Google Chrome, reigning undisputed as the king of internet browsers for the last decade, has more-or-less cornered the market with billions of users around the world.
Chrome’s rivals, including Apple’s
A new Chrome challenger—the cryptocurrency-powered, privacy-focused Brave— has said it’s attracted 20 million users away from the likes of Chrome, FireFox and Safari—with Brave users up 130% in just one year as people opt for its “privacy-by-default” model.
“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,” Brendan Eich, chief executive and co-founder of Brave, said in a statement alongside Brave’s latest numbers.
Brave, which claims to aggressively block advertisers and trackers everywhere it can, uses its on-by-default Brave Shields feature to block third-party ads, trackers, auto-playing videos, and device fingerprinting.
“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,” Eich added.
Brave now boasts 20.5 million monthly active users, up from 8.7 million in November 2019, and 7 million daily active users, up from 3 million just 12 months ago. The number of so-called verified content creators on Brave—including YouTuber Philip DeFranco—has also climbed to almost 1 million, up from 300,000 last year.
Unlike Chrome and most other browsers, Brave rewards users for viewing ads using its Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency. Some then pass these on to creators on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, GitHub and similar websites, with 26 million BAT tokens donated so far. Brave users can choose to when to view ads and they pick up 70% of the ad revenue.
Brave’s apparent success over the last year comes amid its campaign to encourage regulators to clamp down on Google Chrome dominance of the browser market.
In March, Brave filed a formal complaint against Google with the Irish General Data Protection Regulation enforcer, where Google’s European headquarters are, arguing the search giant has behaved irresponsibly with how it has been collecting and sharing the personal data of its users.