Get rid of the KYC Requirement to send and receive BAT

I have been trying for close to two weeks now, longer if you count when I was having issues even getting BAT into my account balance, to get someone to tell me how to actually get my supposed “account balance” to show up in my wallet. I don’t even get replies from moderators. At this point I can only assume Brave “rewards” have a Know Your Customer AKA “privacy doesn’t matter to us” requirement. This is only further verified if you click the “verify wallet” button which says that “verifying is optional” (yeah right) BUUUUUT if you want to do literally anything with your BAT you must verify.

For a supposedly privacy respecting browser, this is simply unacceptable. You don’t need to know my identity for me to accrue the BAT (supposedly) in the first place, so why do you, or anyone else, need to know it for me to use those BAT as I see fit?

If you truly respect privacy, you should remove any and all required verification methods and allow unverified wallets to send, and if desired receive, BAT. If not, it should be made crystal clear on your website that you need to dox yourself to use any BAT you get as a result of ad revenue. Looking quickly over your website I see no such disclosure and, in fact, the “What is BAT” section says “You can keep BAT like any other crypto asset” of course conveniently excluding the part where you need to reveal your identity to actually USE said BAT for anything except tipping which you, of course, include.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am incredibly sick of supposed “privacy respecting” software that does anything but and I am sure there are plenty of others that are as well.

If you just want to earn some BAT and support creators with tips there is absolutely no requirement to do any KYC at all. If on the other hand you want to cash out your BAT you have to follow the rules, but cashing out is optional. This very subject gets discussed multiple times every single week, and what I am sick of is that people continue to bring it up.

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I’m not looking to “cash out” anything. Because you’re clearly implying I intend to sell. Maybe I just want it in MY wallet. Further if it’s discussed multiple times every week clearly more people want it so I was right. Maybe you’re the one in the wrong?

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Putting it in YOUR wallet IS cashing out.

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No, it’s not. As I said, the implication of “cashing out” is to sell, to trade, for something else. Perhaps use different words to avoid confusion. If you indeed meant that you need to “follow the rules” to simply move YOUR token that YOU earned, then that means the rules are just plain wrong. Would you be saying this to someone who wants to move paper money from one physical wallet under someone else’s supervision (say, a friend) to their own? I somehow doubt it.

That is not possible due to regulations. Brave, Uphold and Gemini are subject to their local regulations. Users are also subject to tax regulations. There is not much Brave can do. Brave does not make the laws.

Brave gives you rewards in the form of vBAT. You can hold them in the browser wallet or tip creators.
But, if you transfer them to a custodial wallet, they are converted to BAT and can be withdrawn, sold, traded, etc. These operations require KYC. And users may have to pay taxes over the profit they make.

Privacy is granted in the way you use the browser. Ads are not intrusive. There are no cookies tracking what you do and sharing your preferences.
But privacy cannot be granted in the way you make money. Unfortunately!

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Could you PLEASE point me to where KYC is required? The best I can find is an article about the EU supposedly requiring it, and even that I don’t know for certain since I haven’t actually seen the law itself. It also appears Brave is HQ’d in California USA, so US laws apply don’t they? So if you could make that US specific I would appreciate it. The best I’ve come across as far as the US is that the idea of requiring a middle man is, at best, being discussed, and is not yet law. So if they really wanted to follow these laws they should make it region specific. Why should any US citizen, or anyone else for that matter, be forced to live with the bad decisions of the EU?

To be entirely accurate I am not earning money. I am earning a virtual token, and the laws around cryptocurrencies vary widely. In the US it is somehow both an investment product and a currency depending on the law you’re talking about. What a mess! Even still, at least in the US, the onus is on the user to declare these things on their taxes, not the platform to dox you so THEY can tell the IRS how much you’re making. Even if that were not the case, all they’d have to do is hand the wallet address and IP info to the government if they really wanted to follow those ridiculous laws, and I’m sure in no time they could find you. This is not a privacy coin after all and the ledger is public.

KYC is required by the custodial wallets, not by Brave.
Brave wisely found a way not to be involved. They made it simple, if a user wants to withdraw their tokens, they must do it via a custodial wallet that is legally operating in the market. For most users it is Uphold and Gemini. For Japan is BitFlyer. In some other countries is not allowed to connect a custodial wallet.

