The Weekly BAT + Podcast Ep. 62 — Official Brave merch store now accepts BAT & ETH, Upcoming AMA with Chris (bat-chriscat), new fan-made sub for Brave Creators!

Announcement: The official Brave merch store now accepts payments in BAT and ETH!

Earlier this year, Brave unveiled its fully revamped Brave Swag Store, the official source for Brave and Basic Attention Token-branded merchandise such as apparel, home products, and accessories. The store is powered by Origin Protocol’s decentralized e-commerce platform, Dshop, and is hosted entirely on IPFS, without any tracking cookies or scripts. 

Our partnership with Origin for the Brave Swag Store represents a move away from old-world e-commerce solutions that track users and clash with Brave’s core privacy values, and a step forward in Brave’s progressive decentralization objectives. Today, we take another step in the direction of our goals with the launch of a new payment option for Brave Swag Store customers: Shoppers now can purchase official merchandise from the store with Basic Attention Token (BAT) or Ether (ETH).  Many users had been asking us for this option, and we’re thrilled to now offer it alongside the standard credit card payment option!

Read the full announcement here: https://brave.com/swag-store-update/ 

Brave Team AMA: Upcoming AMA with Chris (/u/bat-chriscat), Technical Operations Coordinator at Brave (Sep. 29, 2020)

Event date, time, and location: Tuesday, September 29th at 10:30 – 11:30am Pacific Time on r/BATProject

About Chris: 
Hello, I’m Chris! I’m Technical Operations Coordinator at Brave, and on the BAT Community Team. Many of you may know me from Reddit, and some of you may have even met me at a conference or meetup. At Brave, I mainly do web development, technical support, speaking engagements, and produce content. But let me tell you a bit about my origin story.

I was born to Vietnamese immigrants who escaped as refugees following the Vietnam War, and grew up in the United States and Canada. In school, I was the most difficult kind of pupil: a troublemaker with good grades. I always challenged my teachers, asking “Why, why, why?”

For more details, and to submit questions for Chris, visit the AMA announcement thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/BATProject/comments/iz1dyc/upcoming_ama_with_chris_ubatchriscat_technical/ 

BAT/Brave fans: New, unofficial fan-made sub for everything Brave Creators: /r/bravecreators! 

Brave Creators is a huge part of the BAT project, so it deserves a new subreddit where the creators can showcase their own work. In the future, the sub could be somewhat similar to r/redbubble, I think.

This sub can be very important for the community and BAT, as it can be a place to support creators and to spread the word.” — u/fruitspunch-samuraiG 

Check it out: https://www.reddit.com/r/BraveCreators/ 

We love this initiative and we are totally in support of community-run, dedicated space for Brave Creators to share, showcase, and discuss their content! Of course, Brave Creators are also encouraged to share their work on /r/BATProject in the Weekly BAT Discussion Thread! With nearly 46K members on /r/BATProject now, opportunity is ripe to gain some exposure for your content.

Fan Art: “I’m going around making animations of all my favorite projects I support! Here’s one for the Brave browser, hope you enjoy :)” 

Big love. Don’t forget to tip u/purgarus if you like what you see. 😉 

WIN: Enter TAP Network’s sweepstakes using BAT for a chance to win an Apple HomePod + Apple Music subscription!

Brave users with Uphold-verified wallets can now enter TAP Network’s sweepstakes with BAT for a chance to win an Apple HomePod + Apple Music.

HomePod is a breakthrough speaker that adapts to its location and delivers high-fidelity audio wherever it’s playing. Together with Apple Music, it creates an entirely new way for you to discover and interact with music at home. Other sweepstakes offerings from TAP include digital gift cards of your choice from hundreds of retailers including amazing brands like Amazon, Walmart, Gamestop, Nintendo and more!

To enter the sweepstakes head over to the TAP Sweepstakes page and choose the sweepstakes you want to enter. Then, enter as many times as you desire—it costs less than 1 BAT per entry! 

If you haven’t verified your Brave Rewards wallet, the TAP marketplace provides a range of options for you to redeem your earned BAT for gift cards, sweepstakes, and to support causes. 


