Brave, an open-source blockchain-powered browser, has integrated IPFS, the peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol designed to make the Web faster, safer, and more open.
Brave blocks invasive ads and online trackers, reduces page loading time, and guards from ads infected with malware. Brave allows users to anonymously and automatically reward publisher content by donating basic attention tokens (BAT) through the integrated Brave Payments system in the browser.
IPFS is a protocol and peer-to-peer network for storing and sharing data in a distributed file system. IPFS uses content-addressing to uniquely identify each file in a global namespace connecting all computing devices. It allows users to not only receive but host content, in a similar manner to BitTorrent. As opposed to a centrally located server, IPFS is built around a decentralized system of user-operators who hold a portion of the overall data, creating a resilient system of file storage and sharing. Any user in the network can serve a file by its content address, and other peers in the network can find and request that content from any node who has it using a distributed hash table (DHT).
IPFS was incorporated into Brave desktop browser update (version 1.19), enabling its 24 million monthly active users to access content directly from IPFS by resolving ipfs:// URIs via a gateway or installing a full IPFS node in one click. When installing a full node, this will allow Brave users to load content over IPFS’ p2p network, hosted on their own node. Integrating IPFS provides Brave users with a significantly enhanced browsing experience, increasing the availability of content, offloading server costs from the content publisher, and improving the overall resilience of the Internet.
“We’re thrilled to be the first browser to offer a native IPFS integration with today’s Brave desktop browser release,” said Brian Bondy, CTO and co-founder of Brave. “Providing Brave’s 1 million+ verified content creators with the power to seamlessly serve content to millions of new users across the globe via a new and secure protocol, IPFS gives users a solution to the problem of centralized servers creating a central point of failure for content access. IPFS’ innovative content addressing uses Content Identifiers (CIDs) to form an address based on the content itself as opposed to locating data based on the address of a server. Integrating the IPFS open-source network is a key milestone in making the Web more transparent, decentralized, and resilient.”
This collaboration is extremely timely as Big Tech continues to sidestep concerns of data privacy. Data security and privacy debates have been playing out on the world stage for years in the ongoing antitrust efforts, and the demand for control to be in the hands of the user has never been more palpable.
“Bringing the benefits of the dWeb to Brave users, IPFS’ efforts to remove systemic data censorship by corporations and nation-states are now strengthened through the integration with Brave,” said Molly Mackinlay, Project Lead at IPFS. “Today, Web users across the world are unable to access restricted content, including, for example, parts of Wikipedia in Thailand, over 100,000 blocked websites in Turkey, and critical access to COVID-19 information in China. Now anyone with an internet connection can access this critical information through IPFS on the Brave browser.”
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