example, when you navigate to a website, watch a YouTube video, or read a Reddit comment you like, you can tip them with a simple click. What’s amazing is that over 316,000 websites, YouTubers, etc. have already signed up, including major sites like Wikipedia, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Khan Academy and even NPR.org. You can too.

In the future, websites will also be able to run their own privacy-respecting ads that you can opt into, which will give them 70% of the revenue, and you—their audience—a 15% share (we always pay the ad slot owner 70%, and we always pay you the user at least what we get). They’re privacy-respecting because Brave moves all the interest-matching onto your device and into the browser client side, so your data never leaves your device in the first place. Period. All confirmations use an anonymous and unlinkable blind-signature cryptographic protocol. This flipping-the-script approach to keep all detailed intelligence and identity where your data originates, in your browser, is the key to ending personal data collection and surveillance capitalism once and for all.

Brave is available on both desktop (Windows PC, MacOS, Linux) and on mobile (Android, iOS), and our pre-1.0 browser has already reached over 8.7 million monthly active users—something we’re very proud of. We hope you try Brave and join this growing movement for the future of the Web. Ask us anything!

Edit: Thanks everybody! It was a pleasure answering your questions in detail. It’s very encouraging to see so many people interested in Brave’s mission and in taking online privacy seriously. User consciousness is rising quickly now; the future of the web depends on it. We hope you give Brave 1.0 a try. And remember: you can sign up now as a creator and begin receiving tips from other Brave users for your websites, YouTube videos, Tweets, Twitch streams, Github comments, etc.

console.log("Until next time. Onward!");

—Brendan & Brian

Comments: 3879 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

w-on1753 karma

Here’s a less serious question, but I have been using JavaScript as my main programming language for a long time, and I wanted to ask how you feel about the seemingly constant hate on JavaScript. On most programming related subreddits you will see people berating it for various reasons, how do you feel about it?

BrendanEichBrave5566 karma

Bjarne Stroustrup (C++ creator): "There are only two kinds of languages: the ones people complain about and the ones nobody uses."

PleaseDoTapTheGlass30 karma

Is it true you originally wanted to make a functional LISP but were forced to make a Java-like OO language because Java was hot at the time?

LotusElise1529 karma

Since you cofounded Mozilla, what are the unique features of Brave that could not have been done with Firefox?

BrendanEichBrave1340 karma

Innovating quickly. Big orgs cannot do it, the reasons are well-documented in many books and case studies.

Also doing anything risky was hard at Mozilla, for reasons I won't detail here. Perhaps some day in my memoirs, but see KaiOSTech, which has taken the FirefoxOS code and ideas to market with 200M phones in sight if not already in the field. They even got a Google investment (Android does not fit at the low end, as I said while still at Mozilla). Too bad Mozilla gave up, but glad KaiOS stepped up (credit to Reliance Jio too).

siccoblue722 karma

big orgs cannot do it

And when brave becomes big?

BrendanEichBrave159 karma

Hope to be "done" before we get too big, or else we'll be replaced.

dart884960 karma

What is your 30 second Brave browser pitch to somebody who is comfortable with Chrome and has been using it for years?

BrendanEichBrave2025 karma

30 seconds? "Brave is like Chrome but blocks all the trackers and surveillance that Google requires for its business and therefore puts into Chrome. So we are much faster, better on battery and dataplan, and private by default. We then help you opt into Brave Rewards for a simple loyalty-points-like system that pays you for private ads and helps you give back to your favorite sites, YouTubers, etc."

PPDeezy69 karma

Is there a good adblocker for Brave? Equivalent to ublock origin?

If yes i will switch in an instant :)

BrendanEichBrave363 karma

You know Brave blocks ads that rely on tracking, by default? Just checking.

Yes, uBO works on Brave and we will support it even if Google (as projected) breaks it. Same for uMatrix. Just launch Brave and go to uBO’s Chrome Web Store listing and click on “Add to Brave”.

lanson699 karma

Are you aware of any paywall sites working on and option to pay per article using BAT?

BrendanEichBrave743 karma

We are working on this, to get publishers who agree with us that BAT bypass (say 3 more free articles for 10BAT) would actually *increase* the publishers' lousy (often <1%) conversion to email/credit-card/etc. id'ed subscriber.

We want to help pubs get their bottom-of-funnel conversion up, and the best way to do that is not to play a losing zero-sum game by telling readers to get lost or overpay with email/cc/etc. -- it is to let more who might eventually fully subscribe stick around and pay with BAT by the yard.

