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2021 was a significant year for the growth and development of Brave and BAT. Brave grew over 2x to 50.2 million monthly active users in 2021, with over 8 million users earning BAT through Brave Rewards, becoming the 11th most distributed token by on-chain holders according to etherscan.io. Brave published the BAT v2 Roadmap in February 2021, laying out the vision for Brave as the gateway to Web3 and positioning BAT to thrive in an emerging multichain world. Following the first State of the BAT post released last year, this post covers BAT highlights and progress from 2021.
New utility cases introduced in 2021
Blockchain Gaming and NFTs
- Specialized BAT tournaments were held with both Gala Games and Splinterlands, including BAT requirements for entry, and BAT prize pools awarded to tournament winners.
- BAT was utilized with both partners for in-game NFT purchases of virtual land deeds and other in-game items.
- Following the success of the initial December 2020 collaboration, Brave and Gala Games released a physical and digital NFT collaboration in March, selling all items within 15 minutes.
Brave is looking forward to bringing additional blockchain gaming and metaverse partnerships to market in 2022.
In March, Brave and Ether.Cards collaborated on bringing Ether.Cards to market:
- Ether.Cards promoted the upcoming sale through Brave Ads, generating demand and awareness for the project.
- Ether.Cards showcased their ability to feature programmable traits into NFTs by purchasing 5.9 million BAT to program for random distribution as reward bonuses for Ether.Card buyers participating in the sale.
- The Brave Ads promotion and BAT rewards helped contribute to the success of the Ether.Cards sale, resulting in over $9 million in sales in the first 24 hours.
Brave collaborated with Origin on NFT pilots through the Brave Store and Origin’s NFT platform:
- A BAT Community Meme Contest was held in February, with winning memes minted into NFTs available for purchase through the Brave Store.
- The NFT sale was a success, with the entire collection selling out within 15 minutes.
- In May, Brave and Origin also collaborated on a Tabong NFT sale through their Origin NFT platform.
The BAT Community also began integrating POAP NFTs as proof of attendance for the weekly BAT Community calls, hosted every Tuesday at 2PM PST on Brave Talk.
Cross-chain BAT support
In response to Ethereum network congestion and rising transaction fees, new L1 blockchains and EVM forks of Ethereum began to emerge and scale in adoption in 2021. As the unit of account for attention, extending support for BAT cross-chain was a natural progression in 2021:
- In March, BAT was bridged from Ethereum to DeFi protocols on Binance Smart Chain.
- By the end of 2021, BAT had been bridged and held in user wallets on Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche, Polygon, Gnosis Chain, and Solana.
BAT Roadmap v2
Brave published the BAT Roadmap v2 in February 2021, laying out the vision for bringing Web3 to the masses, and positioning BAT to flourish in the multichain world. The team delivered against the roadmap throughout the year, bringing milestones to market.
A key pillar of the BAT Roadmap v2 was the introduction of a native Brave Wallet to replace the legacy Crypto Wallet extension:
- The Desktop Brave Wallet was released in November 2021, bringing Ethereum and EVM support for Avalanche, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, and more.
- The mobile Brave Wallet Beta was introduced in December 2021 for iOS and Android.
- In November, Brave announced a partnership with Solana to be the default L1 blockchain integrated into the Brave Wallet.
- In July, Brave integrated the Brave Swap feature in the legacy Crypto Wallet, providing users with the ability to swap between ETH and ERC20 tokens.
- Brave Swap was also integrated into the new desktop and mobile Brave Wallets.
- The Brave Wallet launched with native Dapp support for desktop, with mobile Dapp support coming soon.
In January, Brave announced a THEMIS RFC&C (Request for Comments & Code) event, inviting projects to submit proposals for progressively decentralizing the Brave Rewards ecosystem:
- The event was a great success, with over 10 proposals submitted from projects. The proposals ranged from cryptographic primitive improvements to running THEMIS on fast and scalable L1 blockchains and leveraging fast and succinct proof systems for scalability.
- From the proposals submitted, Brave announced that the Solana Labs proposal was selected for THEMIS implementation.
- THEMIS protocol implementation and integration with the Brave Rewards ecosystem is ongoing.
Web3 / Decentralized Web
Brave made significant progress on the Web3 / Decentralized Web initiatives from the Roadmap:
- Successfully integrated IPFS.
- Integrated support for Unstoppable Domains and ENS.
- Published Brave’s Crypto DNS Strategy.
- Published important research covering privacy and security issues in Web3.