On the custodial wallets side, they have to follow the local regulations of the different markets they operate. So, they need to know who the customer is. And they may apply different requirements depending on the customer’s country.

Currently it is a mess. No clear regulations exist, and they differ a lot from region to region.
In US some exchanges are allowed to operate in some states, but not in others. In EU is not different. Each country has a different approach.
There are also different players trying to have a saying in this whole market. Central banks, tax authorities, market supervisors. All trying to push their own regulations.
On top of that that are anti-fraud and anti-money-laundry regulations that are not compatible with customer privacy.

If an exchange/wallet wants to be in the global market, be legal, or at least not banned, then it must please all the regulatory bodies.

So, if you are looking for a simple law that explains where KYC is required. I am afraid you will not find a simple answer. :slight_smile:

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Indeed, but why require custodial wallets in the first place? It is not a “wise” move to force everyone to use custodial wallets that require KYC. Why not give the option to verify your wallet using a service that does not require KYC? They do exist you know, though they are getting harder to find specifically because people simply throw up their hands and say “whatever!”. And again I ask if this is just for certain places why not make it region specific?

Custodial wallets do not, I repeat, do. Not. follow only the local regulations. Most KYC platforms are KYC only because they want to be. Coinbase for example went KYC long before KYC was even being considered to be required, let alone actually required. They almost always, and I have yet to find a platform that doesn’t, apply KYC to all consumers or else ban users from countries where some form of KYC is required by law. I much prefer the latter frankly, but both are completely ridiculous.

That’s another thing, we, everyone, every human being needs to get out of the “global market” mindset. At the absolute least needs to make these things region specific, but frankly just pull out of countries altogether if they are not compatible with their core mission statement. That being said, I know there are some laws pretty much everywhere that are anti-privacy, but one battle at a time here. I don’t think many people disagree that KYC is unnecessary, intrusive, and annoying. If a government really wants to ban “non-custodial” wallets, just let them ban your service. Brave is a software company, headquartered in a country that, to the best of my knowledge at least, does not require KYC. Why is Brave kowtowing to them? Don’t they care about privacy and, again, I ask if they are going to force this on everyone it should be clear from the moment you land on their webpage that you will have to dox yourself to take any BAT you earn as a result of ad revenue. I know the main reason I installed this browser was because I thought that you could transfer BAT out at your leisure. It wasn’t until this first round of payments that I even started to suspect something. You might say that’s my fault or I’m lazy or whatever, but how many people do you think did the exact same thing? Privacy is supposedly brave’s goal, but how can anyone trust them if they aren’t willing to be completely upfront with you from the moment you land on their website about such a critical piece of information?

I frankly see no good reason for KYC, nor have I even heard a good excuse. So far it’s “just because” and I am, we are, supposed to be okay with that.

They have to comply with local regulations of the markets they operating in. Not only their local regulations, but basically worldwide. The only way to know where a customer is from, is asking to prove their identity.

You find it ridiculous until the day someone comes and steals your money from a platform. Then you complain that the platform should have the means to know who did it :stuck_out_tongue:

Can you show us where and when Brave asked you KYC? As far as I know, the only data Brave has from you is your wallet ID. And, if you are a creator, your email address.

Hahah, I though it was because it allows opening pages without those annoying popups, visiting websites that are otherwise blocked in your region, or using TOR. :stuck_out_tongue:

But I understand. The few dollars we can get per month are worth a beer
Cheers :beers:

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(I don’t know how to properly quote you so you’ll have to bear with me here)

They have to comply with … basically worldwide [regulations]
The only way to know where a customer is from, is asking to prove their identity.

All those exchanges which banned US citizens from operating on their platforms I’m sure would beg to differ. You IP tells where you’re from. If you’re using a VPN and there is some law prohibiting the activity you’re engaged in, that’s your fault, not the places you go (specifically in this case exchanes using KYC or custodial wallets).

You find it ridiculous until the day someone comes and steals your money from a platform. Then you complain that the platform should have the means to know who did it

I don’t keep cryptos on exchanges anymore for just this reason, with or without KYC. Even if I did and even if it did get stolen I would still find it ridiculous believe it or not. This is the same excuse everyone uses to ban Tor. “Some people on Tor do bad things so everyone on Tor must suffer!” No. That’s just dumb.