FlappyMcHappyFlap525 karma

In your F.A.Q you say that the data you collect can't be used to identify people, but that's exactly what other companies say, it still gets sold to companies whose speciality is de-anonymization, how can we trust that data from brave won't be used in the same way?

You're a co-founder of Mozilla, why make a new browser that competes with Firefox?

Has there been any government interference in the development of brave? Do you have a canary to notify people of attempts to force you to work with government organisations?

You say that data about our preferred topics is stored on our phone, is it stored in a way that only brave can read it?

Also thank you for trying to tackle the difficult task of preserving privacy in a digital age.

BrendanEichBrave774 karma

just now

Here's the trick: we don't *collect* user browsing data in the clear at all. Even if you enable Sync, the data is encrypted with a key only you have. This means we can't see your data. Our opt-in Brave Rewards system uses blind-signature cryptography to avoid us seeing your ad or contribution events or linking them together to make a fingerprint.

No government interference, and I've thought this through deeply. Please read https://brendaneich.com/2014/01/trust-but-verify/ and note that I'd do as Ladar did and shut Brave down rather than take a backdoor that would be found in open source, sooner or later, and trash Brave's rep.

Mozilla is not innovating as we are, perhaps because their dependence on Google search revenue ties their hands (I don't know the contract details). Also, they are not as innovative as they were back in the day. More browser innovation is good, right?

We store data using common database code formats used by chromium, sqlite and so on. Please see github, but note we do not and cannot hide your data from you. No DRM, we aren't Hollywood, don't have their powers, and would reject if offered. Again, all open source means any subterfuge by us would likely be found out, and we'd be roasted into a crisp by our lead users on social media.

Thanks for good questions.

standswithpencil483 karma

What if websites like FB and Google decide to not be compatible with Brave or if they figure a way to refuse to play along and somehow block it?

BrendanEichBrave910 karma

That's an arms race we can win. Browsers already spoof one another's User-Agent: header values, and there is no end to ability to camouflage. For now we look to most sites like Chrome, and that's fine.

Xuerian78 karma

So, do you see this race heading the same place as DRM?

BrendanEichBrave170 karma

No, because the law is not on side here — web standards, especially for a11y, and legal precedents do not support DRMed web content apart from HD video. Of course something terrible could happen in a court, but I think it is unlikely,

Antitrust cops coming out of deep freeze is also a positive sign. DRM as anti competitive tech is on deck, along with lots of “tying”.

HappyFourEwe28 karma

[deleted]

MaKo1982307 karma

Hello! I have a question about JavaScript.

I am kind of new to "higher" computer science, I've always been programming a bit but now have a university module about programming. My question is how you got the idea of inventing a new programming language? I mean there are so many programming languages, why do you put this whole lot of effort into making a new one? And how did you know that so many people would use it, so the effort paid out for you?

Thank you for making this AmA!

BrendanEichBrave355 karma

For a detailed history, give a listen or just read the transcript below the fold at https://devchat.tv/js-jabber/124-jsj-the-origin-of-javascript-with-brendan-eich/. Also see https://brendaneich.com/2008/04/popularity/ and https://brendaneich.com/2011/06/new-javascript-engine-module-owner/ -- oh, and watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX3ZABCdC38 from 2017 too if you have time. Thanks.

jjcollier235 karma

I have no question for a top-level comment, so I'm hijacking this one to say that

I created the JavaScript programming language in 10 days

explains so much.

GrandMoffFartin137 karma

The only question I could think to ask is “Why did you do this to us?”

BrendanEichBrave91 karma

The alternative was VBScript.

265dur765190 karma

Hello Brendan and Brian, thank you very much for providing us a great browser. My question is : is Brave a private company ? Is yes, who owns it ? At 100% ? Who are the investors ?

Best regards.

BrendanEichBrave148 karma

One thing to add to @bbondy's reply: people use "VC" or particular investor names in claims of ritual impurity. I reject these claims both philosophically (who pays the piper calls the tune, true; but VC investors in a given stage do not always or commonly re-up in later stages, so the founders predominate on crucial agenda as they raise and grow, unless the company is in trouble) -- and on practical grounds (investors, especially minority share holders, are not operators and do not dictate any particular product or business outcome).

Our first floor founders/employees have more ownership than VCs do. We have other investors who are not VCs and whom I won't name, but again: no one holds a majority or controlling share of ownership -- certainly not me.

bbondy114 karma

Brave is a private company in terms of not a publicly traded company, it is owned in part by the employees of Brave. As is typical, I don't think we disclose the full list anywhere.

