How Does Brave Make Money? The Brave Business Model In A Nutshell

Brave is an open-source, privacy-centric web browser developed by Brave Software Inc. The company was founded by Brian Bondy and Brendan Eich in 2015. Brave makes the bulk of its revenue through banner advertising. In a rather unique arrangement, Brave users take 70% of the advertising revenue with the company taking the remaining 30%. Brave sells subscriptions to its video conferencing, VPN, and firewall products. It also makes money through affiliate commissions and merchandise sales in its decentralized web store.

Brave origin story

Brave is an open-source web browser developed by Brave Software Inc. Like Google Chrome, Brave is based on the Chromium codebase.

Brave Software was founded in 2015 by Brian Bondy and Brendan Eich, with the first Brave Browser launched in January of the following year. Brave is privacy-centric, with the browser blocking ads by default and refraining from tracking cookies or collecting IP addresses. What’s more, Brave offers protection against malware and phishing scams.

In June 2018, the company released a pay-to-surf version of Brave. Initially, the browser came preloaded with around 250 advertisements. As the user surfed the internet, they sent a detailed browsing history log back to the company for the purpose of testing said functionality. They were also paid in Bitcoin, with the total amount reliant on how many ad impressions they’d received.

The growth of the browser stalled soon after the release of the Brave Payments service, where users receiving Bitcoin could send the currency directly to content publishers. This happened because users were reluctant to part with their hard-earned Bitcoin.

In 2017, the popularity of cryptocurrency skyrocketed with many holding Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to take advantage. Brave followed suit, raising $35 million in less than 30 seconds after launching its own currency called Basic Attention Token (BAT). To attract content creators to its platform, it handed out promotional BAT to YouTube and Twitch users on a first-come-first-served basis.

The following year, Brave grew its user base to around 5.5 million, with many joining the platform to escape Google’s pervasive privacy policies. The company then entered into multiple new partnerships, allowing Brave users to tip publishers on Twitter, Reddit, and Vimeo. A video conferencing tool was then developed in 2020 to take advantage of the surge in remote work.

Perhaps the most significant announcement from the company to date came in March 2021. After acquiring the creators behind the open-source search engine Tailcat, Brave launched its own search engine in June and replaced Google as the default option four months later.

Recent figures show Brave had 36.2 million monthly active users, with 12.5 million of those active daily.

Brave revenue generation

Brave generates revenue through a variety of means, including advertising, subscription fees, product sales, and affiliate commissions.

Following is a general description of each.


The majority of company revenue comes from banner advertising served to Brave users.

Users who opt to receive ads while browsing take 70% of the ad revenue Brave receives from advertisers. As stated earlier, this is paid in the form of BAT.

Brave then collects the remaining 30%.


In addition to its browser, Brave also offers ancillary products and services including a firewall, VPN, and video conferencing.

For use of its firewall and VPN services, the company charges $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. The video conferencing tool, Brave Talk, is free to use. But users are charged $7.99 per month if they desire premium features.

Affiliate commissions

Brave also makes money through affiliate links. 

Users can purchase various cryptocurrencies through the browser and the company also has a dedicated deals page called Brave Offers. The page offers heavily discounted products, ranging from smart televisions to online courses.

In both cases, the company receives a portion of the total sales price. Some partnerships with cryptocurrency exchanges also allow the company to be compensated for repeat purchases.

Product sales

Brave also sells physical and digital products through its Swag Store. Most of the items for sale are token-branded merchandise and include jackets, hoodies, children’s apparel, socks, stickers, and hats.

Like the Brave browser, Swag Store is decentralized. It runs on a peer-to-peer distributed file system with zero tracking cookies or scripts.

Related To Brave Business Model

BAT or Basic Attention Token is a utility token aiming to provide privacy-based web tools for advertisers and users to monetize attention on the web in a decentralized way via Blockchain-based technologies. Therefore, the BAT ecosystem moves around a browser (Brave), a privacy-based search engine (Brave Search), and a utility token (BAT). Users can opt-in to advertising, thus making money based on their attention to ads as they browse the web.
The starting point for the ecosystem’s growth is the user base, attracted by the browser first and the other privacy-based tools later on. As BAT launched its roadmap, it primarily focused on developing and distributing its Brave browser and enabling users’ adoption. As the adoption grew, while the growth of users for Brave browser is still a core focus, the development, acquisition, and launch of new privacy-based tools and features (like the Brave search engine and more components within the existing ecosystem) will help the ecosystem to develop further.