This Week in Sponsored Images

This week, ProtonMail has joined Brave’s New Tab Page Sponsored Image rotation. ProtonMail is a free, encrypted email service. They are the world’s largest secure email service, developed by CERN and MIT scientists. ProtonMail is also open source and protected by Swiss privacy law. 

Learn more at protonmail.com

This week also saw sponsored images from returning sponsors BlockFi, Crypto.com, and eToro. 

Our growing list of New Tab Page sponsors includes: Verizon, PayPal, Intel, Newegg, Western Digital, The Home Depot, Chipotle, Khan Academy, Koodo Mobile, and more. 

See our Case Studies for more about Sponsored Images and how they can help promote your business: https://brave.com/brave-ads/casestudies/ 


Brave Creator Spotlight (in partnership with Everipedia

Verified Brave publisher, Blockchaincuties.com 

Blockchain Cuties is a new collectible crypto game with adventures where you get to play with puppies, lizards, bear cubs, cats and other real and fantasy creatures alike. Each cutie is unique and 100% belongs to you. You get to collect them, breed them, test their skills in battles, arm them and even level them up! In-game economy lets you trade cuties using smart contracts on Ethereum, EOS, TRON and NEO blockchains. Each cutie, which is a non-fungible, can be transferred or sold to other players just like a regular cryptocurrency.

Blockchaincuties.com is verified with Brave!: https://blockchaincuties.com/

Read about the history of Blockchain Cuties on Everipedia: https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/blockchain-cuties 


Client Updates

Desktop Nightly Channel v1.16.39

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.16.39

Desktop Dev Channel v1.15.63

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.15.63

Desktop Beta Channel v1.15.61

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.15.61

Release Channel v1.14.84

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.14.84

Android Release Channel v1.14.86

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.14.86

Stay ahead of bugs and benefit from all the latest updates & fixes by keeping your Brave browser updated to the latest version! 

To update your Brave browser on desktop, go to brave://help;

On mobile, if you don’t receive updates automatically, you can manually update your Brave browser app from the Play or iOS app stores.


Brave Team Tweets

Luke Mulks, Director of Business Development
Yan Zhu, Chief Information Security Officer
Jonathan Sampson, Senior Developer Relations

BAT/Brave in the News

ZDNet: An LG executive dumped Google’s Chrome for a surprising reason

Are browsers an emotional issue for everyone? Or just for those who’ve had Microsoft’s Edge descend upon them like a guillotine from the sky? Many people seem to just accept a certain browser and live with it for far longer than they really should. But then there’s LG’s global corporate communications chief Ken Hong. I happened upon his strong feelings as I was browsing Twitter, desperate for a feeling of hope.

[…]  

Sin mused: “Seriously is wild how I googled a foldable bike once or twice a couple weeks ago and I’ve been getting bike ads on Facebook, IG, everywhere. the level to which these companies all team up and know everything about us is wild.”

This is something that’s become wildly normal in digital life. Brands follow you around in the belief that they can pester you into submission. Because that’s how marketing works, right?

Hong, though, made a dramatic declaration. He replied to Sin: “I had a similar eye-opening incident like that happen 2 years ago which led to me deleting my [Facebook] account and dumping Chrome for Brave.”

Read the full text here: https://www.zdnet.com/article/an-lg-executive-dumped-googles-chrome-for-a-surprising-reason/ 

The Markup: I Scanned the Websites I Visit with Blacklight, and It’s Horrifying. Now What?

The Markup recently launched Blacklight, a free, instant privacy-inspection tool. Enter any website, and it reveals how you may be tracked when you visit the site, names the companies receiving your data, and explains what the trackers are doing—some of them watch your every mouse move and record your every keystroke. Trust us, it’s more than you’re expecting, raising the question: What can you do about it?

One option is to ensure your web browser is protecting your privacy. In this guide, we’ll walk through some of the different techniques used to track people across the web and detail what each of the major browsers does, or doesn’t do, to circumvent it.

I’m kind of in a hurry. What’s the bare minimum I need to know?

O.K., O.K. We get it—you’re busy. Here’s the TL;DR:

Firefox, Brave, Edge, and Safari offer stronger privacy protections by default than you get from Chrome, which is the world’s most popular browser. Tor is the most secure browser, but because of that a lot of sites won’t load properly on Tor.