Can you show us where and when Brave asked you KYC?

Click on rewards on a fresh browser, then the verify wallet button. Since there is no way to move BAT without verifying, verifying is mandatory. Since verifying requires KYC Q.E.D KYC is mandatory to move your BAT around. Therefore in order to use BAT you get from ads (for anything besides tipping) you must verify which as explained requires KYC. Sure, they don’t ask you to KYC to use the browser, nor for tipping. But I daresay there are a fair amount of people who use the browser specifically for the ad rewards, myself included.

Hahah, I though it was because it allows opening pages without those annoying popups, visiting websites that are otherwise blocked in your region, or using TOR.

You can do all those things on other browsers. You can block javascript or add an adblocker for ads, visit websites using a VPN -specific browser, Tor or using a VPN on your OS, and Tor has it’s own browser. You’re just being cheeky because you don’t mind KYCing and don’t really see the reason anyone would besides money. Meanwhile I’m fundamentally against it for anything. I would no more like KYC to visit a website, use software or, in this case, get ad revenue.

I should also point out that you’d be better off privacy-wise using a browser not based in the chrom/e/ium source code

Thought i’d just lighten the tone in the room, by posting a random picture

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I think your choice of username says it all.

Sometimes in life you have to accept that if it is not your trainset it’s not up to you to decide how you are allowed to play with it

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Thanks :slightly_smiling_face:. I don’t know why these people are getting so hostile about the KYC requirement. I’m trying my best not to retaliate and simply argue my point but it’s very difficult. :sweat_smile:

You keep saying that I just have to deal as if those are some kind of magic words that are supposed to make me shut up. Sorry, but they won’t. If Brave moderators want to delete my post though, or even ban me, then that’s a whole different thing.

@poutain ,

Re: “how to actually get my supposed ‘account balance’ to show up in my wallet”

What do you mean by ‘my wallet’, specifically? Do you mean the ‘Brave Wallet’ that is built into Brave Browser?

@rodrige is correct, where he wrote:

“Brave gives you rewards in the form of vBAT.”

Though some of us who are not fluent in Brave Rewards lingo, are left wondering about the how and the why of that giving. (I’ll get to Brave documentation, in a moment.)

My understanding, re vBAT, is that, they are virtual Basic Attention Token(s) - ie. crypto token(s). And, cryptocurrency coins are crypto tokens, but not all crypto tokens are cryptocurrency. I mention that, because people (and Brave documentation) throw around the word “crypto” without being clear for the benefit of the reader.

Next, @rodrige writes:

“You can hold them in the browser wallet or tip creators.”

Apparently, he means, that you can hold vBAT in the Brave Browser wallet (ie the ‘Brave Wallet’).

(EDITED: But, according to Brave documentation, it seems that ONLY BAT [not vBAT] may be stored in a Brave Wallet.)

Brave documentation:

https://brave.com/brave-rewards/

There, Brave writes:

“By default, the Brave Browser rips out all the creepy ads & trackers from every web page you visit”

Brave used to “rip out” said items, but not since the recent (Apr. 27, 2022) Brave Browser v1.38.109 update, wherein the default was flipped for Brave Shields (Lion icon) to be Disabled for some users.

Moving down the web page to “What can you do with BAT?” . . .

Note that Brave writes, that you can use BAT (not vBAT) “to tip websites & content creators.”

Later, Brave writes: “BAT is flexible, transferable, and oh-so-easy to use.”

When it is readily apparent at the Brave Community, that statement by Brave, is a major challenge.

Just a bit further down the web page, Brave writes: “What does tipping mean?”

“Brave users can directly support websites & creators with one-time tips or automatic contributions of BAT.”

Now, let us say, that you have been rewarded with vBAT, for your participation in Brave Rewards, using Brave Browser (and its Brave Wallet? < - NO).

Based upon the Brave documentation to this point, it sounds like, a reward of vBAT become BAT when in your Brave Wallet within the Brave Browser installation on your computing device.

