For years, the unspoken and surreptitious agreement across the internet has been that users access free content and services (yay, gameplay walkthroughs!) in exchange for providing their personal information and consuming ads (boo forfeiting your entire browser history and first-born child). It’s a model that has thrived in the past decade, with digital advertising behemoths Facebook and Google reaping the benefits, skyrocketing in both market cap and dominance in how content is distributed and consumed across the entire internet.
However, this model has shown cracks in the past few years. The Cambridge Analytica scandal unveiled the dark underbelly of how our data can be used against us. And though that breach warranted significant change, it's already happening again at Facebook HQ. Now, content creators are finding it harder and harder to fully monetize through traditional display advertising revenue, seeking out alternative models such as Patreon and Twitch tipping—services that allow users to pay their favorite content creators directly to sidestep the Facebooks and YouTubes.
One blockchain project, Brave, is looking to solve privacy and monetization issues for users and content creators alike by automatically blocking intrusive ads and creating an entirely new currency to be used across the internet. Plus, it promises to actually pay users to simply browse the internet.