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According to an announcement made on the official Brave blog, the crypto-powered web browser has surpassed 5.5 million monthly active users.

Published last Sunday, the blog post included several other growth statistics and highlights of 2018. The Brave team took the opportunity to thank users and partners for supporting the project in this “busy year”.

With 1 million active users at the beginning of last year, Brave has seen phenomenal growth throughout 2018. The team expects the same growth to continue this year, fueled by the release of Brave Ads and the new 1.0 version of the desktop browser. The new Brave Ads feature is currently being tested and is designed to reward users with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), the native cryptocurrency of the Brave browser, in exchange for sharing data and watching ads.

The Brave blog post also shared other important milestones achieved in 2018. The new redesigned desktop Brave browser is 22% faster and has added features such as Brave Rewards and support for more web extensions. The new iOS version of Brave also observed significant gains in terms of performance while the Android version surpassed 10 million downloads in August.

The growth in verified publishers was also considerable, growing from 4,000 to now over 28,000. This was mainly due to Brave adding support for Twitch and YouTube, as many content creators from these platforms signed up for Brave Rewards. A new tipping functionality in Brave Rewards and a feature that lets content creators customize their tipping banners also helped with adoption.

Partnerships and Privacy Work

The Brave team has made strives to improve the privacy of their browser. Tor was integrated on the Private Windows of Brave and a new Research office opened in London. This new office will be in charge of implementing privacy innovations such as SpeedReader, a reader mode that makes web pages more pleasant and less complex to read, and AdGraph, a machine learning approach for ad blocking.

Besides the privacy-protection features added, Brave also worked with advertisers and government authorities, including the US Senate and the European Union, in order to adopt enhanced privacy protection laws and fairer revenue distribution for publishers.

Finally, many partnerships with prominent companies were made during 2018. This includes the Dow Jones Media Group, privacy-centric search engines Qwant and DuckDuckGo, Taiwanese electronics company HTC, AdLedger blockchain consortium, and decentralized identity ecosystem Civic.