Significant Brave Rewards growth, progress, and improvements were achieved in 2021, providing BAT for users and creators:
- Over 8 million users earning BAT via Brave Rewards.
- Over 1.3 million verified creators accepting BAT, a 30% increase over 2020.
- Gemini integrated as an option for Brave Rewards desktop users.
- BitFlyer integrated as an option for Brave Rewards desktop users in Japan.
- Custom tipping amounts feature introduced on desktop.
- Brave Rewards design overhaul and user experience improvements.
- Brave Rewards new tab page widget design refresh.
- Minimum BAT requirements removed for creator payouts, and minimum BAT requirements lowered for Brave Rewards users seeking to connect to Uphold.
2021 was a very successful year for Brave Ads, bringing new revenue and options for users to earn more BAT throughout the year:
- Research and case studies about the Brave Ads opt-in model were conducted with MAGNA and dentsu international, providing important insights to the market.
- Over 5,000 campaigns delivered to date, across nearly 200 countries, with leading brands such as Ford, PayPal, Toyota, Mastercard, Intel, Crocs, BMW, Keurig, American Express, Budweiser, Walmart, Amazon, and The Home Depot, as well as from crypto giants like Binance, Coinbase, Crypto.com, eToro, Gemini, and Solana.
- Brave News Ads introduced on desktop and iOS.
- Ad matching optimizations were added, including the introduction of purchase intent segmentation.
- Added reporting optimizations with improvements for view-through and click-through conversion event reporting, and the introduction of verifiable order conversion event reporting for advertisers. These privacy-safe ways of proving return on ad spend help keep earnings high for Brave Rewards users.
- Began participating with DAOs for funding Brave Ads campaigns, the first of which being Nouns DAO.
In April of 2021, the BAT Community launched BAT Ambassadors, a volunteer-based program that champions Basic Attention Token and fosters communities of BAT fans worldwide.
- Since its inception, the program has received over 600 applications and onboarded over 400 volunteers.
- The BAT community has expanded its online presence with over 30 Ambassador-led groups and channels on Twitter, Discord, Odysee, Federated, Telegram, Instagram, and Facebook. Most notably, the community-led BAT Brigade Discord has become the go-to hub for BAT fans on the platform. The BAT Elites Telegram group focuses on content promotion and amplification across social channels and has also shown promising growth.
- The program has solidified diligent volunteer representation for BAT in key regions across six continents.
The BAT Community saw notable growth across its existing social media channels from January to December 2021:
- @AttentionToken (Twitter) went from 127.5K to 247.7K followers, a roughly 94% increase.
- r/BATProject (Reddit) membership grew from 49K to 85.9K, an approximately 72% increase.
- @BAT_Community (Twitter) went from 8.9K to 14K followers, a roughly 57% increase.
The BAT Community also hosted AMAs and interviews on several Brave features and initiatives, including Brave Wallet, Brave Search, THEMIS, IPFS (interview), and Unstoppable Domains. In addition, the BAT Community held guest AMAs with Gemini and Gala Games, and an AMA with Peter Snyder from Brave.
Focus for 2022
With the Brave browser being a blockchain agnostic platform with a native multi-chain Wallet, and with BAT being the unit of account for the attention economy, 2022 brings a strong focus for growth in the following areas:
BAT DeFi utility:
- BAT liquidity pool pairs on AMMs and DEX liquidity in Solana, Ethereum L2s, and EVM ecosystems.
- Auto-earn feature support for BAT in the Brave Wallet.
BAT NFT utility:
- NFT Marketplace support for BAT to purchase NFTs in Solana, Ethereum L2s, and EVM ecosystems.
BAT Metaverse and gaming utility:
- Support for BAT to purchase NFTs, access content and be utilized with strategic partners in metaverse applications and blockchain gaming in Solana, Ethereum L2, and EVM ecosystems.
- Brave Swap Rewards
New Brave Ads units:
- Brave Search Ads
- Brave News Ads for Android
Brave and BAT-themed collaborations with NFT projects and creators.
- Crypto & Web3 education
- BAT Ambassadors on Campus program for college students
- More virtual meetups, community calls, AMAs, events, and other opportunities for better community engagement
- EVM and Dapp Support on iOS and Android
- Convert Wallet to have multi-network support, beyond EVMs
- Multichain support for Solana, Bitcoin, and Filecoin
- NFT support on desktop and mobile devices
We look forward to close collaboration with the Brave and BAT Communities in 2022 to bring continued success and growth for BAT!
As always, we welcome and encourage the community to continue providing feedback and participating with the team in the year ahead.