Brave Faces Backlash For Autofilling Binance Affiliate Links

brave browser

Brave, a cryptocurrency-based privacy-focused web browser, has recently faced criticism for filling an affiliate link to its web address when users go to the website for leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance and its United States-based subsidiary Binance.US.

The automatic linking was brought up on Twitter and the cryptocurrency community on the social media platform gave attention to the issue.

Privacy-focused cryptocurrency Monero’s Riccardo Spagni (@fluffypony) also jumped in, offering his opinion on the matter.

“I don’t want my browser touching the URL I type in the address bar. Not only does it train users to allow random changes to the URL they type in, but what’s to stop them from forwarding me to a different wallet when I want to visit MyCryptoWallet?”

Brave CEO Acknowledges “Mistake”

Brave’s CEO Brendan Eich weighed in, after explaining to users that Brave has partnered with Binance, admitting that the company “made a mistake” and are correcting it by removing the autocompleting of the affiliate link:

“We are a Binance affiliate, we refer users via the opt-in trading widget on the new tab page, but autocomplete should not add any code.”

In a thread of tweets, Eich added that Brave is trying to build a viable business model which places privacy at the forefront for users, but saying that they “seek skin-in-game affiliate revenue too.” He continued:

“This includes bringing new users to Binance & other exchanges via opt-in trading widgets/other UX that preserves privacy prior to opt-in. It includes search revenue deals, as all major browsers do. When we do this well, it’s a win for all parties. Our users want Brave to live.”

After concluding that this strategy was influenced and inspired by search query clientID attribution that many other browsers do, he admitted the flaw, offering an apology: ‘

“Sorry for this mistake — we are clearly not perfect, but we correct course quickly.”

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