Brave, the crypto-centric and privacy focused browser from Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich has announced yet another Tor integration that will allow the platform’s users to view Brave pages from the dark web.
A Tweet published by Brave.com to update users of the dark web development (Source: Twitter)
Essentially, Tor browser is the gateway to the world of hidden sites as it enables user access to .onion links for a variety of purposes. The Tor search engine works by masking user browsing activity and individual identity through a series of relays set up across the world.
Apart from the criminal activity that has been synonymous with Tor usage, various other legitimate users continue to benefit from the privacy tool – including researchers, activists and civic observers looking to circumvent the mechanisms set by oppressive regimes to suppress freedom of speech.
The Significance of Tor Integration
Looking back, Brave adopted Tor integration in 2018 and ran some of its relays until the latest dark web development.
The decision to acquire its own Tor address will go into enabling the company’s online platforms to be directly accessible from the dark web – that is, instead of users clicking on the Brave.com link, Brave.onion will accord visitors the much-needed privacy as the new mechanism will protect people’s metadata like location information.
According to Ben Kero, an Engineer at Brave, the company placed Brave websites on the dark web through a 15-minute technical process. First, mining was used to acquire an address on the onion network to create a private key via specific computational resources.
Thereafter, Brave acquired an .onion address and a private key that would enable the company to promote their availability within the hidden network, as well as their capacity to admit online traffic being sent to the dark web address.
The procedure that followed the mining process was marked by Brave booting up the Enterprise Onion Toolkit to allow users to proxy traffic to conventional website domains on Brave.com.
Further, the Brave team configured an SSL certificate that authenticates the security of domains and ascertains that the information traversing across them is protected by an encryption process. This function can be likened to the regular “Your connection is not private” messages that are normally encountered by Chrome users – usually used to expose web pages that lack the SSL certificate.
A Crypto-Friendly Browser Under Controversy
Brave has been an enabler of privacy-first browsing since inception. The company’s crypto-centric browser issues crypto rewards to users watching adverts, as well as content creators serving a broad range of online purposes.
In March 2020, the company announced a partnership with Binance, the notable blockchain firm boasting the world’s biggest crypto exchange by trading volume. The collaboration would see the Brave browser offering a smooth platform for trading in virtual currency assets.
Among the unique features on the Brave browser has been a new Binance widget, which turns out to be the only browser with integrated crypto trading functionality.
The Binance widget allows users to access the Binance website to buy and sell virtual coins -including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and various other digital assets that are supported by the trading platform- without the need to exit the Brave browser.
Otherwise, in other news, as reported by crypto news platform Decrypt, Brave was recently faulted for allegedly redirecting typed URL for Binance to an affiliate version of the website without user consent – it resulted in Brave earning revenue from the arrangement.
The redirect was first reported by Twitter user Yannick Eckl who revealed that Brave earns money whenever a user is redirected to the affiliate link ‘binance[.]us/en?ref=35089877. The practice, which has been seen to be a “betrayal of trust” for Brave users, was termed as a “mistake” by Brave co-founder and CEO Eich.