Tracker-blocking browser fearless comes out of beta

Joanna Estrada
November 14, 2019

Brave Browser, the privacy-oriented, cryptocurrency-enabled web browser, has been on a roll lately, hitting 9 million monthly users and rolling out its ad platform to 20 new countries. Fearless also offers private browsing with Tor integration, which utilizes a VPN to make for a more private browsing experience than most incognito modes offer.

Today, the team behind the fearless browser announced the release of v1.0, the browser's first official stable release. Ultimately, Brave wants users to be able to spend BAT on "subscriptions and premium products" as well as tipping Brave Creators. Courageous is available for free on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

As ad-blocking becomes more prevalent and sophisticated, the methods employed by advertisers will likely shift in order to keep up, but Brave Software hopes its browser and rewards program can provide a respectable balance between all parties. Users then receive 70 percent of what the advertisers spend on ads, while courageous keeps 30 percent.

Courageous says that more than 300,000 websites have verified profiles through which they collect BAT donations, including some of today's biggest names, such as The Washington Post, The Guardian, Wikipedia, creators on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, GitHub and more. This platform uses blockchain-based advertising and allows people to earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) that can be digital assets and flat currencies.

Developed from the ground up to be a privacy-first alternative to modern-day browsers, fearless 1.0 comes with many features not present in any other competitor's software.

Fearless 1.0 also comes with a built-in ad blocker, anti-tracking, and anti-fingerprinting features that block online advertisers, analytics, and social media companies from bombarding users with ads and tracking users as they move across websites. In its early days, courageous actually started with Bitcoin as the currency for this, but as Eich noted, that quickly became too expensive (and since the price was going up, users wanted to hold on to the Bitcoin instead of donating it). But you can't just leave it at speed. "You want to have all your benefits tied up in a pretty knot and that's what we have done", he said.

Looking beyond version 1.0, the courageous team plans to implement better sync, with support for tab and history syncing, for example.

Brave Rewards is probably the most interesting feature added to any of web browser today. In the early days, before it was on Android, the opt-in rate was around 40 percent, Eich told me, and the team wants to get it back to that.

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