It's worth mentioning though that Brave is an open company, in terms of being open source, having open communication, and valuing transparency.

PrimeCedars28 karma

How do you guys make money?

BrendanEichBrave38 karma

Search deals, BAT revenue shares for users who opt into Brave Rewards and keep ads on, and other such integrated services.

muchacho_pl162 karma

What are development plans for next 12 months?

bbondy248 karma

Things will change and evolve throughout the next 12 months but some things to look forward to include but are not limited to:

  • IPFS integration
  • Dat integration
  • More work in our crypto wallet, including being supported on mobile.
  • More platforms supported for Brave Rewards
  • Self serve ads (currently you go through a wait list and sales agents)
  • Maybe a Brave VPN?
  • Better sync, including making it more reliable and adding more sync types.
  • Optional use of cosmetic filters (The kind that doesn't help tracking but makes things look nicer)
  • Other rewards and ads innovation
  • BAT SDK
  • More best in class ad-block work
  • More components moved to Rust which is faster and memory safe
  • We already have dark mode across the board, but we're looking at dark mode content too.
  • I'll stop here, but a lot more. We're picking up the pace.

bronkula80 karma

Better sync, including making it more reliable and adding more sync types.

It t really feels like as a creator, user, and person with multiple devices, that proper sync of wallets should be a major concern. Now that ios can get rewards, there is going to be a natural influx, and those people are going to be confused/turned off when their money doesn't show on time, and when it's not synced across devices.

BrendanEichBrave60 karma

Agree, and if you verify with Uphold, your BAT card with them will be where all devices' earnings go, and from which you can tip/donate/subscribe/etc.

noreddithandle117 karma

What are your thoughts on today's javascript (ES2015+) and typescript? And where would you want javascript to be in 5 or 10 years?

BrendanEichBrave140 karma

I'm still involved in Ecma TC39, pretty deeply in some respects (both proposals and architecture process). I think apart from conveniences, JS is getting closer to "done" but WebAssembly is just getting started, and the two will co-evolve. JS won't be replaced on any foreseeable schedule because even when wasm supports GC, dynamic calls optimized via PICs, etc., for the "guest" language, lifting JS from native "host" status to guest will be a perf hit and no competitive browser will take that hit.

Anyway, on JS _qua_ JS, I'm excited by operators/literals and value types, needed to avoid us hardcoding more numeric types -- instead enabling you all to write them as modules with first class UX.

opendomain128 karma

Brendan,

I gave you the domain ecmascript.org as part of my OpenDomain.Org project so developers could have an easy way to find information about ECMA without using a search engine. The site is now dead - do you know what is going on?

BrendanEichBrave171 karma

You transferred ecmascript.org to me when I was at Mozilla, and I left it under their control when I resigned. Suggest you get in touch with them.

myaccountforcrypto60 karma

Will Brave ever have any plans for users to be able to commoditize their data in a marketplace? Further, do you see it possible that a digital signature could be ascribed to your data which would credit your account any time it is used?

BrendanEichBrave102 karma

On the big picture, it's important to avoid "data is the new oil" commodity talk. Commodities, even if graded (sweet light crude, etc.), are substitutable among lots, but personal data is different. Many users have low value data, a few (but not 2%, let's say 20%) have higher value, and some are very high for certain times and marketing scenarios (searching to buy a car is the go-to example). Another difference: for forecasting and reporting, data in aggregates matters (but at Brave we believe this should not entail identity or re-identification risk). Yet another difference: data has a shelf-life. Seasonal and yearly habits are worth something over the longer haul, but much marketable data has a short shelf-life, 30 days or fewer.

Having written this, there is value in thinking your data should be priced by deep and transparent markets. We are nowhere near ready, alas. Google and Facebook control the market, Google even acts akin to Schwab, Goldman, the NASDAQ backbone, and the HFT sniffing and front-running -- all while policing itself and fraud on publisher pages in the dark. To get to a better world, we start by protecting your data on device and bringing offers and decision-making into the browser, instead of spraying your data all over creation via the Real-Time Bid process.

In the long run, what @bbondy describes re: IPFS, and other future-blockchain-with-Zero-Knowledge-Proofs systems, all fit on our research agenda. It will take great scale, not just for Brave but for others like us or using the BAT SDK we have in mind, to avoid being arbitraged into the ground by the super-powers. I'm optimistic as always on tech, skeptical of shortcuts, and a pessimist who is pleasantly surprised by success now and then. We'll work on all this via our Chief Scientist Ben Livshits and his team, so expect more in the new year.

