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The CoinDesk 50: Brave Browser Delivered and BAT’s a DeFi Darling

Crypto loves a troublemaker. When the Brave browser debuted in 2016, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) sent it a cease and desist letter:

“You are hereby notified that Brave’s plan to replace our clients’ paid advertising content with its own advertising violates the law, and the undersigned publishers intend to fully enforce their rights.”

Brave’s founder, Brendan Eich, previously led Mozilla and watched what the surveillance economy was doing to the internet. As web users will tell you, looking at ads isn’t really the problem; it’s that the ads look back.

This post is part of the CoinDesk 50, an annual selection of the most innovative and consequential projects in the blockchain industry. See the full list here.

The plan for Brave was to break that model by delivering ads directly to internet users and then rewarding them for their attention when they chose to give it. Thus, the Basic Attention Token (BAT) was born amid the initial coin offering (ICO) boom of 2017. Brave’s modest (for the time) $35 million token sale sold out in seconds.

“Out of all ‘utility’ tokens on Ethereum, BAT is one of the few that backs a finished product – the Brave browser,” Lucas Nuzzi of Coin Metrics told CoinDesk in an email.

Delivering on its promise to launch a new ad platform in April 2019 seems to have made a difference. Shortly thereafter, venture capitalists gave Brave a fresh $30 million to keep going. But consumer opt-ins to the ad network have not exploded, perhaps because the returns are small and users have to go through Uphold to get paid. It’s a lot of friction.

“The number of addresses with a balance greater than 0, which is seen by many as a proxy for adoption, is still somewhat flat,” Nuzzi said. That figure has been hovering around 100,000 since the launch of Brave ads last April, with only a slow, gradual increase, according to Coin Metrics data.

Users may not think the rewards have proven to be worth the trouble. Still, the long-tail approach may be a winning, if unsexy, strategy for Brave’s long-term relevance.

Regardless, the ad blocking it launched with still works great.

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The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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David Dalrymple Charged With 1982 Murder of Daralyn Johnson, Crime That Landed Charles Fain on Idaho Death Row

Idaho police say they have solved the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl nearly 38 years ago—for the second time.

David Dalrymple, who is already serving time for molesting a child, was charged Monday with killing Daralyn Johnson, a crime another man was convicted of only to be exonerated after 18 years on death row.

“This is a day that a local family has been waiting for over nearly four decades,” Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Taylor said at a news conference.

“It’s a day that will in time see wrongs righted and justice served.”

Daralyn left her home in Nampa at 8 a.m. on Feb. 21, 1982, but never made it to school. Her body was found by fishermen three days later in a drain ditch near the Snake River.

An autopsy determined that she had been sexually assaulted and beaten, though the cause of her death was drowning.

After a yearlong investigation, a local man named Charles Fain was arrested on less-than-ironclad evidence: His hair was similar to hair found on the body; he had a car that looked like one seen near the crime scene; and jailhouse informants testified against him.

Fain passed a polygraph, but the jury that convicted him never heard about it and he was locked up on death row—where he continued to proclaim his innocence.

In 2001, Fain was exonerated after DNA tests that were not available at the time of his conviction showed he was not the killer.

Canyon County authorities say the case has remained active since then.

According to a 2011 story in the Idaho Statesman, a lieutenant in the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office followed leads to Arizona, California, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon, and Oklahoma, and checked the DNA of more than a dozen men without any hits.

In 2018, Sheriff Kieran Donahue’s office sent a pubic hair that was found on Daralyn’s body to a lab in California, and genealogical DNA sleuthing led investigators to Dalrymple’s family, according to a probable cause affidavit.

He was already doing 20 to life for kidnapping and sexually abusing a little girl in 2004, and police believe he has more victims. They said they have identified two other girls who say they were molested by him but never reported it.

Dalrymple, 62, was questioned in prison in February but denied being in Nampa at the time of Daralyn’s murder, according to prosecutors. However, investigators were able to disprove his various alibis.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, authorities will wait until the summer to serve the arrest warrant on him.

Daralyn’s parents could not be reached for comment, but in 2011 they said they were still hoping for a break in the case.

“It’s still just really hard,” Dennis Johnson said then. “Maybe I just haven’t come to any kind of terms with it. But if there’s any chance of anything coming from it, then it’s worth it.”

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