How do vBAT become BAT? (I wonder.) Going to other Brave documentation, “State of the BAT”:

https://brave.com/state-of-the-bat/

There, scrolling down to “BAT Utility in Brave” - “Brave Rewards: Private Hybrid Utility”

“The primary method for users to earn and utilize BAT is by viewing opt-in Brave Ads and earning virtual BAT (vBAT) through Brave Rewards. Brave Rewards provides a hybrid model; if users elect to verify their Rewards wallet through Brave’s custodial partner, they are able to reify vBAT as BAT for custodial and on-chain transaction”

“Reify” means to make things more concrete, real.

But, the first sentence in that paragraph, is what interests re vBAT. Because (reading further on the web page), part of the “Brave Rewards Utility: Hybrid Model” seems to be for tipping publishers and content creators.

Publishers and content creators must first, register with Brave Rewards, by joining Brave Rewards and satisfying other requirements set by Brave Rewards:

https://creators.brave.com/no_js

Then, the Brave Rewards Utility: Hybrid Model, combined with the Publishers and Content Creators registered participation in Brave Rewards, provides the way for your vBAT that you tip . . . becoming BAT for those whom you have tipped.

You get to maintain the Privacy and Security afforded by:

  • Brave Browser Shields
  • Brave Browser settings
  • other Brave Browser features

. . . up to and including all that processing by which, vBAT become BAT for whomever you tip.

Re Brave Browser users who establish custodial wallets and must KYC/verify such custodial wallets, you are correct, that there is much increased risk of passing along to some Internet entity, the personal and private information.

And because of that risk, there ought to be, on a single Brave documentation web page, a FULL DISCLOSURE - instead of interested parties having to hunt around and piece together the various ingredients.

Meanwhile, your OP issue:

Re: “how to actually get my supposed ‘account balance’ to show up in my wallet”

See: https://brave.com/wallet/

How is Brave Wallet different from Brave Rewards?

Brave Rewards is tied to Brave Private Ads. Brave Browser users who opt-in to Brave Rewards will see privacy-preserving, first-party ads in certain locations as they browse. By viewing these ads, users can earn a crypto token called the Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Brave Wallet is a tool that allows you to buy, store, send, and swap almost any crypto asset & NFT, connect other wallets and web3 DApps, and generally manage your whole crypto portfolio. You cannot transfer Brave Rewards directly to the Brave Wallet. However, you can move Brave Rewards funds to Uphold, Gemini, or BitFlyer and then withdraw from there to Brave Wallet.

What that DOES NOT make clear, is that, for your vBAT to become BAT (other than, by way of the Publishers and Content Creators example, preceding) and thus store-able within your Brave Wallet, you can [read: must] move your “Brave Rewards funds” in a manner that requires KYC/verification.

May interest:

https://www.reddit.com/r/brave_browser/comments/qvkm4t/theres_a_very_good_reason_why_bat_rewards_cant_be/

Including a comment by Jixxxerr much like your concern:

“Yeah, but doesn’t this defeat the purpose of what brave is all about? I mean I get your point but think about kids that use Brave but cannot ID themselves on Uphold or Gemini? or even adults that don’t want to give up their privacy (which brave is supposed to be about) to third party companies. I think there needs to be a way to transfer brave rewards to your wallet without a third party involved. Sure, the brave wallet may be better than MetaMask for the given reasons brave states but what’s the point in their own rewards if you have to use a third party anyways?”

Specifically, therein:

“there needs to be a way to transfer brave rewards to your wallet without a third party involved”

Footnote: Not clear: WHERE vBAT are stored, other than somewhere within your Brave Browser installation on your computing device . . . but again, according to Brave documentation, that vBAT storage location is NOT in your Brave Wallet.

June 4, 2022 updated list of regions for verifying Brave Rewards with a custodial wallet provider - posted by @chriscat:

In what region / nation, are you located?

Click the Get Geo Location Data button, at:

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Fully agree with poutain here. We don’t have to KYC to transfer eth or btc we get from mining, we don’t have to kyc to transfer rewards we get from DeFi protocols, etc. Why do we need to kyc to transfer the BAT we earn? This is not what crypto is about. This is centralized bs and overreach

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It’s more complicated, when you earn reward from DeFi protocols, it’s you making work your tokens; Brave it’s a middleman between the adevertisers that pays in dollars and you earning from them. By the way if you want to cash out earnings from any Defi, you still have to pass for an exchange so KYC.