FAQ: Brave Payments
What is Brave Payments?
Brave Payments is our BAT-based publisher contribution system that anonymously and automatically supports your favorite websites, while remaining untracked by anyone, including us at Brave Software.
What does BAT stand for and what is it?
Basic Attention Token. It is a utility token based on the Ethereum technology that can also be used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers, and users in our new, blockchain-based digital advertising and services platform. Ownership of the tokens carry no rights other than the right to use them as a means to obtain services on the BAT platform, and to enable usage of and interaction with the platform, if successfully completed and deployed. The tokens do not represent or confer any ownership right or stake, share or security or equivalent rights, or any right to receive future revenue shares, intellectual property rights or any other form of participation in or relating to the BAT platform, and/or Brave and its affiliates. The tokens are not refundable and are not intended to be a digital currency, security, commodity or any other kind of financial instrument.
Do I have to pay Brave to block ads?
No. Brave is a browser that blocks 3rd party ads and tracking by default, and it will always be free. If you can afford to support your favorite sites we encourage you to try Brave Payments, but you do not have to pay to use Brave.
How do I fund my Brave Wallet?
No registration is required to fund your wallet via cryptocurrencies; users can add funds with BTC, LTC, ETH or BAT by making a transfer to the corresponding wallet address. Note that non-BAT funds sent to the Brave wallet will automatically be converted to BAT, and the balance will be held in BAT by your wallet.
For users who wish to convert fiat into BAT, you can do so by registering with Uphold or other exchanges. Note that for exchanges other than Uphold, a standard cryptocurrency network fee will apply to the transfer in addition to any exchange fee.
In the future we will add the ability to directly fund your wallet with a credit card in the browser.
(Please note that you cannot transfer BAT out of your Brave wallet. The Brave BAT wallet is unidirectional (as was the Brave Payments Bitcoin proof-of-concept system), and its sole purpose currently is to anonymously and securely contribute to publishers of websites of your choosing.)
What should I do if I previously had a Brave Bitcoin wallet?
If you are a current user of the Brave browser and the Bitcoin proof-of-concept system, you do not need to do anything other than upgrade to your Brave browser when prompted. A new Brave wallet will automatically be created for you. Additionally, if there’s a balance in your existing Brave wallet, then your browser will transfer the balance to the equivalent amount of BAT in your new Brave wallet.
You will however need to back up your new BAT wallet by clicking on the “back up your new wallet” button when prompted.
What should I do if I'm a publisher?
If you are a publisher, or planning to verify as a publisher with Brave, you can sign up at Uphold and start the process of becoming a verified Uphold member. You will need to have a verified Uphold account in order to receive contributions.
Also, Brave-verified publishers that have completed the tax-related and KYC-related (know your customer) paperwork for the Bitcoin proof-of-concept will be required to create an Uphold account and go through their verification process to start collecting BAT. However, Brave-verified publishers will not need to re-verify control of their websites.
What will happen to Brave Bitcoin wallets from the Brave Payments beta?
Although the Bitcoin proof-of-concept is closing down soon after BAT Mercury launches, no sunset date is set. This will be done by disabling additional contributions in the Bitcoin proof-of-concept and distributing final contributions to existing publishers.
Why generate a distinct token, as opposed to using Bitcoin?
BAT is not a digital currency, it is a utility token. It can be used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers, and users on the BAT platform, and can be utilized to directly measure, exchange, and verify attention. Bitcoin would not enable this distinct, in-platform problem solving. Also, an integral part of the token sale was the creation of the BAT user growth pool (UGP) of 300 million tokens, which will be used to incentivize users to join the BAT platform. Finally, using BAT on Ethereum allows for faster scalability than using Bitcoin.
How does Brave distribute my contribution among publishers?
Your monthly contribution is created using a computer algorithm which takes into account things like number of visits each site, the time spend on each page, etc. It does this securely and anonymously. As your monthly contribution time approaches, you’ll receive an in-browser alert allowing you to review and adjust contributions before they are processed. You can also decide which sites get what percentage of your donation via the “pinning” option, whether you visit them or not.
What if a site appears in my list that I prefer not to pay?
The Payments Preferences page attempts to display a concise list of your publisher browsing history by website. Every website in this list has a switch that allows you to exclude them from receiving contributions from you.
Will I be notified when the contributions actually happen?
You will be notified that your contribution was processed 30 days after you created your Brave BAT wallet, and then every 30 days thereafter. You will also receive an alert if the funds in your Brave wallet drop below 90% of your selected monthly contribution, inviting you to add additional funds.
How are publishers/websites notified of my contributions?
Every 30 days your contribution is transferred from your Brave BAT wallet to a BAT escrow wallet, managed privately and securely by Brave for distribution to the publishers you’ve chosen. When the contributions from all Brave contributors for any of these publishers are equal to about $100.00 USD in BAT, emails are sent to the webmaster of the site and the site’s registered domain owner, prompting them to begin the process of becoming a verified Brave publisher to receive contributions. Upon completion of the verification process, the publisher will be able to receive contributions from everyone using the Brave Payments system.
Where does my contribution go if a publisher/website is not part of this program yet?
When there is about $100.00 USD in BAT for a specific publisher, from all contributors, Brave makes three attempts to complete the publisher verification process. We will hold unclaimed funds for a minimum of 90 days, after which it will be added to the UGP (User Growth Pool).
Note that on the Payments Preferences page under the “Advanced Settings” gear icon, you can disable the “Allow contributions to non-verified sites” option. This ensures that your contributions are made only to sites for publishers that have verified.
