Brave hits 20 million monthly users a year after 1.0 release

Browser that replaces ads with its own advertisements has completed 2,000 campaigns.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Brave

Kicking off in 2016, Brave saw its first 1.0 release almost 4 years later, and following another trip around the Sun, it has hit the milestone of 20.5 million active monthly users.

At the same time last year, the browser had 8.7 million active monthly users, and of the 20 million monthly users, 7 million are daily users, which represents more than a doubling of last year's 3 million.

Brave added that since Apple allowed browsers other than its own to be the default option on iOS, it has seen its iOS user base increase by a third.

One of the touted features of the browser is that it hates ads, and will go out of its way to block them, unless users decide to see Brave-powered advertisements. To that end, Brave has hit "2 billion ad confirmation events" and completed 2,215 campaigns from over 460 companies. The browser maker says its users have a click-through rate of 9%, way and away outstripping industry averages.

The browser also has its own cryptocurrency, Basic Attention Tokens, that users use to "tip" content creators. Thus far, 26 million of the tokens have been sent to creators. At the time of writing, the blockchain-based token is trading for just under 18 cents, meaning $4.6 million has been sent from users.

"Users are fed up with surveillance capitalism, and 20 million people have switched to Brave for an entirely new web ecosystem with an opt-in ad economy that puts them back in control of their browsing experience," said Brendan Eich, CEO and co-founder of Brave.

"The global privacy movement is gaining traction, and this milestone is just one more step in our journey to make privacy-by-default a standard for all Web users."

In June, Brave was caught out for auto-completing certain URLs to append a referral id.

Eich said at the time it was a mistake, while others looked at Brave's source code and found it was doing the same thing to links to Ledger, Trezor, and Coinbase.

"The autocomplete default was inspired by search query clientid attribution that all browsers do, but unlike keyword queries, a typed-in URL should go to the domain named, without any additions. Sorry for this mistake – we are clearly not perfect, but we correct course quickly," Eich said.

A patch was later made to disable the functionality by default.

While Brave boasts of hitting its 20 million number, Firefox has reported having 10 times that number to sit above 220 million. According to Statcounter, Firefox's market share is 4%, while Chrome itself has 66% of the market, giving it an install base measured in multiple billions.

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