Before we talk about crypto browsers, let’s first level-set on browsers. In short, a browser is your window to the Web. Every time you visit a website, your browser sends a request to the server where that website “lives.” The server sends back the content you see on your screen. Even if you’re not familiar with the term “browser,” you’ve definitely used one before. Brave, Google Chrome, and Firefox are just some of the browsers available today. Without them, there’d be no easy way to navigate the internet.
What is a crypto browser?
Crypto browsers, also known as blockchain browsers, operate similarly to those you already use. However, unlike conventional browsers, they also support web3 technologies that interact with decentralized applications (DApps). For example, the Brave browser utilizes a built-in (or “browser-native”) crypto wallet that allows you to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency, including collectible non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Other browsers, like Google Chrome, use third-party extensions to achieve web3 compatibility (though these can be a security risk, and even lead to asset theft). Further still, the CryptoTab browser integrates a crypto wallet and Bitcoin (BTC) mining algorithm that allows you to earn BTC while surfing the web.
By integrating these web3 technologies, crypto browsers efficiently tap into the benefits of blockchain technology. For example, crypto browsers allow you to access decentralized exchanges (DEXs) like Uniswap and PancakeSwap or decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols like Compound or Maker. Each of these interactions occurs directly in the crypto browser, simultaneously generating a permanent record on the blockchain. However, when selecting a crypto browser, it’s also important to review how each integrates web3 compatibility. For example, the Brave crypto wallet is browser-native, while the CryptoTab browser requires an extension wallet like MetaMask.
In addition, the Brave and CryptoTab browsers diverge on how they incorporate tracker blocking, ad blocking, and crypto rewards. Below, we’ve broken down each of these features as they exist on the Brave and CryptoTab browsers. If you haven’t used a crypto browser before, this framework might help you select the best crypto browser for you.
Brave browser: The Brave browser offers a built-in tracking blocker at no additional cost. After downloading the browser, you’ll be able to block third-party cookies immediately, preventing the collection of your data.
CryptoTab browser: The free version of CryptoTab doesn’t allow you to block trackers. As a result, websites can still track your online activity and deploy ads based on this information. To enable tracker blocking, you’ll need to install the paid “CT Access” extension. This integrated plugin acts as a virtual private network (VPN), tracker blocker, and ad blocker. As of November 2021, the cost ranges from $2.83 to $17.42 per month, depending on your chosen tier.
As cookies accumulate in your browser, websites become more predictive, enabling targeted advertising. In other words, Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook generate massive pools of data about you as you use their applications. They then sell this data, allowing advertisers to bombard you with banners, pop-ups, and sponsored content across all your devices. Understandably, many feel these corporations are violating individual privacy, leading to the rapid growth of privacy browsers like Brave. Here’s how the Brave browser integrates ad blocking in comparison to CryptoTab:
Brave browser: By default, Brave blocks all third-party ads. These are the ads that usually appear on the websites you visit. Brave also allows users to opt in to see first-party, privacy-preserving ads from the Brave Private Ads network, and earn a cut of the ad revenue (in the form of a crypto token called BAT) for doing so. Note that these ads are totally optional.
CryptoTab browser: Although the CryptoTab browser offers ad blocking, you’ll need a paid “CT Access” subscription to activate it. As mentioned, the subscription price depends on the tier you select—lite, basic, pro, or ultra.
Both Brave and CryptoTab offer crypto as an incentive to use their browser. However, while Brave allows you to earn the Basic Attention Token (BAT), CryptoTab issues BTC. Here’s a comparison of how each browser integrates these unique crypto rewards:
Brave browser: As mentioned above, the Brave browser gives you the option of seeing privacy-preserving, first-party ads from the Brave Ad network. If you decide to opt-in, the free Brave Rewards program allows you to earn BAT, which you can then use like any other crypto asset. And, again, this free program is totally optional and opt-in only. Regardless of whether you choose to opt-in, by default Brave blocks all privacy-invading third-party ads.
CryptoTab browser: The CryptoTab browser utilizes an integrated mining algorithm that allows you to earn bitcoin (BTC) while you surf the web. The CryptoTab browser pools the idle processing power of all your devices, issuing rewards proportionate to your contribution to the network. You can amplify your BTC rewards by participating in the CryptoTab referral program or by using pay-to-use performance “cloud boosters.”
CryptoTab browser vs. Brave browser
Although this assessment is limited to Brave and CryptoTab, the same criteria can help you choose between other crypto browsers. For example, understanding how each integrates a crypto wallet is critical. While the Brave Wallet is browser-native, CryptoTab requires a plugin wallet like MetaMask, which poses unique security risks. And while both browsers use these wallets to interact with DApps across web3, they enact different methods of delivering tracker blocking, ad blocking, and cryptocurrency rewards. These features are built into the Brave browser for free; the CryptoTab browser requires that you purchase a CT Access subscription.
All things considered, we recommend using the Brave privacy browser. The Brave browser is hard to compete with as a free, fully-integrated solution that rewards you for viewing ads.