Brave browser opens users’ wallets to YouTube content creators

Brave Software, the company behind the niche Brave browser, earlier this month opened its digital currency-based reward system to YouTube content creators, giving users a way to send influencers small amounts of cash.

“Audiences can use the Brave Payments system to reward their favorite YouTube creators with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT),” read an unsigned post to the company’s blog. “YouTube viewers can either distribute contributions based on the time they spend viewing material or by ‘pinning’ a set amount for a particular channel.”

The experiment was the first to depart from Brave’s usual reimbursement rules, which let browser users select nothing more specific than a domain as a BAT destination.

Brave Software’s underlying model and its business plan are, to put it mildly, unusual. The browser puts a price on online users’ attention with blockchain-based tokens that eventually will be traded between publishers, advertisers and consumers willing to view ads. At the moment, however, the only real money in the system is what individual users have loaded into their electronic wallets as they experiment with the browser.

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