Finally tried to get into Brave/Brave Rewards today, after hearing so much about it. Learned you need to be verified through Uphold to withdraw or use any of it. Had a headache of doing that with Uphold’s broken website and unhelpful support, but got that done, only to learn it was useless to me anyway because I live in New York. (There was a notice that it didn’t support some things in New York, but I thought, SURELY they only mean specific features, and there’s still SOME way to get the money out? lol. nope.)
Then I thought, oh, well, maybe it’s a temporary thing, maybe I can still use it and by the time I have more than 3 cents in my account, it will work. Googled around a little to try to get an ETA. Found discussions of this problem going back three years, with Uphold sounding optimistic that it would be resolved any minute now in 2019, 2018, and 2017. Increasingly skeptical that this will ever be fixed.
I saw that other wallets, such as Coinbase and Gemini, can deal in BAT in NY. I thought, surely this is a popular request? As it turns out, it is, and not just from New Yorkers. Just skimming this forum I saw users saying they’d been suddenly and unexpectedly banned from Uphold, despite doing nothing wrong, with no recourse available to them, even though they were, once again, legitimate users–and that any money they had in there, regardless of the amount, was forever lost to them. This is highway robbery. You can’t just make up a reason to ban people and then steal all the money they have in there? That’s literally theft. And worse, it means that all future earnings are also impossible/instantly set on fire.
Meanwhile, I see other users saying they’re letting their earnings accumulate as BAT instead of turning them into fiat, because they think that the exchange rate might improve significantly. That’s certainly a gamble, isn’t it? Never mind whether BAT appreciates or depreciates in value, what’s the point of holding onto it at all, if you could simply lose it all overnight, due to your location suddenly being blacklisted, or Uphold just having some other problem/excuse to steal your money?
You realize that for a whole bunch of users, this basically makes the only reason to use Brave completely unusable? And no, like, don’t with the “it’s good for other reasons.” I’m sure it’s a great browser, but anti-tracking and adblock stuff exists on other browsers (sure, maybe not natively, but “oh noes I have to install a third-party extension” is very different from “completely impossible to do, with no recourse,” which is what the wallet is now for New Yorkers), Chromium is pretty standard. The selling point has always been, “you can make money while using it.” Every single time I’ve heard someone recommend Brave, or talk about using Brave, it was in the context of making money for using it. Which is kind of, um, broken, if it’s impossible to make a single cent for using it. This isn’t just a minor quibble, this is a serious, fundamental problem in the main selling point of the browser. Given how many people have frustrations with Uphold, I’d say it’s likely one of the main reasons Brave isn’t more popular. All the other stuff on here, little UI tweaks and engine requests, sure, you’ll make 20 nerds happy, I approve of that (I’m usually one of those 20 nerds with the oddly specific requests, hi) but this would literally change the main function of the browser from being 100% unusable to potentially usable for millions of people.
And I think if you aren’t hearing from those users, it’s because most people, after having a frustrating waste of time trying to use something that literally does not allow them to use it because of their address, or some other bullshit problem Uphold had with them, don’t want to throw more time and energy into making an account to yell about it, especially when that seems unlikely to actually do anything. I don’t even know why I’m doing it. I should be smart like all the other users and just quietly uninstall it and hold a grudge. Just. What is even the point if the payment system doesn’t work. Can you imagine if you applied for a job, and they could show you how much you were earning, but their payroll system hasn’t actually been able to pay people in years, and you just have to trust that someday it will.
What’s most frustrating about this is that there’s no real excuse for it. It’s not that NY laws are too strict, since Coinbase and Gemini figured it out. It’s just that you refuse to integrate other wallets, despite repeated requests for it. Why? This is so eminently fixable, yet it feels like no one wants to bother.
Please, no one tell me that it’s still possible to donate money to content creators while in NY. First person to say that owes me $5 USD via paypal. I am too broke and tired for this, and probably going a little insane from two months of lockdown. Look. 1) money going to me and money going to someone who is not me are kind of not interchangeable, people can’t buy food with the warm satisfying feeling that they supported content creators, and 2) I’m a content creator myself, when do I get paid? lol, never, because New York. When do people in my community get paid? Never, for the same reason. Can I support local artists? No. This isn’t acceptable.
Yet this is fixable. Just allow other wallets. Even if Uphold has promised you their firstborn child or something, at least make it available to people who have had some kind of problem with Uphold that cannot be resolved. This is a catastrophic choke point with absolutely no flexibility or resiliency here, guys. The entire point of the browser should not be broken for millions of users for something that isn’t their fault, and is impossible to even upgrade their way out of. Buying a nicer device I might have wanted to do at some point anyway, moving to a different state to use an internet browser and make pennies on ads is absurd and not going to happen. Yet you could allow other wallets and resolve all this! Please.