Read the full text here: https://themarkup.org/ask-the-markup/2020/09/22/i-scanned-the-websites-i-visit-with-blacklight-and-its-horrifying-now-what 


News You Should Know

Hashoshi: Yubikey 5C NFC Review! // The BEST Hardware Security Key?!

At long last, the Yubikey 5C NFC has launched, offering the widest compatibility with mobile, laptop and desktop devices for login and two factor authentication mechanisms! Hashoshi breaks down his initial impressions and a review after using Yubico’s latest Yubikey 5 series device!

Watch the review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjx8-X3wYVE 

Bankless: Banking Without A Bank 

Dear Bankless Nation,

The world is going bankless.

We’re getting closer to the point where people don’t need a bank to bank.

Savings accounts, mutual funds, mobile payments—these can be replaced by a bankless alternative….today! Alternatives that are better than incumbents options—alternatives that are accessible to anyone in the world with a smartphone!

Jeremy’s article today is a perfect recap for someone new to the bankless journey. And for you veterans it provides a good perspective on how far we’ve come.

Just think—a year ago most of these things didn’t exist—at least not to the level they do now. DeFi is innovating at unprecedented speeds.

We are pioneers among the first millions starting the bankless journey.

Billions yet to come.

Read the full post here: https://bankless.substack.com/p/banking-without-a-bank 

Coindesk: Peer-to-peer commerce company Origin is announcing Origin Dollars, or OUSD, a stablecoin whose reserves leverage decentralized finance (DeFi) so that balances grow wherever it resides, no staking or account required.

“One thing we’ve all seen in DeFi is a much smaller audience gets it. The barrier to entry is much higher,” Matthew Liu, Origin’s cofounder, told CoinDesk in a phone call. “We want to make DeFi much more accessible.”

OUSD will be backed one-for-one by the three big stablecoins on Ethereum: Tether’s USDT, Circle and Coinbase’s USDC and MakerDAO’s DAI. Users can mint OUSD by depositing any of those three into Origin’s new app, or they can just buy it on Uniswap. Either way, the OUSD will just start growing in their wallet, no further action needed. 

Read the full text here: https://www.coindesk.com/origin-ousd-stablecoin-defi-savings-account 

Also check out ousd.com and Origin’s announcement blog on OUSD to learn more. 


Roaring Fans

The Weekly BAT + Podcast Ep. 61 — New Brave Ads case studies site, New content stream coming to Brave (sneak peek), Yan Zhu (Brave CISO) featured in Silicon Republic

Announcement: New Brave Ads pages launched (Case Studies, Resources) with tons of new information you’ve wanted to know about Brave Ads!

Brave recently passed 18.3 million monthly active users and 6.1 million daily active users. While things are growing significantly on the user front (from 8.7 million MAU last November when we launched our 1.0 version), we have also seen incredible momentum with Brave Ads, our opt-in, privacy-preserving ads that reward users with 70% of ad revenue. 

We launched a new section on our website today that highlights some amazing use cases from various brands and agencies that leverage Brave Ads to connect with engaged consumers in a relevant, brand-safe, and privacy-friendly way—something that’s top of mind for most advertisers as privacy scandals and new regulations continue to shake up the industry.

Read the full post here: https://brave.com/brave-ads-use-cases/ 

Sneak Peek: A new content stream is coming to Brave soon. Testers and early users can try it now with our iOS beta.

This Week in Sponsored Images

This week, WW (formerly Weight Watchers) joined Brave’s New Tab Page image rotation. WW is a global company headquartered in the U.S. that offers various products and services to assist in healthy habits, including weight loss and maintenance, fitness, and mindset such as the Weight Watchers comprehensive diet program.

This week also saw sponsored images from Nexo, Tradestation, Gala Games,  eToro, AAX, and BlockFi. 

Our growing list of New Tab Page sponsors includes Verizon, PayPal, Intel, Newegg, Western Digital, The Home Depot, Chipotle, Khan Academy, Koodo Mobile, and more. 

