Brave browser has now reached four million monthly active users according to Brendan Eich, its founder and CEO, who publicly revealed the latest stats.
He said Brave now has 26,000 publisher accounts with 21,000 verified channels, with the newest browser hoping to reach 5 million by the end of next year and more than 12 million next year.
Eich further said they will be adding “BAT ad deals to token grants,” with the ethereum based project ring-fencing millions of BAT tokens to give away for free or for referrals to increase adoption or now potentially to incentivize advertisers.
The daily active users numbers were not given, but Eich said it usually was at a 3 to 1 ratio, making it 1.3 million daily active users.
The total number of users is not clear, but there have been 10 million downloads in the Android app store. Showing some reasonable growth for the project with its user numbers doubling since April.
It remains, however, far below more established browsers. Chrome, for example, has some two billion users. Even Internet Explorer has more than one hundred million.
The browser is being actively developed with a planned upgrade aiming to use Chromium’s native user interface.
That may allow Brave users to have access to effectively all the extensions that Chrome has, potentially significantly improving the desktop version.
Moreover, they launched in June a pay to surf pilot whereby individuals receive Bats if they opt-in to view ads. The aim is to expand it to the point where it is available to all.
Those Bats are then intended to be used towards rewarding publishers, but that appears to be on a voluntary basis with individuals free to simply convert their bat into fiat instead.
That might make the bootstrapping of a basic attention economy a challenging endeavor because it is not very clear where publishers are properly incentivized in this set-up with the rewards so far amounting to effectively pennies a month.
Whether that will change is unclear, with this experiment, moreover, providing a potential alternative to Adsense which has been dominating online advertising for now more than a decade.
But whether that alternative will be any better remains to be seen, with the results so far, where publishers are concerned, not quite anywhere near a level where BAT can even enter the monetization equation.