After the recent drama concerning the Google Manifesto and the firing of its writer, James Damore, Google began to receive considerable fire from advocates for free speech. Firing an individual on the basis of his or her socio-political ideologies is illegal in California, where Google is based in. Yet, this is precisely what occurred when Damore came out of the conservative closet, so to speak, with the concern that Google was cultivating an “ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.” As Damore suggested that the disparity of female representation in certain academic and career fields are caused by a “distribution of traits” between men and women, liberal Google employees absolutely devoured the guy, resulting the CEO stepping in to provide a statement on the matter. 

After these events, it became gradually more noticeable that Google had developed a particular leftist bend, and in some cases, the famous search engine expressed notoriously anti-white sentiment. For example, if one were to search, “white man white woman,” only interracial couples would pop up in the results, and if one were to search “Europeans in art,” one would only find images of dark-skinned individuals. Moreover, YouTube, a property of Google, has recently teamed with the Anti-Defamation League, among other anti-hate speech organizations, to combat right-wing ideology on its content platform.

As a backlash against Google’s seemingly authoritarian left-wing approach to censoring traditional and conservative positions, many internet users are flocking to third-party browsers, notably, Brave. Brave is an open-sourced internet browser that claims to share less data with advertising customers and promotes a private browsing experience. Brendan Eich, CEO and Founder of Brave Software, is an American technologist, expert in JavaScript, and co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox. The reception to Brave’s internet browser has been overwhelmingly positive, with many users claiming that its speeds are unparalleled to other mediums such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. 

On March 23, 2017, Eich and a correspondence team of programmers and digital engineers announced the production of a new blockchain-based digital advertising platform. This platform was stated to be Ethereum-based, and dedicated to allowing “publishers, advertisers, and users to connect in a more efficient, transparent and decentralized marketplace that reduces fraud, privacy violations, and malvertisements while increasing publisher revenue.”The decentralization of digital advertisements means that contemporary monopolized field of the online marketplace, dominated by services such as Google and, to a slightly lesser extent, Amazon, means that the total market is opened up, and a freer platform for exchanging goods is becoming available. 

This decentralized platform for digital advertising is called Basic Attention Token (BAT), and is the second part of solving the modern issue of the monopolization of digital and online utilities, the first of which was the launching of Brave.

“Digital advertising is broken,” claims BAT. “It is a market filled with middlemen and fraudsters, hurting users, publishers and advertisers. The Basic Attention Token (BAT) was developed to address this. BAT, an ERC20 token built on top of Ethereum, will be the token of utility in a new, decentralized, open source and efficient blockchain-based digital advertising platform.”

The launching of BAT will result in a freer, decentralized, cryptocurrency-based mode of exchanging goods for services, which will create an economically successful digital marketplace. This is bad news for Google, whose AdSense program depends on the publication of private browsing sessions to thrive. As the project continues towards its publication and reception continues to be overwhelmingly positive, Google may soon find itself in a pickle. The world desires to be free, and Brave, realizing this reality, has begun to cater to the massive freedom-seeking consumer base. Will Google awaken to its rapid decline into worthlessness, or will it continue down the hole of censorship and leftism? Either way, the creators at Brave and BAT will likely possess the free world’s unwavering support for their cause, making them a viable rival to digital monopolies, indeed.