I've been a Google Chrome user for most of my lifetime using my computer (Ignoring Internet Explorer) and have been a fan of searches in less than a second, useful widgets where I can read reviews or check operating hours before going to a restaurant, seamless experiences with translating a language, easy conversions of metrics to imperial units and so much more. All these convenient features for free, that comes at a cost of ad pop-ups.
In a 30min YouTube video you'll get an average of two ads before the video starts, maybe 3 or 4 in between and then another one at the end? Such a waste of time. In Piratebay, one ad to click the search box, close the ad, another ad prior to click the torrent file you want, close the ad, and then another one before downloading the file, close the ad, then proceed for a second search, repeats the process but lesser ads.
So. Many. Ads.
Sure, I installed YouTube Adblocker, or Adblocker plug-ins, some are great but not 100% great. But then, I met Brave 5 months ago and everything changed. It has become my most favourite browser I've ever used. I remember on the first day, I surfed the web, opened the main pages of Facebook and YouTube, watched a YouTube video, downloaded my first movie using Piratebay, no ads! It's so clean, so simple to use. Best of all, I get to earn tokens clicking ads! Even the ads that I clicked are useful to me. I've registered ProtonMail, ProtonVPN and a Gemini Wallet because of Brave. I didn't have to think about whether if I might click a malware ad, or even bother to install plugins because Brave took care of us.
Here's my current performance of using Brave so far.
269k ads! That's how much ads are displayed when you're browsing the web for 5 months! With the time saved I can watch Interstellar again and used the remaining hour cry when Joseph was shouting "MURPH! MURPH!" while getting stuck in the tesseract, and cry again when he finally escaped back to earth and met his dying daughter who aged like his grandma, and it'll still be worth more than 269k of "Sign up now and get free shit". Yup, I'm a Nolan fan!
Now comes to the rewards part. I remembered earning my first 0.5BAT on 1 ad, setting 5 ads per hour as the maximum number of ads displayed, thinking if I'm surfing the web for an average of 10 hours daily, I'm potentially getting 50 ads and 25 BAT a day. I said that if I'm getting this rate every month, I planned to keep some for myself and donate most of my rewards to a verified publisher that focused on protecting the environment, or maybe plant trees with BAT donations.
It didn't happen the way I thought. In fact, for the past 5 months, I had only accumulated around 15 BAT in total. Lesser ads were shown, day-by-day up to a point where I have a 3-week dry spell without a single ad. When the ads were finally back consistently which were also recently, I was only getting 0.001 to 0.025BAT per ad. Thinking about asking the question in Brave Community to understand the situation where I found that there were so many people out there asking the same question as me. So i searched around and found out that in Malaysia, there are only 11 active campaigns which compared to the USA, it was 5 times less [supported regions]. This means that USA is getting a lot more ads than in Malaysia. I remember seeing someone posted in Reddit with a screenshot of a full screen of ads, while I'm patiently waiting for an ad to pop out like a bored old man fishing beside a river with intelligent fishes that knew the dangers of eating the worm on the fishing hook and avoid it.
Personally, I'm not complaining. Platforms like this will tend to attract more users, and more users would mean lesser ads displayed to you because the ads also has to be displayed in other users as well. That's a great thing as more people understood how valuable their personal data is and would like to earn from it. However, the worst experience of using Brave is still the wallet, where your BAT can only be transferred to uphold, and you'll need a minimum of 25 BAT to be able to verify your wallet. I managed to verify my wallet lower than 25 BAT few months back and got my funds into Uphold, but when I try to withdraw my full 15 BAT to other wallets, the network fee is 10 BAT! Seriously, 10 BAT??? 5 months of clicking ads, and I can only afford a $1.50 coffee. Bummer.
Overall, I'm still a loyal fan of Brave and loving the clean, simple and user-friendly experience, even though the rewards are not very rewarding, it still show that Brave really does value you by giving back. Still hoping for a day when I can withdraw my BATs to other wallets instead of Uphold (Looking at you, Gemini)
Comment what would you do if you have extra 3.7 hours. Would love to hear more creative ideas!