HarbingerOfSnuggles26 karma

Do you have a search engine you'd recommend if someone wanted to avoid google

BrendanEichBrave60 karma

I use DuckDuckGo in two of my three Brave instances (I run Nightly, Dev, and Stable; have Beta around but don't run it except for testing). I use Google in the other. I think @bbondy has switched to the Duck! For "tall head" queries it is as good or better. Try it and let us know what you think.

EfficientIdeal53 karma

Any updates on the TAP network integration?

BrendanEichBrave66 karma

News in 1Q2020 -- stay tuned!

dart88453 karma

Last year, you mentioned that Brave was talking with a publisher that has 80 million ad blocking unique users per month

Any updates on how this is progressing?

BrendanEichBrave60 karma

Not yet, we don't pre-announce or pump of course. We're still talking to a number of very large sites. We closed Wikipedia (Alexa rank 7 last I looked). See https://batgrowth.com/ to keep up. Thanks.

265dur76549 karma

Do you plan one day to put Brave Browser in the Mac App Store ?

BrendanEichBrave85 karma

If they'll have us, but we will also require ability to update quickly. If that's not offered, users are much better off downloading from our site.

miketwo34547 karma

What steps are you taking to prevent Brave from being "gamed" -- from bots pretending to watch ads in order to accumulate BATs?

BrendanEichBrave50 karma

30 minutes ago

We don't pay users unless they verify with a partner, currently Uphold. This requires bank-like KYC/AML/etc. checking. Unverified users can indeed collude with a fake publisher to steer tokens from those users to that site or channel, but we police this too and nullify. To trust users are real and so are their iPhones, on mobile we use DeviceCheck and SafetyNet. We're constantly working on antifraud and do not publish our server side code to avoid giving away the game. With browser C++ and Rust code, we are in much better integrity shape compared to antifraud scripts in pages (JS was designed by me on purpose to enable mutating the environment, so it has no integrity guarantees unless a run-first script prepares the world).

the_Behrouz35 karma

- How much 1 BAT should worth in your opinion?

- What do you think would be the best thing that can happen to BAT and Brave?

BrendanEichBrave39 karma

We never speculate on price, and BAT can divide down to 18 decimal places of fraction as an ERC20 token on Ethereum. We designed BAT as a unit of account on a growing ecosystem, with a capped number of tokens created up front, and with greater price stability over time (see our white papers: https://basicattentiontoken.org/BasicAttentionTokenWhitePaper-4.pdf section 7.3; https://basicattentiontoken.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/token-econ.pdf).

MakeAutomata24 karma

Hello sir!

When I was in highschool(early 2000s) I bought a javascript book, and within the first about 30 minutes I realized I could create a script that would cause the window to continuously window.open itself, and each of those, the same of course. I had a lot of fun crashing all my friends computers for a few days.

How does something like that not get noticed?!

BrendanEichBrave36 karma

It got noticed but the Netscape 2 code freeze kept me from implementing popup blocking. Fixed in Mozilla 0.x and Firefox 0.x well before 2004.

Mekswoll14 karma

As I understand it tips are not sent real-time to content creators in a peer-to-peer style transfer but pass through Brave first. Can you shed some insight on what the next steps are with regards to decentralization?

BrendanEichBrave27 karma

No, tips are sent nearly real-time (some delay for anonymization) via Uphold. We do not intermediate tips or direct flows, as we are not a licensed MTA or MSB. Uphold is, but we have worked with them to anonymize as much as is practical. In our BAT 3rd phase, BAT Apollo, we will move as much as we can into ZKPs and similarly blind-crypto proofs on a scalable blockchain (POA sidechain likely).

Krylann9 karma

Hello Brendan and Brian,

First, I'm really grateful for this project which respects users privacy. Happy to see that more users are in.

I'm a web developer and a web publisher. Wanted to ask, what are top priority features for content creators regarding development of Brave/BAT for next months?

BrendanEichBrave7 karma

Self-serve "BATsense" (in-page but matched in-browser as user ads are, and confirmed same way via anonymous and unlinkable blind-signature protocol) publisher ads. Also paywall widget, and upsell widgets.

pembull9 karma

I've got quite a few!

