I had recently contacted various people from Brave to share concerns that many of you have shared in regards to restrictions and understanding why they were happening. I’m hoping perhaps they’ll make an official post here or in the Help Center for everyone, but in the meanwhile I figured I’d share the response from Chriscat (Product Manager for Rewards), which you can see quoted below or you can read the original post on Reddit.
I hope I can provide some more context here. First, there are two kinds of region reductions that have occurred:
- Type-1: Where certain regions stop being supported by our custodial partner(s) entirely
- Type-2: Where certain regions are still serviced by our custodial partner(s), but accounts from those regions can no longer be connected to Brave Rewards
An example of Type-1 would be when Uphold stopped servicing Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and countries in the Balkans. Naturally, when a custodial partner stops servicing a region, that region will no longer be supported for connecting to Brave Rewards (with that custodian). Unlike Type-2 changes, Type-1 can affect existing users, since the underlying custodial account is no longer considered valid.
An example of Type-2 would include the earlier restrictions on Philippines, India, or the recent reduction from 19 countries to just the US for Gemini. The reasons behind any given Type-2 reduction vary from case to case, and usually involve a combination of factors.
As we’ve mentioned in previous announcements, one reason would be unsustainable patterns of fraud. For instance, it may be very easy to acquire or forge government IDs from certain countries, making them more difficult to support in a sustainable way. However, it’s worth mentioning that as fraudsters become more bold over time, they also broaden their attacks to include a wider set of countries, including ones you’d normally associate with having strong ID document integrity.
Another would be insufficient localization for a given region (i.e., the UI/UX, KYC process, support process, etc.). Providing a localized experience is primary for retention, and it is hard to actually retain a user if, say, your UI/UX is not available in their native language. It’s also important for fraud prevention, since different methods are used for different regions. An example in this direction was when Gemini was first reduced to 19 countries, which we alluded to in our announcement when we wrote: “Gemini and Brave together are re-evaluating the sign-up flows to ensure that they are sufficiently clear and straightforward for users.”
In sum, what’s important to remember is that our custodial partners help provide some very important services. These services carry operational costs, including ID-verification, infrastructure maintenance, customer support, fraud prevention & compliance, and so on. Sometimes, business decisions need to be made to ensure the partnership remains sustainable for both Brave and the custodial partner, and the particulars of these decisions—i.e., the exact combination of factors, their weights, etc.—can only be determined on a case-by-case basis, and is different for each partner. Altogether, a decision was made to focus new Gemini signups that come through Brave Rewards to the United States, and we continue to work closely with Gemini to see when more regions can be brought back.
When will countries come back?
We’ve been working very hard on changes that will allow us to bring back more countries. These are not just empty promises. For example:
- Moving forward, to begin or continue using Brave Rewards, users will need to declare their country. These changes are now in the Nightly version of Brave.
We will also ask you to select your country, which we will use to assign a country code to your Rewards Payment ID. The country code helps us ensure Ads are displayed to individuals depending on their country. We will also use the country code to help us prevent fraud.
It’s also worth mentioning that some countries are already being brought back online. Yesterday, Colombia was brought back online for Uphold.
- If you’re already connected to Gemini (even if you do not have a US Gemini account), these changes will not affect you. As of this second, if you are logged out of your Gemini account, it may say that you can’t log back in because your region is not supported. But this error will be resolved in the coming week, and then you will be able to log back in. More importantly, even if it says “Logged out”, you’re still considered connected to Gemini (or Uphold) to us, and should still be receiving ad payouts to your Gemini account!
- Uphold still supports a wider range of countries, and you can find the list of supported countries here
I hope this was helpful, and I thank everyone for sharing their feedback.