What is a "verified" publisher?
Before a publisher is able to receive contributions, they need to demonstrate that they control their domain (e.g. “example.com”). Brave uses a challenge-response protocol for this purpose. If the exchange is successful, we know that our automated systems are communicating with the publisher who controls the domain. Brave Software neither endorses nor disavows sites that verify; we report whether they have verified or not.
How do I collect my payments as a publisher?
A publisher simply needs to establish an Uphold account to collect BAT payments and automatically convert them into fiat currency. When contributions for your website are equal to about $100.00 USD in BAT from all supporters, explanatory emails are sent to you (the site’s registered domain owner) and to your webmaster to begin the verification process. Upon completion of verification, contributions are settled at the end of each month. In general, we settle contributions for a publisher if at least $10.00 USD in BAT is waiting; however, if you prefer a different threshold amount, please let us know. More details are available at publishers.basicattentiontoken.org.
What happens if I have money in my Brave wallet and my computer crashes or is stolen or lost?
Your Brave wallet comes with a set of anonymized recovery codes, accessible on the Payments Preferences page. Click on the “Advanced Settings” gear icon, then choose “Backup your wallet”. You can copy, print, and/or file your anonymized recovery codes. It is important to note that it is your sole responsibility to store these codes in a safe and secure place (or perhaps multiple places) for safekeeping, since neither Brave Software, Uphold, nor anyone else is able to recover the funds in your Brave wallet if you lose these codes, so choose the place or places you store your anonymized recovery codes wisely.
What should I do if my wallet is corrupted?
If your wallet is corrupted you will need to recover your Brave wallet using your recovery keys. You can do this by one of two ways, both available from the Brave Payments page within Preferences. The first way is to click on the ‘Recover your Brave Wallet’ button on the ‘Hello! Unfortunately your active wallet has been corrupted.’ message. The second way is to click on the gear icon to open Advanced Settings for Brave Payments, then click on the ‘Recover your wallet’ button.
Either way you choose, you will have the option to copy/paste your recovery keys or import them. If you choose to copy/paste, copy the words from your recovery key file and paste them into the ‘Recovery Key’ box on the Recover your Brave wallet dialog. Then click the ‘Recover’ button and you will see a message indicating your wallet recovery was successful. If you choose to import your recovery keys, click on the ‘Import recovery key’ button. A popup will display to allow you to navigate to the location of your backup file. Navigate to your file and select Open. You will see a message indicating your wallet recovery was successful.
If you do not have your recovery keys or have questions, please contact support at https://community.brave.com.
How does Brave protect against theft of funds?
Our servers never have custody of funds in users’ Brave wallets, since Brave doesn’t hold any of those keys. It is therefore not possible for theft of funds from users’ Brave wallets to happen via attacks against our servers.
Although we cannot initiate transfers, we do enforce restrictions on transfers made by the browser wallet, ensuring that they can only flow only through our settlement process. Attacks against the keypair held by the browser cannot move funds outside of this process.
What if I want to stop contributing or change my contribution amount, is that easy to do?
You can turn the Brave Payments system on or off at any time using the switch found at the top of the Payments Preferences page. You can also change the contribution amount at any time via the monthly budget menu, found on the same page.
Are my contributions really anonymous? Can’t Brave determine my identity from my Brave BAT wallet and my browsing history?
All Brave Payments analysis is done without disclosing your identity. The analysis is carried out over the network via the open source ANONIZE protocol and on-device via statistical voting, so that neither Brave, nor any other entity, can correlate browsing page views with contributions.
Why does Brave take 5% of my publisher contributions, isn’t this high compared to credit card fees which are typically 2.5%?
Credit card interchange fees may appear to total only a bit more than 2%, but due to chargebacks over fraud, merchants pay a heavy hidden fee. Also, our fee has to cover infrastructure costs which provide an always free Brave browser as well as the Brave Payments system for publisher support. It is our intention to minimize those fees as we grow and realize economies of scale.
Why are non-publisher websites showing up on my contributions list (seen on the Payments Preferences page)? How is this list different from my browsing history?
Your browsing history simply includes all sites that you’ve visited. However, your Brave Payments contributions list is intended to be limited to publisher sites you’ve visited and are potentially eligible to receive your contributions. If you have the “auto-include” option enabled (found on the Payments Preferences page), then sites that you visit and appear to be publishers are added to your contributions list automatically. You always have to ability to disable contributions to any site. Brave’s exclusion list is curated over time based upon feedback from our community of users, and you can submit a request to remove a non-publisher site at email@example.com.
If you install Brave on two different computers, do you get two unique personas for the Brave Payments system, or one?
Currently you get two personas, even though you can synchronise your computers with Brave. In the future, you will have a single persona that is synchronised securely and anonymously across all of your devices.
Is Brave Payments also available for mobile devices?
With this Mercury release, Brave Payments is available for the desktop. However, a future update will include mobile integration.
Can I refund money that I've placed into my Brave BAT wallet?
Not yet. The Brave BAT wallet is currently unidirectional, and its sole purpose is to anonymously and securely contribute to publishers of websites of your choosing. In the future, the Brave wallet will give users the option of going through a “Know Your Customer” (KYC) process in order to gain full control over their BAT wallet, including the ability to transfer BAT out of the wallet.
Where can I read the formal legal terms and conditions for Brave Payments?
The BAT website features the terms of service for Brave Payments.
The new Brave browser blocks the ads and trackers that slow you down, chew up your bandwidth, and invade your privacy. Brave even lets you contribute to your favorite creators automatically.