We all use the internet at a near-constant rate.
Some of us are online more than off (sleep cycles excepted). Some of us work online for large chunks of the day. Some of us work online exclusively.
Almost everyone turns to the internet for entertainment at least a few times a week… or day… or hour.
And if you’ve got a question, you aren’t reaching for the encyclopedia or heading to the library anymore — you’re seeing what Google’s got indexed on your subject.
Heck, you’re online right now, as you read this. I know because we don’t print this newsletter — outside of a few legacy media companies slowly fading into obscurity, no one does.
The average American spends a tick under six hours online every day, according to a survey released last year. That’s double the amount of time adults spent online in 2009… and probably only a fraction of the time we’ll be spending in the 2020s.
I don’t say this to depress or excite you — depending on your view. This isn’t going to lead to a screed on the state of the world… a lament about where we’re headed… or a gush about the lush landscape we’re creating for the generations to come.
No — I mention this just to impress on you: We spend a lot of time online.
But here’s the thing: You can get paid for all that time.
No, really, I’m serious.
Thanks to a relatively new browser named Brave, you can get paid to surf the web.
Brave has all sorts of privacy protections and ad blockers built in. If you want to run about the web entirely anonymously, Brave makes it easy — without having to install any extensions or worry about breaking any websites that, say, need Flash software to run properly.
However, if you want to view ads… or let some organization collect and anonymize your data… or, really, let any company have access to any of your info… you can get paid for your attention — or for sharing.
You don’t need to click on commercials — just having them show up on screen is enough.
You don’t need to reveal prying personal details — anything shared will likely be less revealing than the surreptitious spying that’s already going on (try saying “cat food” a bunch near a phone with Facebook installed and see what happens).
Brave prioritizes consent from their users. Unlike other browsers that force you to view ads from third-party sites, Brave allows you to opt in (or out) of push notification ads and get paid without even having to click on them. All while protecting your private information from third parties.
Payment comes in the form of a specialized cryptocurrency, which can easily be exchanged for regular dollars — or other cryptos like bitcoin.
And the money isn’t pocket change, either.
Indeed, one of my colleagues, Andrew M., has been using Brave for a few months in its beta form. He’s already made approximately $150 from it — without doing anything special. Just going about his ordinary browsing activities, using a browser with the most robust privacy protections around.
The pay could be about to go up significantly…
Because Brave just came out of beta — and is ready to go live for everyone.
I recently sat down with Andrew to talk about his experience getting paid to surf the web. Here’s what he had to say.
Ryan Cole (RC): How’d you first find out about Brave?
Andrew M. (AM): Initially, I heard about the project around this time last year. I was really excited about it because I thought it was a cool cryptocurrency project that was also tied to a real product. I thought that with the practicality, and for people that don’t necessarily understand crypto projects, it’s a little bit more digestible.
I downloaded the browser and noticed that it was in pretty early stages… so I didn’t really use it. Then I found out that they put in a bunch of updates and I tried it again once they rolled out the reward system. I found that it’s pretty much as good as, if not better than, Chrome or Firefox. Fast-forward to last week and they’ve just released the 1.0 version.
I keep getting paid like crazy for the ads — I’ve made probably about 150 bucks since, I want to say, maybe January or February using the browser. It’s a really cool project.
RC: Now, when you get paid for the ads, do they just have to appear — like they have to be in front of your eyeballs — or do you have to click through?
AM: No, you don’t have to click through. The idea behind it is, over time, they want to increase the number of people who are advertising on it. Then they can get a better idea of if you engage with an ad and they’ll show you more ads.
With those ads you can earn rewards and do whatever you want with them. You can either distribute them to sites that are verified [via a “tipping” system built into Brave] or you can just keep them and use them for your own personal gain.
And on top of that, it has a built-in app locker. It saves your progress and it has no cookies, no trackers.
So it’s more secure, it better handles your personal information and it makes sure that you’re being protected against companies looking to track your data.
RC: Right. So no cookies, no ads, no trackers. There’s got to be something — or else they wouldn’t know what you’re watching, what you’re looking at. So it’s more like there’s only the one tracker, the Brave tracker, which you can sort of toggle on and off as you desire?
AM: Yeah. It’s called the Brave Shield, and basically, you don’t have it on for chosen sites. But it’s really easy to turn off and on. It’s just this little icon in the top of your screen that you can flip on and off as you need.
RC: Can it take your bookmarks and browsing history from whatever you’re using?
RC: So you made $150 with the ads from it so far?
AM: Yeah. That’s my estimation. You know, I do referrals too, so I’ll get my friends and family to sign up. This month I’ve already earned 15.8 BAT [basic attention token — the crypto Brave created], which is about four bucks, and they pay out every month on the fifth.
RC: Very fun. Now can you trade BATs without using Brave? Like it’ll be on Coinbase, etc.?
AM: Yeah, it’s on Coinbase.
RC: Not bad!
AM: I’ve been trying to get as much as I can get my hands on because I really think it’s going to pop.
So you know, it’s not like you’re going to be a millionaire off the ads. But it’s a nice little bump — for doing something you’re already doing anyway for free.
A big thanks to Andrew for sharing his experience with — and excitement for — this new way to get paid in cryptocurrency just for browsing the internet.
Editor-in-chief, Unconventional Wealth
P.S. Want to try Brave out for yourself and start making money just by browsing the internet? It’s completely free — so you’ve got nothing to lose. It can even easily import your bookmarks and/or browsing history from any other browser, if you want. Check it out here.
Ryan Cole is the editor-in-chief of Unconventional Wealth. He’s been covering the alternative investment space for nearly a decade and writing about finance and investment for almost 20 years.
Ryan has walked the walk for years, living a very unconventional life. He’s led snowmobile tours through the mountains of Colorado, settled in Japan for five...