Can I use Brave without BAT or the ethereum blockchain?

I’m learning about Brave for the first time and it looks awesome. But with BAT running on ethereum, this honestly doesn’t seem very sustainable. I know ETH is supposed to move to the less energy-intensive proof of stake model this year, but I heard it was delayed many times, so who knows how long it’ll take.

Is there any way I can simply pay for this product the old-fashioned way? You know, with money!

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Brave doesn’t cost anything. You just download and use it.

Yeah, Brave is pretty awesome. Just to clarify a bit of what it is though. Brave is a free web browser that comes with it’s own crypto wallet you can use, if you want. But past that it is able to sync information between devices, has a built-in adblock that functions very well and has an active staff always working to improve it, and much more.

Where BAT comes in is one of the very unique aspects of Brave. All who download Brave have the option to opt in for Brave Rewards by permitting Brave Ads. These ads are notifications on your device, they don’t actually show up on your browser (except for one that appear on the New Tab page). They are non-intrusive, especially if you set your notifications not to pop up on the screen. Each notification ad that you see lets you earn BAT.

In other words, rather than a website getting 100% of the earnings for showing you an ad, you’re getting paid to see that ad. The intent with BAT is to empower users to be able to decide which sites you’d like to support. So you’d tip your BAT to them, which costs you nothing to do. Then those websites would be able to use BAT to buy advertising with Brave.

Of course, you can also get Verified with an exchange, such as Gemini or Uphold where you can receive BAT. This could then be converted to cash or you could even swap to other crypto if you’d like. Now, once it’s on Uphold and Gemini, you deal a bit more with the gas fees and all like you mentioned. So if you wanted to send your BAT to a friend, you’ll need ETH to cover the cost to “move” the BAT from your wallet to theirs. But this isn’t usually done on a grand scale. Not to mention, even when/if you do have gas fees on it, it’s being taken from “free money” you earned from using the browser…meaning you’re ahead regardless.

Hi Saoiray, thanks for the detailed explanation. If I don’t opt in to Brave Rewards does BAT come into it at all?

I know a lot of Brave users are excited at the potential to earn a tiny amount of money and support publishers. However, when I think about the environmental cost of storing all this data on the ETH blockchain, I’m just not sure it’s worth it. I’m not concerned about the gas fees and how much I can get out of Brave as an individual, what I’m thinking is: “is this a system I want to support?”

If ETH moves to POS I could see myself being comfortable using this product, but for now I’m just wondering if I can use it without the web3 component so I can leave Google’s ecosystem.

Nope. So the difference is in your settings at brave://rewards which looks like you see below

If you have it toggled off, then you’ll not be presented any ad notifications and you won’t earn any BAT. You’ll have access to everything else, just won’t see ads or earn BAT.

I don’t use much on crypto outside of just earning BAT and eventually withdrawing it overall. So I’m not sure what you’re referencing when you say environmental cost of storing. Sorry don’t really have a response to help in either way. In fact, let me tag @Aman_M in case he has good info to discuss with you, as he seems to know quite a bit on all of this. He should be able to clarify things a bit more and either help to ease concerns or to validate your thoughts.

Same thing kind of about you mentioning using without the web3 component. I do know they are looking at Web3 by all means, it’s the “new thing.” And with this running on Chromium, there’s at least a very distant connection to Google, though they make sure to de-Google it as much as possible.

I’d say it’s worth it. Just all is about your approach and expectations. The purpose of Brave was to empower users and look at preserving privacy. So it limits cookies and fingerprinting, blocks ads, and lets everyone decide what they want to support.

They keep rolling out new things, such as how Brave Search has been released and is in Beta. It’s completely uncensored searches, not giving to the bias of DuckDuckGo and Google who prioritize results and even hide things from users. And even within that, they also now have introduced Goggles which allows you to sort results in certain ways, such as if you want to see results that fall under your own political views.

Again, it’s all about trying to give the User as much control as possible. They have a long way to go but the progress made has been excellent.

@lachiemw Sorry, one last tidbit. If you have Discord or don’t mind using it, you may enjoy

It’s a bunch of people who love and know a lot about crypto and support Brave. You’ll find a LOT of useful information and they likely can have some great conversations with you.

Also, around 5pm EDT (so less than an hour from me posting this) on Tuesdays, there’s a Brave Community Call that’s held with Users and some staff from Brave. Usually it’s Luke Mulks (VP Business Operations) and others, but occasionally also get Brendan Eich (Co-founder and CEO) who will pop in. They share LOTS of useful information about what’s going on with Brave, BAT, DApps, and more.

You can join the call at

You can also listen in on prior calls by checking out the YouTube channel they post them to at



The BAT that runs on Brave Rewards’ ecosystem is vBAT (virtual BAT) and it is not Ethereum-chain. It is just on an internal ledger operated by brave which is zero cost with nowhere close energy impact as a proof-of-work blockchain.

And even when you withdraw this vBAT to your custodial account (Uphold/Gemini/BitFlyer), due to brave’s brilliancy, transaction is still not on-chain and just through some APIs (saving gas fee). BAT would be energy-exhaustive only when a user will transact it on-chain. Brave has designed it’s system quite efficiently. :slightly_smiling_face:

As long as you use BAT within Brave or on a custodial account, energy impact would be miniscule.

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Ahh OK. So is it correct to say that Brave Rewards doesn’t run on a blockchain? It’s only if I wanted to trade it for another currency or product outside Brave that the chain would come into it, and that transaction would be on hosted on ethereum.

I would say, Brave runs on an internal ledger which is nothing like a proof-of-work blockchain.

With the exception of withdrawing/trading your BAT from browser to a partner exchange (Uphold/Gemini), trade/transaction from any self custody wallet would be on-chain (Ethereum).

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