On the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE), Joe Rogan, arguably the world’s most popular podcast host, said he uses Brave Browser. The privacy-focused browser allows users to send crypto payments to publishers and content creators.
“I use brave, I use duckduckgo too.”
Alongside Reddit, Brave Browser is one of the few platforms that use crypto which has tens of millions of active users.
Brave, created by Java founder Brendan Eich, reached 15 million active monthly users on June 2.
Solid publicity for crypto
Since the release of Bitcoin in 2009, the crypto market faced one key hurdle: mainstream adoption.
Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency to see some level of mainstream adoption as a store of value.
With Bitcoin, users can send and receive payments without a third party. The concept of a decentralized currency allowed it to evolve into a compelling store of value across the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
But, other than Bitcoin, so-called “decentralized applications” are struggling to see meaningful adoption. Getting new users to choose decentralized platforms over centralized platforms is difficult because the former is slower and more complex.
For users to make the switch, there needs to be a compelling reason to do so.
For Brave Browser, the attractive incentive for users to move away from Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Opera, and other dominant browsers was its ad-free and privacy-focused philosophy.
Brave automatically blocks ads and website trackers. On Chrome users install external plugins to carry out the same service. More importantly, using crypto on Brave Browser is optional. Over time, as people get more comfortable with the platform, it can lead to an increased usage of crypto assets.
The key to real mainstream adoption with decentralized platforms is offering compelling features and mixing in crypto-based services that are not mandatory.
How far are decentralized platforms from mainstream adoption?
In December 2017, the total market capitalization of crypto assets reached $500 billion.
At the time, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin questioned the valuation of cryptocurrencies and said:
“So total cryptocoin market cap just hit $0.5T today. But have we earned it? How many unbanked people have we banked? How much censorship-resistant commerce for the common people have we enabled? How many dapps have we created that have substantial usage? Low added value per user for using a blockchain is fine, but then you have to make up for it in volume.”
As several crypto-using decentralized platforms begin to reach hundreds of millions of users, the cryptocurrency space is closer than before to seeing actual adoption among casual users.
But, to support valuations seen in 2017, the crypto sector still needs to see an exponential increase in users across many cryptocurrencies and platforms, not just on Bitcoin and Ethereum.