  • What's the biggest area of growth or development you'd like to see from Brave at this point?
  • What's your biggest bet, that you can share publicly?
  • Can you share more about the advertiser backlog, now that your 1.0 is out? Do you expect to open the floodgates, or are you still carefully picking the campaigns to run?
  • Quoted in the TC article, "In the early days, before it was on Android, the [BAT Rewards] opt-in rate was around 40%, Eich told me, and the team wants to get it back to that."
    • How large is the delta between platforms?
    • This implies the number of rewards users is <4m (<40% of ~9m MAU). Would you consider publishing that # on brave.com/transparency? Or, similarly, aggregated campaign spend over time?
    • How do you imagine balancing this, without the product feeling pushy, or serving ads to uninterested users?
  • Are you still focused on DAU growth and highly retentive users over MAU? Can you share a current DAU number, and -- is the DAU/MAU ratio trending in a direction that you're happy with?
  • What other top-level KPIs do you track as a leadership team?
  • From an advertiser POV, are you able to track conversion in the lower part of the funnel, given your privacy approach? Are there any customer testimonials that you can share? Obviously your top of funnel conversion is really strong (~7x), I'm curious if that follows through the rest of the funnel or drops off.

By the way, we met a few years ago at a tech talk in Menlo Park, and your project has been fun to follow since.

Thanks in advance!

BrendanEichBrave21 karma

I will reply in full, but first a request to ask one question per comment. It is better in almost every way for readers and linkers. Thanks.

BrendanEichBrave15 karma

What's the biggest area of growth or development you'd like to see from Brave at this point?

Distribution matters, as do users opting into Brave Rewards. We model our pipeline as "ACRE": Acquire, Convert (to Brave Rewards), Retain (both baseline and BR-enabled users), and Earn (from our fixed fees, always <= what the user gets for ads).

Our https://brave.com/refer program has been great but needs promotion, and I'd like to see "super-referrals" where we can pay creators on first run by users opting into Brave Rewards with a strong anti-fraud barrier. We would even pay the user for this, and help them help their creator with a pinned (but user-configurable) monthly contribution.

We don't like ads, but must fight fire with fire to grow. So we use Google ads, with mixed results (search and Play Store ok; AdMob in-app a massive fraud system where people who had not even tried Brave were being assailed by ads run from fraud-apps they or relatives installed from Google Play Store, even when dialing!). We are using Facebook ads now, you may be pleased to hear.

In any event, we never do post-install attribution or user identification to the ad platform. Our view is we can fight fire with fire, but once you've adopted Brave, you should be protected and "off the grid". We are not both firefighter and arsonist (unlike a big surveillance superpower I can think of! :-P)

Other avenues to growth involve mobile operators and big publisher partners, and we pursue those with bespoke deals about which I cannot comment. HTH.

BrendanEichBrave14 karma

What's your biggest bet, that you can share publicly?

Hah! Reddit is public, ya know. I think Ethereum is our biggest public bet, but with the rise of cross-chain atomic transactions and proxy/wrapper tokens (WBTC etc.), we are not worried. Our general faith in cipherpunk level advanced (but not unsound) cryptography is another big bet, but we are confident this is well placed. It's too bad things like Chaum's blind signatures and Micali & Goldwasser ZKP work were under-utilized for so long, but they are now becoming part of many projects' toolkits.

BrendanEichBrave10 karma

How do you imagine balancing this, without the product feeling pushy, or serving ads to uninterested users?

We definitely saw opt-in drop on Android, because mobile is different: discoverability problems on desktop are magnified; smaller screen means notifications less tolerated; smaller screen/CPU/memory all mean "modality": you do one thing at a time on a smartphone and don't like switching apps. We are compensating by investing in in-app notifications that are not obtrusive, and working on other user-owned inventory ideas.

Our revenue model does require opt-in to be material but we won't burn our users out. What would be the point? We'd lose all users, which would cost us clean search revenue from DDG and Qwant, and any future chance at getting users to opt-in. Speaking of opt-in, we will make it more discoverable *and* reward users who then opt in. Much more to do here.

BrendanEichBrave7 karma

Are you still focused on DAU growth and highly retentive users over MAU? Can you share a current DAU number, and -- is the DAU/MAU ratio trending in a direction that you're happy with?

I strive to share DAU/MAU on Twitter, but seems I didn't do October's numbers yet! We will get these onto https://brave.com/transparency. DAU at end of last month was 2.81M and MAU was 8.69M. Trends continue upward in November. We've grown every month since inception, only issue is how much. I want more! ;-)

BrendanEichBrave7 karma

By the way, we met a few years ago at a tech talk in Menlo Park, and your project has been fun to follow since.

I remember that talk well. Wonder whether it was informative to Libra -- hope so! Move looks good, keep going and with open source, it'll go far.

