It's been awhile around here since we checked in on the growth the Brave ecosystem, which offers publishers more independence and users more privacy.
Turns out it's still chugging along nicely, according to a tweet by Brave CEO Brendan Eich earlier today touting some recent user stats. He mentioned that daily average users of the Brave web browser are now at 2.8 million, and monthly average users are 7.9 million.
Eich didn't mention a baseline comparison for those user stats – I don't recall ever hearing DAU and MAU metrics from Brave previously, to be honest – but they definitely sound high-ish to my ears relative to previous public estimates of Brave downloads, which is a slightly different metric. I'd also note that most startups would kill to have several million people per day using their product, so even in isolation, those absolute totals aren't nothing. Eich also said Brave is planning to publish more details on user stats this year, which will be great to see.
Where things get perhaps even more promising is in the growth of publishers registered with Brave to get rewards for their sites' web traffic. That activity has been measured independently for a long time by BATgrowth.com, whose data show continued expansion.
There are now over 286,000 publisher channels registered as Brave publishers, which is up more than 10x this year. The number of Basic Attention Token addresses – a measure of the number of wallets ready to receive publisher rewards in the Brave system's native crypto token – has more than doubled to near 200,000.
The fact that channels are growing way faster than network addresses suggests to me that individual publishers are increasingly registering multiple channels, especially as Brave improves its integration with additional social networks like Twitter, GitHub, etc. I've certainly done that myself registering this site (full disclosure), as well as several personal social channels.
The big driver for publisher growth, however, continues to be YouTube. About 70 percent of all publisher channels registered with Brave are currently YouTube accounts.
I've said before, this seems to be testament to the crappiness of the terms that the Google-owned platform gives to video content creators. Hence they're hungry for some other way to monetize. But, hey, I guess Google really needs the money. 🙃
The other thing that strikes me about these growth stats for Brave is that they come despite weakness in the price of the Basic Attention Token, which Brave uses to reward publishers for traffic and users for viewing non-invasive adds in the Brave web browser.
BAT tokens are also freely tradeable on the open market among speculators – a crucial detail, in my opinion.
BAT prices are currently down more than 50 percent from highs around 45 cents per token back in April, even as publishers keep signing up for the Brave system and users keep downloading its browser. This is perhaps an indication that many specs have gotten out, leaving a market that's more focused on organic users of BAT.
If so, good. If you believe, as I do, that the future of blockchain should be more focused on delivering real functionality, the continued growth of Brave without the speculative froth is a really encouraging sign.