See our Case Studies for more about Sponsored Images and how they can help promote your business: https://brave.com/brave-ads/casestudies/ 


Client Updates

Desktop Nightly Channel v1.16.26

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.16.26

Desktop Dev Channel v1.15.56

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.15.56

Desktop Beta Channel v1.15.54

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.15.54

Release Channel v1.14.81

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.14.81

Stay ahead of bugs and benefit from all the latest updates & fixes by keeping your Brave browser updated to the latest version! 

To update your Brave browser on desktop, go to brave://help;

On mobile, if you don’t receive updates automatically, you can manually update your Brave browser app from the Play or iOS app stores.


Brave Team Tweets

Jonathan Sampson, Senior Developer Relations
Ryan Watson, Director of IT & Infrastructure
Brendan Eich (Brave CEO) and Luke Mulks (Director of Business Development)
Jonathan Sampson, Senior Developer Relations
Luke Mulks, Director of Business Development
Luke Mulks, Director of Business Development

BAT/Brave in the News

Yan Zhu, Brave’s Chief Information Security Officer, featured in Silicon Republic’s latest profile of CIOs and CISOs

Security expert Yan Zhu spoke to Siliconrepublic.com about how companies should approach security when it comes to user data.

Covid-19 has brought with it a variety of security challenges – from the worries around ‘Zoombombing’ in the early days of the pandemic to a wider focus on keeping staff secure while working remotely.

But what other effects has the pandemic had on security trends? Speaking to Siliconrepublic.com, security expert Yan Zhu said Covid-19 has made it clear that information and services need to be digital in order to be accessible, but there are security challenges that come with that.

Read the full text here: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/enterprise/yan-zhu-brave-privacy-data 

Contelegraph: eToro, BlockFi & Nexo capitalize on Brave ads for ‘unmatched engagement’

According to Brave browser, businesses like eToro, BlockFi, and Nexo have achieved unprecedented results by advertising to the platform’s users. Considering the popularity of Brave within the crypto community, this does not come as a surprise.

For instance, the crypto-lending platform BlockFi was able to reduce its customer acquisition costs by 75% with Brave ads. The campaign was also twice as effective as a Google campaign in terms of the percent of respondents who opened accounts. BlockFi’s marketing manager Nick Ries was quoted as saying:

“Brave has proven to be one of the most effective channels in driving new customers to BlockFi. The opt-in experience creates deeper engagement that consistently results in a 3x higher CTR than any of our other paid media spend.”

Read the full text here: https://cointelegraph.com/news/etoro-blockfi-nexo-capitalize-on-brave-ads-for-unmatched-engagement 


News You Should Know

The Tatiana Show Ep. 273 – Mixing Blockchain and Music with David Weiss 

Tech writer and content strategist David Weiss joins Tatiana and Josh to mix two things that would go really well together: music and crypto. 

David was an early adopter of Bitcoin, but he was not seriously involved until an opportunity to write about blockchain projects came along in 2018. With his background in music, he became especially interested in projects like Token.fm and Tatianacoin. 

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship for art and crypto. A decentralized and immutable ledger in the music world would make sure that everyone, including sound engineers would get credit for their work. 

And even though it is not all about the money, it is also about that. Tatiana shares the financial reality of producing a record and lists opportunities of monetization for artists on the blockchain. There are plenty of ways for artists to own and be able to transfer their fan base, including issuing their own tokens.

The conversation ends on a positive note for the future of music, even when artists are stuck at home.

Tune in here:  https://thetatianashow.com/the-tatiana-show-ep-273-mixing-blockchain-and-music-with-david-weiss/ 

The Hashoshi Show: Crypto Over Coffee ep. 32 // Bitcoin, Cardano, Kraken, Band Protocol, and more!

Hashoshi breaks down Bitcoin and BTC price, Kraken as a bank, Cardano Goguen’s release date, Band Protocol apologies, and more in this episode of Crypto Over Coffee!

[Bankless] Fork Defense Strategies in DeFi

Since publishing “Fast Follower Forks in DeFi” a few weeks ago, I’ve talked with many founders and investors about the implications and how to design fork-resistant (or embracing) protocols. More teams are preparing to launch fast follower forks in the coming days—and existing projects that have not yet launched a token are talking to their investors about restructuring their token cap tables to make them more “fair” (and thus more fork-resistant—or at least that’s the hope).