BrendanEichBrave5 karma

What other top-level KPIs do you track as a leadership team?

Now that I've mentioned A.C.R.E., we track Aquisition, Conversion (to Brave Rewards via opt-in with ads on; much lower platform fee revenue for rare users who enable BR but turn ads off and self-fund), Retention (always important, and with Privacy-Preserving Product Analytics in Brave we can now correlate product bugs with retention hits), and Earning (30% from user private ads, 15% from publisher-placed private ads, 5% platform fee a la Patreon but anonymous; and search deals which are rising).

BrendanEichBrave4 karma

From an advertiser POV, are you able to track conversion in the lower part of the funnel, given your privacy approach?

We use blind signature certs sent via IP-hiding proxies and time-randomized, but can correlate purchases to ad impressions. We'll have a blog post on this soon, it is very exciting. Obviously with enough high-D data sent to a server, someone could re-id users, but we control the dimensionality and for particular campaigns can keep anonymity set sizes large -- also we do the detailed user-personal conversion tracking in-browser/on-device and don't blab it to anyone with some chatty protocol.

We are looking at advanced crypto-protocols for private ad analytics, too. Please see the "Phase 2" section of https://brave.com/privacy-preserving-product-analytics-p3a/.

BrendanEichBrave2 karma

Can you share more about the advertiser backlog, now that your 1.0 is out? Do you expect to open the floodgates, or are you still carefully picking the campaigns to run?

First, see https://brave.com/transparency for some stats on ads, including regular BAT buys to share 70% of the ad revenue with users from the invoices paid in fiat currencies (we get some BAT payments, also do barters).

Second, our waitlist of advertisers not yet in our current deal flow is currently at 10,234 inbound prospects. We are doing other outbound deals via big brands and agencies too. Very exciting time! Our advisor Greg Badros (who was early at Google and then Facebook) has been super-helpful.

Fidel_Willis7 karma

What's the status of the SDK for other developers to build on the Brave Platform?

BrendanEichBrave10 karma

We need to go from 0 to 1 as @bbondy says, also to harden the SDK against fraud. This means using hardware-secured remote attestations where we can, so that is part of the work. Just setting expectations! This won't be any old C++ SDK that can be taken to the cleaners by fraudsters.

Ratio16186 karma

Are you planning on fixing some "sports streaming" sites from treating brave like a bizzare ad block program? So hard to watch sports illegally on Brave but i love it so much

BrendanEichBrave9 karma

To add to what @bbondy said, you can also report hot webcompat bugs on Twitter to https://twitter.com/fanboynz and https://twitter.com/brendaneich -- we will turn fixes very quickly, and our block-rule/unbreak-list data service can update the entire installed base in a day or two. Hope to get details from you there (we all run openDM).

PM_ME_A_PLANE_TICKET2 karma

generally, and this doesn't go for everyone, but most often, people aren't going to offer to help you break the law by using their product...

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

Indeed we won't. I took the problem reported above to be our shields creating a "false positive", blocking some script required for streaming in a way that prevents subscription or pay per view. We do work to fix such bugs very quickly, as I just said in a separately reply.

AnchanSan5 karma

Do you have any plan of adding an inbuilt Vpn to Brave like the one in Opera and Epic browser?

BrendanEichBrave6 karma

We are working with a really top VPN and the integration will include BAT utility (pay for VPN in BAT you earn from Brave Ads).

StrosPartisan4 karma

I remember seeing this fundraising rumor 6 months ago...is there any news or update re the platform company's financial status that you can share?

Also, how do you feel about the adequacy of the UGP going forward? (I noticed that those who downloaded iOS v1.0 received a token grant...thanks!)

FYI -- I am a big fan of the project and wish you continued success.

BrendanEichBrave7 karma

UGP is ~$67M notional value, and will go up over time as we slowly deplete it. Not worried.

We don't comment on specific investment rounds, or on fake news :-P.

myaccountforcrypto4 karma

Do you think that hedonic adaption towards large corporations mining customer data will prevent the general public from truly caring about their online privacy?

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

Nothing "hedonic" about battery-draining, content-covering, clickbait-promoting ads and trackers. Even in the best "light ads" content case, Brave is better and our users tell us they can feel it. Going back to Chrome feels like walking into quicksand. The tide has turned, we are living through the middle chapter of a great saga (cf. "The Two Towers").

kthrngnnsky4 karma

I just downloaded brave! Easy to do, much appreciated. So to verify my valley it had me start downloading Uphold. Can you explain this concept more. Uphold seems like a digital currency wallet, but from what I understand my tokens can only be spent in ways that my viewing of ads is currency. Why do I need it? How do content creators actually benefit from me ‘tipping’ them?

