Brave Blocks South African Users From Withdrawing Crypto Rewards

Brave, a chromium-based, open-source web browser has restricted users in South Africa from withdrawing their cryptocurrency rewards. The browser, which is largely based on the same Chromium platform as Google, except for additional features centered on blockchain functionality, rewards users for viewing advertisements

Other exclusive features include the browser’s VPN and firewall, built-in crypto wallet, and privacy shields. Titled ‘Brave Shields,’ it blocks cross-site cookies, and fingerprinting, and uses secure HTTP by upgrading connections. Among the main reasons users prefer the browser is that it blocks advertisements and trackers. However, users can choose to enable ads on specific sites.

Brave’s Crypto-Focused Model

Through its built-in ad blockers, Brave disintermediates online businesses that rely on advertising. Meanwhile, it encourages users to see in-browser advertisements and win rewards. The cryptocurrency it rewards users with is its own Ethereum-based asset, which is called the Basic Attention Token. This means it pays users for allowing advertisements on their browser application.

Users could also make configurations so that a portion of their crypto earnings go towards websites that are part of the browser’s verified creator network. The rewards earned are divided among creators who qualify, according to the amount of time you spend on a website every month. The Brave rewards system is also an aspect of websites like YouTube or Reddit, where users can make donations to verified creators.

As of today, the price of BAT in local currency is R5.45, based on information from VALR, a South Africa-based crypto exchange.

Withdrawing BAT through Partner Providers Gemini, BitFlyer, and Uphold.

For users to withdraw their BAT rewards or convert them into a different cryptocurrency, they would have to do so through one of the browser’s partners providers. To name, these include BitFlyer, Gemini, and Uphold. Out of these, BitFlyer only offers services in Japan, and Geminicut off support to numerous countries in May, such as South Africa. Since October, it has limited operations to the US.

Brave Cuts off Reward Withdrawals For South African Users

South African users could continue withdrawing rewards through Uphold, but only until July. Brave eventually announced that it would be reducing the number of countries supported by Uphold to 18, with South Africa not making the list. Since the country isn’t on the list of unsupported regions by Uphold, users suspect that the decision came from the browser itself.

Users with Uphold accounts could withdraw rewards if their wallets were linked to the browser. However, Uphold requires account holders to authenticate their session every 90 days, as well as when their account value touches 250 BAT. Around October, the last few South African users who were lucky to have been logged in, had to reauthenticate their session. By then, Brave had yet to address the issue.