Reddit, the famed internet home filled with branching subreddits that are either the nicest places on Earth, or digital representations of bigotry/hell, is adding in cryptocurrency. The whole process has been explained by an engineer at Reddit on the crypto side of things called Rahul, who is @iamRahul20x on Twitter.
To be fair to Rahul, they've done a very good of explaining what the plan here is and how they'll be doing it, so let's get into it.
Reddit is crypto now
It's not, that's a bad header. Anyway, according to Rahul, the plan is to "3 words. Decentralise. Social. Media." The aim here is to allow the community to drive the direction of the platform and create new subreddits whenever a disagreement happens. Now, that last point, to us, suggests that Reddit is about to become at least 1,000,000,000 times larger, but that's an aside.
Rahul states that Reddit has 500m monthly active users and that they'll all be converted into crypto users. Some people are genuinely against cryptocurrency for a lot of reasons. Some people don't want to be able to accidentally drop a Betty Boop on an SD card and lose a bunch of money, for example. So, converting all of these people onto crypto seems like a weird betrayal for those not into it.
The aim, apparently, is ownership. Now, you could argue that owning something, even on a large scale, isn't actually freedom, but more of a tie to a thing you might not want, but that's not the point. This is a large part of the whole crypto and NFT push, and it's just kind of odd. Owning a house we get, but owning a picture of a monkey throwing up is a little odd. The same is true of Reddit, which isn't far off being the website equivalent of the aforementioned ill monkey.
It's also, unsurprisingly, about monetisation. "Surely there are better ways to monetize than just creating walled gardens. One that is a WIN-WIN. One where even users can earn by curating content," says Rahul. It'll be done because Reddit has partnered with Offchain Labs, and the aim here seems to be that community points will then be turned into a cryptocurrency.
At this point in time, it's quite possible that this is a weird marketing ploy. After all, crypto is a big old buzz world to attract people and grab interest. While some of the ideas discussed in Rahul's thread do sound intriguing, they end it by talking about Etherium, which is the same currency using blockchain technology that's destroying the planet, so maybe it's all bad?