Apropos censorship resistance: Brave accused of keeping one user’s BAT tokens due to unfounded fraud allegations

The topic just popped up on the biggest crypto subreddit, r/cryptocurrency where a certain user raised an issue he had with his Brave account and “earned” BAT tokens.

He claims that his post on BAT subreddit was locked by the moderators and hence accuses them of censorship and damage control. So what happened?

As you might know, Brave browser and the BAT token are supposed to change the way the internet works by paying users to watch ads and allowing site visitors to tip crypto to sites and content you like.

I really liked the concept and created badges to promote them. Badges that made it easy to ask users to download the brave browser and promote them on their sites. Someone really liked my initiative and tipped my a few hundred bucks in BAT token (wooh!). All fine and well until Brave said this was fraud and decided to cancel my account and call me a fraudulent user.

They just closed down my thread on their subreddit and are trying to do damage control, I strongly urge everyone to be extra skeptical as they have no transparency whatsoever and have shut me out after I promoted them for months!

Their appeal process was a joke – they asked me to prove I did not fraud my contributions! How am I supposed to do that??

A shame really as I really liked the idea. I guess execution really is everything and customer service makes or breaks these type of projects.

Brave essentially has control over your account that holds your BAT tokens you earn by either watching ads or being a publisher. You get a subscriber account with Brave and an Uphold wallet for BAT tokens and while the tokens are stored there, they are in complete oversight of BAT team. They do plan to eventually decentralize the whole process and move to a completely transparent public chain where confiscations like this one could not be possible.

Read our comparison of Brave vs Firefox.

BAT is short for Basic Attention Token, which is an Ethereum blockchain-based digital advertising token. BAT is a necessary element for creating an ad exchange which connects advertisers, publishers, and users in a fair, decentralized manner. BAT is denominated by relevant user attention while removing social and economic costs associated with existing ad networks, e.g., fraud, privacy violations, and malicious advertising.

BAT serves as a unit of exchange which cuts out the middlemen from the advertising process. By using this token the system can reward and protect the user while giving better conversion to advertisers and higher yield to publishers.

Users get paid for “spending” their attention on watching ads, publishers receive the majority of the ad revenue directly and advertisers spend their advertising money more efficiently (better ROI) and get more accurate data to analyze. The BAT system needs another important component in order to function properly: a web browser. And it is off to a good start as it already has an in-house developed, native browser called Brave that recently boasted with steep growing curve and million of monthly active users.

However, there is also the other side of the story

One other Redditor brought up couple of valid counter arguments:

No, you don’t add the money (BAT), Brave does it from the UGP, or User Growth Pool. When you install Brave and opt in to ads you are given some free BAT that you can tip to sites/creators. If you install various instances of Brave on different devices and get free BAT in all of them you could then tip all that to yourself (or a friend or whatever), what would be considered, I guess, some kind of fraud.

Not saying that’s what you did, just explaining what all this it could be about.

Even though BAT has come a long way in implementing their vision, there is obviously still a long road ahead. Stories like this, regardless if the action was justified or not, defeats the defining feature of blockchain and crypto ideology and that is censorship resistance, full control over your valuables and leaderless community with no power structures that run the show. Let’s hope this is just a transient state of the ecosystem.

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Damian Booker
Damian Booker

First thing to know about Damian is - he HATES shitcoins and has declared a war on them! Damian is a bitcoin hodler since early 2013. He used to mine Ethereum back in the day as well. Nowadays he likes to discuss bitcoin and its potential influence on the society organisation and governance. Damian hates fraudulent projects and his mission is to shed light on the maggoty scammers that have invaded the crypto space with their zero-value projects.

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