The protocol wars are officially upon us, marking a new era of crypto where competitive positioning and strategy matter as much as composability and collaboration.

As a former consultant with a focus on competitive strategy, I find this fun, familiar, and incredibly fascinating.

But it’s more than just intellectually interesting—competitive strategy is now critical to crypto projects and founders who aspire to build something valuable, defensible, and lasting in our space.

Read the full text here: https://bankless.substack.com/p/fork-defense-strategies-in-defi 


Roaring Fans

The Weekly BAT + Podcast Ep. 60 — Brave now uses PhishFort’s open source anti-phishing solutions for Crypto Wallets, BAT/Brave fan art, Naval Ravikant: Brave is “easily the best browser”

Official: Brave now uses PhishFort’s open source anti-phishing solutions for our in-browser Crypto Wallets to better protect our users. PhishFort’s spam list detects crypto scams and immediately warns our users of any suspicious domains. 

Naval Ravikant (@naval) on Twitter, speaking about Brave: “Easily the best browser. Chromium + privacy + crypto.”

We’re honored, but not surprised. 😉 

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The Weekly BAT + Podcast Ep. 59 — An under the hood look at BAT/Brave Ads (blog), Brave R&D update, EFF’s Panopticlick Fingerprinting test now works for Brave users!

Blog: Under the hood look at BAT/Brave Ads and its ad matching system: “An Introduction to Brave’s In-Browser Ads”

Online advertising has been the engine that powers online content creation for decades. The modern online advertising ecosystem has evolved to optimize for conversions (i.e. clicks and purchases). This practice often leads to persistent and privacy-invasive browsing and behavioral data collection to feed into analytics models, while an individual is browsing seemingly unrelated web sites through an infrastructure of third-party trackers. Over the last decade, users have increasingly pushed back against these privacy-violating practices, both through adoption of products such as Brave that automatically block third-party trackers, and through legislative and regulatory actions such as GDPR and the like. 

However, while it’s possible to suppress tracking, there is plenty of user interest in providing relevant recommendations. As a result, we have seen a number of academic proposals like Privad [1] or Adnostic [2] for privacy-preserving advertising systems. However, Brave Ads was the first system to deploy in production. Introduced in April 2019, Brave Ads provide Brave’s current 18 million  monthly active users [7] the choice to opt into privacy-preserving advertising and to get rewarded for their attention.

Read the full post here: https://brave.com/intro-to-brave-ads/ 

Blog: Brave’s Chief Scientist shares an update on the various cutting-edge topics & tech that Brave’s Research Team is working on to make Brave even better for users

Brave Research is a highly dynamic team of researchers and developers whose goal is to push the envelope when it comes to some of the more adventurous aspects and needs of the Brave browser and the underlying ecosystem. Most people at Brave Research hold a PhD in computer science, although pretty much everyone on the team is very practical and is involved in writing code on a daily basis. The way we think about the mission of Brave Research is two-fold: we are the “special forces” that kick into action whenever there are problems that are both relatively unexplored and also of great value to Brave. Our second mission is to create research output in the form of papers, which we aim to publish at top-tier, highly competitive conference venues. We also closely engage with academia and have PhD-level interns and university professors who work closely with Brave researchers, with a goal of advancing the state-of-the-art, especially when it comes to privacy, security, machine learning on the edge, as well as decentralization. 

Our work covers a broad range of topics, which include machine learning, data privacy and security, performance, and cryptography, to name only a few. A lot of our work tends to be pragmatic and even opportunistic in nature, driven by real-life problems that the browser throws at us. The flow of hard problems is virtually guaranteed given the complexity of the code base as well as the number of previously-unsolved problems that Braves tries to address. 

In this blog post, we cover some of the recent work that has come out in the form of both blog posts and conference publications. One of the goals is to showcase the diversity of topics that we work on, as well as to connect the work we do to some of the features that are appearing in the browser. More details on the research publications can be found here: https://brave.com/research/.

Read the full post here: https://brave.com/updates-from-brave-research/ 

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