In June 2016, Twitch introduced Cheering, a system that allows viewers to pay their favorite partnered streamers simply by typing an emote into the chat -- and it appears to have paid off. Participating streamers get one cent for every Bit pledged in their chat rooms, and last year, Twitch saw a total of 590 million Bits Cheered. That means these streamers took home $5.9 million in Bits alone throughout the second half of 2016.
Though Twitch hasn't come out and said the Bits economy was $5.9 million strong in 2016, we confirmed the math with a spokesperson.
This $5.9 million figure would only apply to official Twitch Partner streamers who participated in the Bits beta. Twitch hosts 2.2 million unique streamers, but just about 17,000 of those streamers are Partners. If the Bits money were distributed evenly among 17,000 Partners, they'd each get about $350 (but, of course, the world is never so neatly organized).