Google Chrome rival Brave reports another big jump in users

In the app economy, can Apple and Google set the rules undisturbed?

Brave, the Chromium-based and privacy-focused browser, now has 50 million monthly active users.

That total means user numbers have more than doubled from the 24 million it had at the end of 2020.

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To put Brave’s milestone in perspective, Google has billions of active users on Chrome, Android, iOS and Windows. Nonetheless, Brave has grown from a user base of 1.2 million in 2017 after launching in 2016: version 1.0 of the browser was released in November 2019.

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Its main pitch to people is that doesn’t sell targeted ads but rather trades attention via cryptocurrency. Brave offers users the choice of viewing ads in exchange for its cryptocurrency, the Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Brave argues that people want private browsers with tools that let them unshackle from the ad-sponsored internet that funds Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

Privacy has become a competitive differentiator amongst browser makers, most of whom use Google’s open-source Chromium project for their products, including Opera, Microsoft Edge and Vivaldi.

Brave launched a new search engine while privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo recently launched its own browser.

Brave claims it had 2.3 billion queries on its search engine between June to December 2021. Brave doesn’t share revenue details but claims its BAT revenues have grown by a factor of four in the past 12 months and that it now has 8 million uses who earn BAT via Brave Rewards.

It also boasts its commercial success, naming household brand customers including Ford, PayPal, Toyota, Mastercard, Intel, Crocs, BMW, Keurig, American Express, Budweiser, Walmart, Amazon, and The Home Depot, as well as major crypto clients Binance, Coinbase, Crypto.com, eToro, Gemini, and Solana.

“Passing 50 million users is a tremendous milestone for our company. It is also a powerful confirmation of the global movement underway led by users seeking alternatives to the surveillance economy,” said Brendan Eich, chef and co-founder of Brave.

“We’ve spent a successful year expanding our product range and our ecosystem, engaging with partners who share our vision for a Web free from Big Tech’s shackles. We have seen an incredible response among our users, creators, and community. We aim to double this growth again in 2022 and engage with even more users who seek a privacy-conscious way to browse the Web that rewards them instead of punishes them with tracking, and helps them directly support creators.”

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