BrendanEichBrave5 karma

As a user, you do not need Uphold to get ad revenue shares and give them back via tips and regular and even automatic contributions. I didn't understand what "verify my valley" means, or what caused you to start downloading Uphold. Can you say more? Thanks.

HAFRO_Squat4 karma

Hi Brendan,

I was doing a research on the other day and found a thing called Geographical Information Systems or GIS for short and basically using geo location a person or a company could improve their performance using said geo location and analytics. My question is how do you think this kind of technology can be beneficial to a company like yours or any other? That is it thanks for your time.

BrendanEichBrave6 karma

Our private ads work by giving the same catalog to everyone within a region who speaks the same language, for a large anonymity set size. Downloading this catalog and taking differential updates to it (as new ad deals come in and old ones expire) is tractable, similar to anti-phishing/malware and ad/tracker-blocking list data download burdens. This enables us to do matching only on your device in the Brave browser instance -- no tracking for targeting including geo-targeting.

But as you may surmise, this does enable catalog entries (which are each a link to an ad -- the so-called "creative" unit -- and its metadata consisting of keywords or "segment identifiers") to specify even fine-grained location. And the local-to-the-browser machine learning does know your location, quite precisely on mobile. This means we can do private but location targeted ads, which is a neat trick. Non-private ads have been used to physically locate and threaten people, as well as raid their privacy for 3rd party data looting parties.

Our catalog matching approach has many good properties, but I wanted to highlight this one.

PersonalPi3 karma

Hi Brendan and Brian,

I have heard that Brave does not plan to migrate to Manifest V3, assuming this is 100% true, what are the plans going forward? I guess what I'm trying to figure out is whether or not Brave plans on eventually becoming a hard fork from Chromium.

BrendanEichBrave5 karma

To be super-clear, Google is not removing webRequest, just hiding it (and paying Chrome-for-enterprise group admins can allow intranet extensions to use it). So as I've said often on Twitter and Reddit, we'll keep supporting it at least for uBlock Origin and uMatrix. More to say on this in due course, but we are not Chrome. As you may have noticed! ;-)

Warlizard3 karma

Is it really too late and we're just fucked?

BrendanEichBrave5 karma

1 hour ago

Never give up. Never surrender!

LilGl1tch3 karma

How did you create an entire computer language and how long did it take?

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

See answer with JSJabber link above.

dexy9093 karma

Is the plan to now to wait for quite a while and build up more of a brand around Brave before creating extensions allowing BAT to be earned in other browsers?
Is data only collected in the browser and sent (anonymously) when Ads are enabled?
Is data stored by the browser (kept locally) fully wiped on a reinstall?
Thanks guys

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

Given other browsers neutering their extension APIs, and our need to go beyond existing APIs, I think any extension we did would be too "Brave-Lite" to be worthwhile. Best to grow our own browser with ever greater share for best foot forward.

Tarou_Tanaka3 karma

I have two questions:

1) Will Google's attempts to fight adblockers affect Brave in any way?

2) If my browser is displaying the date on Brave Ads history as 12/31/1969 (or 01/01/1970) does that affect the ads in any way, such as being less frequent or not appearing at all?

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

  1. No.
  2. Sorry to hear this, could you please reach out to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) about this issue? Thanks.

Jamdawg2 karma

This sounds great. I've been using chrome for a while now ( I used to use firefox for over 10 years) and I definitely am going to download this and try it out.

Question -- Will our ISP still be able to see our specific data or will it be masked even from them?

edit: I'm now browsing on Brave!

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

ISPs cannot see into TLS (https:) connections, and we include "HTTPS Everywhere" to fix site content (how links are written) errors that lose this end to end encryption. We are exploring better DNS ideas but won't force users to trust one big partner for all DNS resolutions. IP routing is of course visible to ISPs, but we build in Tor Private Windows, which you can and should use when needed (airport WiFi, etc.).

