12:15 GMT27 November 2020
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    A new browser called Brave has launched a new beta service allowing users to pay Bitcoins to websites in return for ad-blocking. So-called Brave Payments can be activated to send to websites as a thank you for not bombarding you with adverts.

    Ad blocking is a type of software that can be installed on a computer or smart device and can stop adverts from popping up all over a website or mobile app. Adverts can vary from pictures, gifs, audio or videos that automatically play out. Those who find it irritating, can switch it off with the ad blocker software.

    However, swathes of the Internet relies on online ad revenue to survive, including many publishers, which claim they suffer greatly financially from customers who block adverts from appearing on their site.

    ​By clicking onto the Internet browser's preferences page, users can turn on the Brave Payments and top the virtual pot up with Coinbase or Bitcoin. Donations are anonymous and your Internet Provider (IP) address is hidden.

    "For the first time in the history of web browsers, people can now seamlessly reward the sites whose content they value and wish to support, while remaining untracked by anyone," Brendan Eich, former co-founder of Mozilla and CEO of JavaScript said.

    ​Eich, the brains behind Brave said on his blog:

    "This removes the need to intermediaries who may overwhelm web pages with invasive trackers and ads (and sometimes even malware).  It also avoids centrally managed ‘feed' algorithms that may or may not value your idea of content quality."

    However, EU regulatory body Berec recently advised cell phone operators against using technology to block adverts. It had been reported that O2 and EE were considering using a software program to implement a network wide ad-blocker to prevent ads from eating into their customer's data allowances.

    ​Berec, which has issued its net neutrality, guidelines says customers should be free to install ad blocking technology on their one smartphones. However, the same rules should not be applied at network level.

    "Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should not block, slow down, alter, restrict, interfere with, degrade or discriminate advertising when providing an internet access service," the guidelines state.

    However, software firms which provide such a service have hit out at Berec. Roi Carthy, marketing officer at Shine, an Israeli software company said: "European citizens have a right to protect themselves from being tracked, profiled and targeted by AdTech."

    It remains to be seen if Brave can keep both the AdTech world and ad-blockers happy by bridging the gap using Bitcoins.


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    revenue, browser, adverts, block, internet, online, net neutrality, Bitcoin, Mozilla, Israel, US, United Kingdom
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