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Brave Web Browser Cuts South Africa Off From Withdrawing Crypto Rewards
Open source Chromium-based web browser Brave has blocked South Africans from withdrawing cryptocurrency rewards earned by viewing advertisements in the application.
Ankita K.
7:51 10th Oct, 2022

Brave offers additional functionality focused on privacy and blockchain technology.

These include Brave’s firewall and VPN, privacy-preserving search, a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, and Brave Shields.

Brave Shields blocks fingerprinting, cross-site cookies, and automatically upgrades connections to web servers to use secure HTTP.

On Sunday, 9 October 2022, BAT was available for R5.45 per token on South African cryptocurrency exchange VALR, though you have to buy a minimum of R250 per transaction.

To withdraw BAT from Brave to sell or exchange it for a different cryptocurrency, you must link the browser to one of Brave’s partner providers — Gemini, Uphold, and BitFlyer.

BitFlyer is only available to users in Japan, and Gemini restricted new Brave users to the United States at the start of October.

This was after Gemini dropped support for several countries in May, including South Africa.

South African withdrawals remained available through Uphold. However, in July, Brave announced that it was restricting the countries it supports through Uphold to 18 regions.

South Africa was not among them, even though it is not on Uphold’s list of unsupported jurisdictions, suggesting the decision was Brave’s.

Those whose Uphold wallets were already linked to Brave could continue to accrue rewards to the platform until they were naturally logged out over time.

Uphold requires users to reauthenticate every 90 days or if their accounts hit 250 BAT.

By the start of October, when the last few South Africans who might’ve still been logged into Uphold had to reauthenticate, Brave had not yet resolved the issue preventing it from supporting the country.

Brave has been tight-lipped about why it has dropped support for so many countries, but on Friday, Brave Rewards product manager Christopher Nguyen provided some details on Reddit.

“One reason would be unsustainable patterns of fraud,” Nguyen said.

“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, fraudsters are also becoming bolder, broadening their attacks to include a wider set of countries, including ones with strong ID document integrity.

“Sometimes, business decisions need to be made to ensure the partnership remains sustainable for both Brave and the custodial partner,” stated Nguyen.

“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.”

As part of bringing countries back online, Nguyen said Brave Rewards would soon require users to declare their country.

“This is major in helping us combat the abuse of Brave Rewards that’s harming the experience for everyone else, and represents a major step toward allowing us to re-enable a wide set of regions.”

Nguyen advised users whose Brave Rewards were still connected to their Gemini or Uphold accounts not to disconnect even though it says they are logged out.

“Even if it says ‘Logged out’, you’re still considered connected to Gemini (or Uphold) to us, and should still be receiving ad payouts,” he said.


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