BeggarMidas2 karma

Familiar with your project, like the general idea. Goes a long way towards me forgiving you for how much extra work js has dropped in my shop queue over the years brennan(lol). Have some skepticism about how Brave can fight the tide in maintaining privacy by design going forward, when there is just too many ways to side leak via the OS, third party, broadband carrier aggregation, etc. We know broadband carriers have been sniping search criteria at the DNS level. we have plenty of evidence that there is a whole sordid ecosystem of front end websites that have been running backend fingerprint + ID associate any machine with a extraordinary level of rapid specificity....All of which is being aggregated and traded invisibly between data brokers I'm growing pretty iffy on TOR's longer term chances as well. We see the ability of LEA/IC's to attribute ID's by node entry/exit via probability/statistical aggregation stacking halving in time and number of required entry/exits every year since 2015. The data a person generates has become more valuable than the person themselves are, while many corporate ecosystems have swung towards personal data as it's own marketable asset for some time now...especially in the USA, and emergent markets in South America, africa, india, and others.

...Yet all that's chickenfeed with the LEA 'going dark' pretexts to drive legislative action towards backdooring everything, just ringing the dinner bell to malicious or criminal GO/NGO actors/groups, as Bruce Schreiner has warned everyone who'd listen for just dogs years now. The governments across the world, East. West. North. South. have all basically implied that they all feel the need to spy on everyone...ESPECIALLY their own citizens outweighs any collective need for security, no matter how badly we're taking it in the keister by criminal elements worldwide. Not to mention all the fallout that'll come down as nationalized firewalls/localized data become the status quo. Breaking the open internet into a dozen or more regionally aligned walled gardens going up over the next decade.

...But even THAT pales before the problem we've had since the beginning. The primary security flaws remain in the chairs , not in the machines. We simply cannot protect users from saying "yes" to iffy crap, or sprinting to the end of every EULA/TOS that agrees to questionable AF third party piggybacking so they can play some 'free' farmville-esque game, or put some donkey ears on a selfie or whatever. They hurry through to sign their rights away gleefully:-/

It's literally going to take some radical departures from past practices, some next level out of the box thinking, and more just to tread water. I know it's a lot to unpack, but that's just the world we all have to live in now. All the front end superficial simplicity masks the enormous backend complexity that keeps all the plates spinning...For now. I would love to hear your thoughts on all this.

So, I gotta ask.

Do you think y'all are up to snuff for resisting that level of gravity pull as we move forward?

BrendanEichBrave2 karma

wizer9002 karma

Hello! This is an awesome chance to talk to a pioneer of our modern world!

Thank you for all you both have done to further protect user's information!

My question is in regards to this:

They’re privacy-respecting because Brave moves all the interest-matching onto your device and into the browser client side, so your data never leaves your device in the first place. Period.

Would websites be able to track what ad is sent to the device effectively giving them a broad idea of what your interest-matching data is?

Or is it going to queue up any number of ads, match them to your local information, then display them appropriately?

BrendanEichBrave2 karma

Ads come from edge caches and advertisers do not collude (antitrust cops awake now, so this is too risky on that basis; but also, advertisers are vicious competitors, I'm not kidding!).

yieldingTemporarily2 karma

Why did you request to be removed from privacytools?

The Brave browser anonymously monitors user attention, then rewards publishers accordingly with BATs.

How does that happen?

What data is sent to brave?

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

2 hours ago

See https://github.com/privacytoolsIO/privacytools.io/pull/657. We encountered a toxic cohort in that community and no one moderated to remove those bad actors.

On how we work, please see

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/dwfbmf/im_brendan_eich_inventor_of_javascript_and/f7ix8ng/

sepei2 karma

What is the status of the tap network integration?

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

Look for news in 1Q2020.

Docktergarfunkel2 karma

What kind of membership is associated with your new browser? Also, is it free? If not, how much is your service?

Thanks

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

No signup, and free ($0 price). We save you the price of downloading tracking and ad scripts, estimated at $23/month in 2015 by the NYTimes. We aim to pay *you* if you opt into Brave Rewards, via private & anonymous ads that give 70% of the gross revenue to you via the Basic Attention Token. By default, you give that back to your favorite sites and channels, effectively replacing "ad tech".

sepei2 karma

What happened to the credit card funding within the browser?

BrendanEichBrave3 karma

It's coming soon!

McJvck1 karma

What is your plan/strategy to bring cryptocurrency wallets to the average Joe? As of now most do not understand why it is important to backup the seed words and what they actually mean. How do you want to avoid millions of users losing their BATs because of non-education?

BrendanEichBrave2 karma

1 hour ago

If someone loses browser wallet key and must restart, they may be out some BAT but we hope not a material amount that they earned (because it should donate back to their favorite sites and channels, via auto-contributions if not tips and monthly contributions). And they won't lose their own funds, because to add funds you have to sign up with Uphold, and then all tokens go in your Uphold account's BAT card (which you can recover from Uphold via their recovery procedures). HTH.