Read Next: BAT Token: The Basic Attention Token Business Model In A Nutshell

Connected Business Concepts

According to Joel Monegro, a former analyst at USV (a venture capital firm) the blockchain implies value creation in its protocols. Where the web has allowed the value to be captured at the applications layer (take Facebook, Twitter, Google, and many others). In a Blockchain Economy, this value might be captured by the protocols at the base of the blockchain (for instance Bitcoin and Ethereum). However, according to blockchain investor Paivinen due to ease of forking, incentives to compete and improved interoperability and interchangeability also in a blockchain-based economy, protocols might get thinner. Although the marginal value of scale might be lower compared to a web-based economy, where massive scale created an economic advantage. The success of the Blockchain will depend on its commercial viability!
A Proof of Stake (PoS) is a form of consensus algorithm used to achieve agreement across a distributed network. As such it is, together with Proof of Work, among the key consensus algorithms for Blockchain protocols (like the Ethereum’s Casper protocol). Proof of Stake has the advantage of security, reduced risk of centralization, and energy efficiency.
A Proof of Work is a form of consensus algorithm used to achieve agreement across a distributed network. In a Proof of Work, miners compete to complete transactions on the network, by commuting hard mathematical problems (i.e. hashes functions) and as a result they get rewarded in coins.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are cryptographic tokens that represent something unique. Non-fungible assets are those that are not mutually interchangeable. Non-fungible tokens contain identifying information that makes them unique. Unlike Bitcoin – which has a supply of 21 million identical coins – they cannot be exchanged like for like.
A Blockchain Business Model according to the FourWeekMBA framework is made of four main components: Value Model (Core Philosophy, Core Values and Value Propositions for the key stakeholders), Blockchain Model (Protocol Rules, Network Shape and Applications Layer/Ecosystem), Distribution Model (the key channels amplifying the protocol and its communities), and the Economic Model (the dynamics/incentives through which protocol players make money). Those elements coming together can serve as the basis to build and analyze a solid Blockchain Business Model.
Ethereum was launched in 2015 with its cryptocurrency, Ether, as an open-source, blockchain-based, decentralized platform software. Smart contracts are enabled, and Distributed Applications (dApps) get built without downtime or third-party disturbance. It also helps developers build and publish applications as it is also a programming language running on a blockchain.
The Graph is an ERC20 Utility Token (built on top of Ethereum) to enable consumers to freely query the blockchain through a fully decentralized database kept by indexers, incentivized by the payment of tokens (called GRT). The network is also ministered by curators and delegators that help maintain a high-quality index.
BAT or Basic Attention Token is a utility token aiming to provide privacy-based web tools for advertisers and users to monetize attention on the web in a decentralized way via Blockchain-based technologies. Therefore, the BAT ecosystem moves around a browser (Brave), a privacy-based search engine (Brave Search), and a utility token (BAT). Users can opt-in to advertising, thus making money based on their attention to ads as they browse the web.
In 2012, co-founders Christian Larsen and Jed McCaleb created Ripple, a technology acting as both a pre-mined cryptocurrency called XRP and a digital payment platform enabling monetary transactions. Where Ripple is the tech company, XRP is the decentralized ledger.
In 2014, Jed McCaleb – which also played a key role in the development of Ripple – created a cryptocurrency to provide fast, reliable, and affordable money transactions. The same cryptocurrency has considerably grown seven years later. It is now one of the most stellar cryptocurrencies to provide a real-time platform that links banks, payment systems, and people. Meet, Stellar!
In early 2019, a joint project between TRON and BitTorrent Foundation called BitTorrent Token came to fruition. BitTorrent Token launched to tokenize in-demand file-sharing protocol and enhance content delivery and bandwidth accessibility with blockchain technology.
Chainlink is considered the most established decentralized oracle network. As an ecosystem housing several decentralized oracle networks running simultaneously. As a decentralized oracle service built on Ethereum, Chainlink has the power to support the development of blockchain solutions for both traditional businesses and enterprises.
Uniswap is a renowned decentralized crypto exchange created in 2018 and based on the Ethereum blockchain, to provide liquidity to the system. As a cryptocurrency exchange technology that operates on a decentralized basis. The Uniswap protocol inherited its namesake from the business that created it — Uniswap. Through smart contracts, the Uniswap protocol automates transactions between cryptocurrency tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
In essence, Polkadot is a cryptocurrency project created as an effort to transform and power a decentralized internet, Web 3.0, in the future. Polkadot is a decentralized platform, which makes it interoperable with other blockchains.
Designed and created as an alternative to Ethereum, Cardano claims to be the first decentralized blockchain protocol to use a scientific approach and undergo a peer evaluation.
Solana is a blockchain network with a focus on high performance and rapid transactions. To boost speed, it employs a one-of-a-kind approach to transaction sequencing. Users can use SOL, the network’s native cryptocurrency, to cover transaction costs and engage with smart contracts.

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Read Also: BAT TokenProof-of-stakeProof-of-workBitcoinDogecoinEthereumSolanaBlockchainBATMoneroRippleLitecoinStellarDogecoinBitcoin CashFilecoin.

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